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Distance Learning...

Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:10 am

I have considered doing an astronomically based course for some time now. I have considered an open university course - however, they didn't offer a degree in astronomy...

Anyway, I happen to notice in this months S@N an advert from the UCLAN (University of Central Lancashire) offering certificates in Astronomy with a degree if you go further.

Has anyone done/doing/considering this course?

If so, could you give me feedback regarding quality, etc


RE: Distance Learning...

Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:26 pm

Probably does not answer your question - but I have recently completed a BSc with the Open University. My degree was made up of many completely different courses which included Maths, History (of Film and Television), Software engineering etc....One of the courses I enjoyed most of all was Astronomy and Planetary Science. The quality was outstanding, and the support for me was very good (I suffer from partial deafness). The tutors for all of my courses were very supportive and helpful. One of the advantages of the Open University is that you can mix and match courses and still come out at the end of it with a degree if you want to go that far.
You may have already checked this link out from the Open University Web Site, but it relates to Physics and Astronomy Undergraduate studies:-
If you do decide to go ahead and study - best of luck - I finally graduated just before my 50th birthday - so anything is possible......

RE: Distance Learning...

Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:43 pm

UCLAN are in partnership with JML Liverpool for their astronomy degree(s).
Also Univ of Manchester but they seem to have taken a bit of a back seat, so not sure of their present involvement.

Have a look at [url=http://www.astronomy.ac.uk]www.astronomy.ac.uk[/url] as I think this is the combined offerings. If Jodrell Bank is included be aware that they are dropping out of it at some time soon.

I spoke to UCLAN and JML at astrofest. Both seemed very good, spoke most with the person from JML. I was interested in the possibility of an MSc.

Someone on an astro forum said they had "problems" with UCLAN about 6 months back. In defence of UCLAN the person would not say what the problem was, so it may have simply been them and not UCLAN.

Where about are you?
UCLAN are at the SW Astro fair in Sidmouth on Aug 8th.

Edit: They were at last years, I expect them to be there this year, but...

RE: Distance Learning...

Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:36 am

Thanks for your replies chaps. Much appreciated.

I think I am certain I shall be 'doing' the course with UCLAN. I have read other forums regarding this and they seem quite positive. [:)]

I live in the south east, so getting to the sw wouldn't be too hard. we shall see.


RE: Distance Learning...

Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:43 pm

Clearly, it depends on exactly what level you're seeking but, as I've been on 'long term sick leave', I was searching around for similar stuff and found that the OU offered quite a few freebie starter courses, with various (non-free!) modules that can contribute to a degree. I like their flexibility and their reputation is sky-high.

Good luck with whatever you choose


RE: Distance Learning...

Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:00 am

Re: Patrick.

I wouldn't mind having a bash at S282 in the future. Would S104(Exploring Science) be enough preparation?

RE: Distance Learning...

Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:36 pm

Hi Marcus,
I have the certificate of higher education from UCLAN as well as one from JMU. The Certificate is the same but the courses are different in a number of ways. They are both great fun to do as well as challenging. I have been an observational astronomer for over 30 years and believe me when I say that you will learn things that you never thought that you would. There is a lot more going on up there than you think, go for it you will not regret it!

RE: Distance Learning...

Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:20 pm


I appreciate the support.

At least I know who to come to when I get stuck !! [;)]

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