You’ve nearly finished a course and another one is starting shortly before the first one ends. Two TMAs and an EMA and it’ll all be over. If you let this one slide it will put you back at least nine months as it doesn’t start again within a suitable time frame. You might think to yourself, just like I did, “If I can complete one Open University course then surely I can manage two, right?!” I know it might be a bit of a stretch for a few months but things will even themselves out and I’ll only be juxtaposing courses for a few months…a couple of essays, no big deal. That was my twisted logic anyway.

There is always a temptation to double the workload and try to complete two courses back-to-back but it is not a task to be undertaken without due consideration.

I tried it myself and even though I made it through it was no easy feat. A215 Creative Writing was just about to finish up, with TMA06, TMA07 and the EMA still left to complete and I was tempted by A217 Introducing religions which was starting soon, creating an overlap. If I missed the start of Religions then I would have to wait another year for it to start but if I could just fiddle through the final stages of Creative Writing then there was a chance it would be OK.

However, the difficulty of what I was doing was evident in my grades. My start was sluggish and took me a few TMAs to get back up to speed, all because I had failed to hit the ground running.

As a result the closing TMAs for A215 lacked focus and the opening TMA for A217 also suffered as I started off with a steady, yet unspectacular, 65% total. This did tend to follow my overall pattern, however, of starting slowly and building up towards a strong finish to a module as I learned the nuts and bolts and mastered the art of working out just what my tutor was expecting me to provide. See the screenshots pasted below from my Open University student homepage.



So, would you consider merging courses? When we posed the question on Twitter there were a few responses that came back confirming what we had already considered.

Perhaps studying for a short course (10 points or even 30 points) would be more manageable than crossing over two full 60 point courses. The level also needs to be taken into account. My two courses for instance were both Level two.

Finding regular, quality time to study and read can be a huge challenge even with only one course. Blocking out the distractions and necessities of everyday life can often leave good studying time thin on the ground. If you’re concerned about finding the time to study then this Access Module Planner can help you to organise how many hours per week you have to spare and how many you will need. Before you commit to even starting one course, let alone merging two, it is a good idea to plan ahead and make sure you can follow through with the commitment involved.

Did you enjoy this article or find it useful? Please LIKE/TWEET/SHARE and drop a comment below with your thoughts. Perhaps you’ve tried to merge courses and it went well or didn’t work out? Either way let’s get the conversation going and help each other move forward.