Part-time traveller, Full-Time Brummie

The secret life of an Open University Psychology Student

In eleven days time, I finally graduate. After four and a half years, four exams, one wild residential week in Bath, three research projects and countless assignments, I can finally proudly say that I have a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Psychology through the Open University.

Yay, it’s official!

And it feels amazing.  For the majority of that time, I was juggling study with working full-time.  Evenings and weekends were spent with my nose in a book, on the laptop or – in that final horrible module – painfully transcribing every word, breath and pause of two half-hour long interviews.

Mr Fletche would look on hopefully every time I put a book down – maybe he would get his wife back for a little time this evening?  TV programmes remained unwatched, non-psychology books remained unread, each weekend outing was weighed up against the time that could be spent studying. And yet, the knowledge that I was learning something new, something that could be useful in my future career, kept me going.  I hadn’t gone to University after school; I’d gone out into the big wide world of work.  I’d never regretted the decision, but I felt that there was a gap on my CV which should be filled with more than a handful of GCSEs.

Choosing the Open University was a no-brainer for me.  I knew I could be organised and disciplined enough to balance my work, study and personal life.  I knew it would provide me with enough support to guide my studies, but with enough flexibility for me to study at times which were convenient for me.  And I knew that despite the so-called distance learning, I would make lifelong friends through tutor groups, Facebook forums – and those that cheered my terrible karaoke on that wonderful week in Bath.

(Marginally better than this)

And as I sip champagne on my graduation morning, slip into my new dress and get ready to don that dark blue gown, I will thank all of those close to me that have supported me in every step of my journey – even when I was close to tears, even when I feared I had failed, even when I mis-read a simple question on one Level 2 assignment and answered a completely different question…

Birmingham Symphony Hall awaits.  Photo from

Birmingham Symphony Hall awaits. Photo from

And for those who have asked:

Yes – the Open University is a real degree

No – I cannot read your mind

Yes – men are obsessed with their penis


13 responses to “The secret life of an Open University Psychology Student”

  1. Rebecca Royy says:

    Congratulations on a job well done!

  2. Tim says:

    Great blog post and many congratulations on your degree. A masters next?

  3. Caroline says:

    I love this. I am just starting my level 3s social psychology being the first so know exactly where you’re coming from. I have the transcribing to look forward to. Congratulations on your amazing achievement. X

  4. Em Linthorpe says:

    The last point, hahaha!
    A wonderful achievement…well done!

  5. josypheen says:

    I am so impressed. I worked part time throughout my studies and found it pretty knackering. I am always in awe of people that manage to get a degree while working full time.

    Are you planning to change careers and use your shiny new degree? 🙂

    • emfletche says:

      I think any job that involves dealing with people benefits from a psychology degree! However this was always for me rather than for my career so no big plans to revolutionise my career just yet!

  6. noellekelly says:

    Well done you!! It takes fierce determination to do that!

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