Posts in category education

BSc (Honours) Information Technology and Computing, First-class

As anyone who’s been reading this blog for too long will know I’ve been taking a degree in computer science (well, the closest the Open University had) in my spare time since 1999.

Yesterday the results came through for my final year where I managed to achieve a grade 2 pass (which requires 70%+ on both assignments and exam).

Combined with my three distinctions, one other grade 2 and three grade 3 results (hey, sometimes those exams are tough ;-) that means I have managed to achieve a First-class with Honours.


Now I just need to wait until next year to go and pick it up and get my photo taken in a silly hat.


Reflections on Damien Guard, BSc (Hons)

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:

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.


Open University TM427 course results out

Okay, after a few nail biting days of;

“Your course result will be available Wednesday 22 March 2006”

“Your course result will be available Thursday 23 March 2006”

“Your course result will be available Friday 24 March 2006”

Wondering if the Open University web site will just say this indefinitely but no they came through a few minutes ago and I’ve managed to grab a grade 3 pass. I would have preferred a grade 2 (Merit) but I missed it by 1% on the assignments and 8% on the written project report.

Ho-hum at least it’s a pass. I really disliked the whole project year – it sounded fun but there was way too much “reflective learning” in it for me. I don’t want to learn about learning, this is my seventh (and hopefully final) year and I want to learn about the subjects I’ve chosen.

So now that leaves me with needed a merit on T305 Digital Communications – something well on target so far on my first two assignments. In fact I’m only a little off a distinction at the moment.

Hope I don’t get too distracted…