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Studying in the UAE part time

Studying in the UAE part time

Old Sep 20th 2011, 9:38 am
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Default Studying in the UAE part time

Afternoon,

Anyone on here with experience of studying part time?

I'm looking to do a degree, having not done one in the UK. Ideally it'll be Economics or something similar. End goal is to get a proper job / better job, but want to do a degree that will interest me as well.

Cost wise there seems to be quite a range from reasonably expensive right up to f**k off I'm not paying that.

So, questions are;

- Can anyone recommend any good universities / colleges to look at?
- Is anyone currently studying for an extra qualification? What's it like?
- Is the balance of full time work and study overbearing?


General opinions and suggestions would be really useful and appreciated, I'm completely in two minds as to whether I should do it or not...at the moment it's a case of searching around, picking the course and then working out how to pay for it effectively.

Cheers

Student Scamp
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Old Sep 20th 2011, 10:25 am
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Default Re: Studying in the UAE part time

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
Afternoon,

Anyone on here with experience of studying part time?

I'm looking to do a degree, having not done one in the UK. Ideally it'll be Economics or something similar. End goal is to get a proper job / better job, but want to do a degree that will interest me as well.

Cost wise there seems to be quite a range from reasonably expensive right up to f**k off I'm not paying that.

So, questions are;

- Can anyone recommend any good universities / colleges to look at?
- Is anyone currently studying for an extra qualification? What's it like?
- Is the balance of full time work and study overbearing?


General opinions and suggestions would be really useful and appreciated, I'm completely in two minds as to whether I should do it or not...at the moment it's a case of searching around, picking the course and then working out how to pay for it effectively.

Cheers

Student Scamp
Doing a Masters at the moment, started in Jan this year. Its in a fairly narrow field, directly related to the work I do. There was only one uni I could find which had the right mixture of modules plus no requirement for attendance--its all distance learning, with a marked assignment at the end of each module (although the first module required frequent input). Its a British uni, not one I would have chosen if there'd been others, but of course being British its fully accredited.

Rationale for embarking:
* Directly related to the work I do, and therefore I can both input my experience and current activities into my study, and vice verca.
* I'm out here on my tod, so I should be able to find the time. Estimated input is 220 hours per 12-week module.
* Finding the time will keep me out of the bars. (Not entirely successful so far, but it has helped.)
* The combination of having the degree plus what I'll learn will place me well to further my career. This was a major consideration, although I enjoy the study both for its own sake and because it makes me better at what I do. For what I do there's no flab in the course--everything's directly relevant.

I'd suggest choosing what subject you want, then seeing which uni's offer the right course / the method of study that suits you. Although a degree in itself is a good thing, if you know what you want to do in the next step in your career a degree with a high degree of specialisation might be good, if you can find one.

Costs vary: mine is GBP 4.5k, payable over 2 years. The course itself is about 2 1/2 years: 6 modules plus a project.

My initial plan was to study in the evenings / weekend at home, but that hasn't worked. Partly coz I need a fast internet connection (I need to do extensive research of numerous databases), partly because I can't seem to associate my apartment with study--always too many distractions. So I tend to finish work around 6, then move straight into study mode in my office. We have a fast internet, and usually by 6 or 7 most other people have left the office and I'm undisturbed. Added to that my study is pretty much an extension of what I do anyway, so the office feels like a natural study environment.

The biggest problem for me (apart from drawing on those last shreds of self-discipline), is getting hold of the 2 or 3 standard texts required for each module. This time I've ordered them from Amazon and had them delivered to a colleague's house in UK, and he'll bring them back next week when he returns here. Having them posted here would have been bloody expensive, and the books themselves aren't cheap.

The only thing I'm disappointed in, which wasn't clearly explained up-front, is that the assignment for each module has to be submitted by a set date. There is no flexibility, so I HAVE to do what's required regardless of work and social commitments. I have friends and colleagues who have done MBAs, and I think they have considerable freedom in when they study. I'm tied down--but to some extent that is a help because otherwise there's the risk of leaving everything till the last moment.

I'd strongly recommend doing something worthwhile out here: its easy for a few years to pass, and although your bank balance may be healthier, you should definitely be able to make time to take a positive step in your career progression.
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Old Sep 20th 2011, 10:43 am
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Default Re: Studying in the UAE part time

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
I'm looking to do a degree, having not done one in the UK. Ideally it'll be Economics or something similar. End goal is to get a proper job / better job, but want to do a degree that will interest me as well.
Consider doing an MBA if you can... or a degree/vocational subject that is a clear feeder to a good MBA school. As much as I hate MBAs and believe that they are valueless they are excellent tools for changing career. An economics degree won't help you.

Arguably remote MBAs are useless as they don't provide the networking. That said, I don't know anyone with an MBA that uses their MBA network properly.
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Old Sep 20th 2011, 11:16 am
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Default Re: Studying in the UAE part time

Since moving out to the UAE, I too have decided that I should do a degree - having left school with the bare minimum of qualifications. I looked at doing an MBA but decided against it because I wasnt looking for a degree to further my career; but more a degree to show that I could gain a degree.

Therefore I enrolled on a distance learning course with the OU to do a BA in Humanities with History. The course has, so far, proved to be fascinating and this alone has kept me on the study straight and narrow. I over estimated the first year how many modules I could do, so am now only doing one full time (60 credit) module this year and am not starting until January 2012 so that I can do my module throughout the summer which is when I least want to be outside doing other things as its way too hot.

