MST124 and on… | Odd Blog

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MST124 and on…

I have not managed to post about my OU experiences as much as I would have liked. Last year I studied MST124 – Essential Mathematics. I did also begin S141 but very quickly found I didn’t enjoy it so stopped that.

I seriously enjoyed MST124. One reason for beginning this degree in Astronomy and Planetary Science was that it would involve a decent level of maths. I believe there is more to come for the third year of study.

The OU changed their system of tutorials beginning last year. Having only studied one year using the ‘old’ system, it was not expected, I had not seen it announced anywhere. So basically, now, you have a tutor who can live anywhere. They are responsible for marking your TMAs and looking after you in general. All of the tutors pretty much also teach online tutorials from time-to-time and you can book any one you like and as many as you like to join in on.

Also, tutors can teach local face-to-face classes. I joined my nearest which was in the Newton building at Christchurch University, Canterbury. Peter Law was the tutor and he was absolutely excellent. I really miss not going along to those tutorials, almost to the point that I might do the module again just to get the chance again!

A great deal of the material was very familiar to me, which helped a great deal. But it has been 32 years since I last studied this stuff so it took some work. But oh did I enjoy it. So if you are wondering about following MST124, don’t think twice, go for it.

I am glad to report I passed the exam and was very happy with the grade. A bit more revision and I could have knocked it up to a level 1 pass, but that will always be the case!

So, now I am studying S282 Astronomy and TM129 Technology in Practice.

S282 is truly wonderful, but I am getting a little behind at the moment. There is a *LOT* of work. I can not believe how interesting it is. So far I have studied the Sun and how it generates power, the various layers and areas and features. Now it is stars in general, celestial coordinates, magnitudes, variable stars, calculating distances to stars, calculating the mass of stars. I need a couple of weeks to catch up, so will be studying a lot over Christmas.

TM129 is an interesting module. I enrolled as I needed to make up 30 points I ‘lost’ by dropping S141 last year. I thought it might be a module I would find straightforward, as I work in the industry, but I find there is a very great deal I have not studied in depth, that will genuinely be immensely useful for my work. The first section is Robotics which I don’t find so interesting. After Christmas it is Networks. Bearing in mind that’s my job, there is a lot I have not come across… ahem!  The third section will be on Linux and I am really looking forward to that part.

Studying with the OU is just amazing. The courses are superb, the materials superb and so are the people who run it!

Oh I filled in the summer by going to the OU campus at Milton Keynes and attending SS001, a two day lab course which involved chemistry and physics. Recommended.

I hope that wasn’t too boring. If you are looking to begin something and want to know how it works, please do comment.


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