Posts tagged with open-university

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…


Personal checkpoint, March 2006

Forgive me readers for I have sinned. It’s been ten days since my last post.

This is one of those rarer posts about my personal life for people who know or care…


Clarissa is back in Germany attending job interviews while we’re waiting for her license to come through. We furnishes the flat with some plants before she left including a orange tree that is producing very tiny oranges that are apparently great for marmalade. I tried one and tasted just like an orange Skittle Sour.


I’ve started on my final year of my BSc with T305 – Digital Communications. For me it’s very uneven as one minute we’re covering topics I know well like object orientation and network protocols then the next deep in state machines, SDL and calculating physical characteristics of media – which I don’t. I think I’m doing okay so far although I’ll know better once I get my first assignment back.

My result for last years TM427 still isn’t through yet – end of March apparently – and the anticipation is unbearable. It’s been over three months since I submitted my mini-eBay style project. If I can get a merit on either last year or this years course then that’ll land me a first with honours, otherwise it’s a 2:1.


Study hasn’t quite zapped all my time and I’m still getting a bit of virtual r ‘n r on World of Warcraft. I’ve almost caught some of my old Jersey mates up so will be able to go questing again with them soon I hope.

I’ve barely touched Civ4 and I’m working out a PC shuffle-round to get Clarissa with her own gaming PC here so I can also game when she’s lost in Civ3 or Need for Speed. I’ve shown her WoW but she really isn’t interested although Amy likes it but not as much as the Sims.

I’m currently trying to source a Cooler Master CM 260 case and a suitable mini-ATX Pentium M motherboard. More news as it happens.

We’ve also got our hands on a few board games too including 221b Baker Street – a rather fun Sherlock Holmes style mystery that required a little more intelligence than Cluedo. Our game of Dungeons & Dragons (basic board game) needed more players and perhaps a more serious touch. We’ve still to give Mysteries of Old Peking and HeroQuest a shot.

I think I’m a bad influence on people who would otherwise have a much more active social life… Oh well, at least Clarissa and I managed to get a game of badminton in before she left and Aims and I ran around at the park for a bit.


The DamoPlex, as it has become known, had a successful screening of BMX Bandits last week. I wanted to do a double-bill with Chuck Norris but the audience couldn’t take much more cheese.

The Hitachi projector is working really well although I decided to get some blackout curtains to help with day-time viewing. I’ve ordered an adapter for the Shuttle to enable component high-def output from the Radeon 9600SE card.

The Xbox 360 will look amazing so I’ve been told and obviously the PC will be an improvement over the non-widescreen 1024×768 res it’s pumping out at the moment. I’m interested in finding out whether the Denon 2900 DVD player can do a better job at progressive scan than the Hitachi TX-200 projector.