I liked the flexibility of the OU and their use of different teaching mechanisms - books, DVDs, CDs as well as chatrooms and forums for each course and my favourite thing which some tutors use was a "classroom" type application called E-lluminate which allowed me to talk and type in real time with others on my course and allowed our tutor to teach using slides, videos etc. Very good for the networking part of my desire to study.

I also chose a course which had the option for a summer school as one of its modules and will be attending that in 2013.

With regards to the hours - I have a fairly demanding job and enjoy going out, so I have to be very structured in my approach to study and definitely put aside two nights a week that I leave the office at a reasonable time to go home and study. I also do a lot on Saturdays which is usually my "off" day, ie, not out in the evening, no dune driving during the day etc. I did try and wing it for a while and was late in assignments but realised that I was only kidding myself!

For me, the OU offered a strong solution to distance learning and the cost was manageable.

Good luck Scamp.
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Old Sep 20th 2011, 12:26 pm
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Default Re: Studying in the UAE part time

I would highly recommend the Open University's MBA programme.

http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/postgra...cation/f61.htm
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Old Sep 20th 2011, 12:56 pm
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Default Re: Studying in the UAE part time

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
Consider doing an MBA if you can... or a degree/vocational subject that is a clear feeder to a good MBA school. As much as I hate MBAs and believe that they are valueless they are excellent tools for changing career. An economics degree won't help you.

Arguably remote MBAs are useless as they don't provide the networking. That said, I don't know anyone with an MBA that uses their MBA network properly.
Am I being a bit dim here - can you jump in and do an MBA without having a degree first?
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Old Sep 20th 2011, 12:57 pm
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Default Re: Studying in the UAE part time

Originally Posted by Autonomy View Post
Am I being a bit dim here - can you jump in and do an MBA without having a degree first?
Yes, you can if you have sufficient experience.
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Old Sep 20th 2011, 1:00 pm
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Default Re: Studying in the UAE part time

Originally Posted by LaLaLayla View Post
Yes, you can if you have sufficient money.
Corrected that for you.
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Old Sep 20th 2011, 1:02 pm
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Default Re: Studying in the UAE part time

Originally Posted by Bahtatboy View Post
Corrected that for you.
Unfortunately yes, doing an MBA is expensive. A lot of companies will pay for you, but not all. It is an investment, though.
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Old Sep 20th 2011, 1:03 pm
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Default Re: Studying in the UAE part time

Originally Posted by Autonomy View Post
Am I being a bit dim here - can you jump in and do an MBA without having a degree first?
Yeah, if you've not got the required experience in terms of years you can do an access course.

I've looked at this a lot, because I think it would be great to have.

Start to finish if I began today it would take me (without degree) 6 years to do.
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Old Sep 20th 2011, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: Studying in the UAE part time

Good luck, Scamp - I really think you should do it. I am really enjoying my MBA and I've just got a great new job on the strength of it even though I still have a year and a bit to go.

Oh, and if you study with the OU, there are networking opportunities as you have online groups and you all get to meet at the Residential Schools.
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Old Sep 20th 2011, 1:25 pm
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Default Re: Studying in the UAE part time

... oh, and I've worked out it will have cost me about GBP 12k from start to finish.
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Old Sep 24th 2011, 4:47 am
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Default Re: Studying in the UAE part time

I'm doing an MA with a UK university as a Distance Learning student - so entirely online. You need to be really quite disciplined (ehem) as it follows a normal UK uni timescale - not like the Open University where you "just" bat things between you and your tutor ad infinitum.

I'm really enjoying it. The DL part is a bit strange to get used to, but then my previous qualifications have all involved lots of one-on-one time due to the nature of the beast and this is the first theory-based course I've done. It's also quite nice to know that when a deadline is at 17h UK time, you're fine to use the time difference and hand it in at 20h!

Hours-wise, most unis will say a student should put in 25 hours a week into a part-time course (so evenings and a morning)... I, er, didn't do that much last year... at all, really, but if you can combine super-efficiency with a bit of winging it, you can get by in the first year like that. This year (my final), I have freed up the required 25 hours and am going to study properly. You just watch me! Another thing that I found, that you won't have a problem with, was that it is immensely difficult to go from a physically-draining day-time job and make the mental gear-shift into highly intellectual studies. I really feel that those who work in offices full-time, have it easier, because your brain is already fired up, so you just get home and get on with it.

Cost-wise was surprisingly reasonable. It's a 2+ year course (5 semesters, but the 5th is the thesis, so I'm attempting to condense) and for UK residents it's £3600, for overseas it's about £6k.

I hope this helps. Definitely go for it - I'm a bit of an eternal student, always doing some kind of course!
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Old Sep 25th 2011, 6:56 am
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Default Re: Studying in the UAE part time

Thanks everyone for the advice, I'm doing some homework at the moment.

My issue is the cost vs value element, expect the cost today will be worth it eventually, just need to work out how to justify it in my head to start with

Will post some more questions / queries as they arise.
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Old Sep 25th 2011, 12:19 pm
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Default Re: Studying in the UAE part time

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
Thanks everyone for the advice, I'm doing some homework at the moment.

My issue is the cost vs value element, expect the cost today will be worth it eventually, just need to work out how to justify it in my head to start with

Will post some more questions / queries as they arise.
Ach, if you want to do it, do it - I'm sure that if we totted up how much our alcohol consumption comes to over the course of a year, we'd conclude that the cost vs value ratio wasn't too great, but it's fun and life's too short not to!
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