Taking a computer science honours degree in your spare time is a massive commitment and one that I’m not sure I would have embarked upon had I appreciated just how long the road would be when I started back in 1998.
It has taken me 9 courses, 7 years, 46 assignments, 8 exams and 1 final project (a mini-eBay).
The number of hours is difficult to calculate but the £3,500 fees is quite reasonable considering what full-time university fees amount to. This figure however was with a UK education subsidy which will no longer apply to students in the Channel Islands from next year so expect to pay about double that now.
During these 7 years I’ve moved house 5 times, relocated to another country twice, gone from employed to self-employed, changed car 3 times, motorcycle twice and worked on a number of interesting and great projects professionally.
I’ve changed so much on the way but I’m glad I saw it through to it’s conclusion (providing somehow I didn’t fail the exam and have to do another year of study!)
Here’s how it went, in reverse chronological order:
- T305 Digital Communications 2006, exam not yet marked
- TM427 The IT and Computing Project 2005
- M360 Developing Internet Applications 2004
- M301 Software Systems and their Development 2003, distinction
- T171 You, Your Computer and the Net 2002
- T223 Microprocessor-Based Computers 2002, distinction
- M358 Relational Databases 2001
- M206 Computing: An Object-Oriented Approach 2000
- MT262 Putting Computer Systems to Work 1999, distinction
Those not hyper-linked are no longer offered as the OU have been quite swift in replacing courses as technology moves on. It is however a shame to see their low-level T223 course go as it was probably my favorite.
M360 was probably my least favorite as the Java based web development environment we were given to use was rather unimpressive and no doubt antiquated compared to modern Java platforms.
Now what am I going to do with all this spare time?
Perhaps a little more out-of-hours work, a little more fun and maybe even a bit more time to dabble with some pet projects – open source and otherwise.