11 December 2013

U316 - The environmental web

The view from Morgan's Hill Nature Reserve, Wiltshire.

For the past few years I've been studying towards a degree. It's been a bit disjointed as i first began with studying science, but then my employer at the time offered to pay for my study if it was work related. So I started studying business and information communication technology, but kept studying the certificate in contemporary science in the background. This was possible because an undergraduate certificate is made up of 60 points, this particular certificate could be built with 6 10 point modules, therefore giving a good base for understanding contemporary science (they were some of the toughest modules I've done!).

Then I was made redundant and fell ill shortly after (possibly even before) starting a new job. I wasn't really well enough to continue studying, so I knew I had to start modules I was interested in at the time to ensure I could get a degree - and hopefully prove to future employers that I didn't waste time just being ill! By this time I had amassed 2 undergraduate certificates, 1 in Business and the other in ICT and Computing. I had also already completed my first level 2 module, a 60 point module in communication and information technologies.

So what could I do that I was really interested in? I decided that I wanted to learn more about English, firstly a level 2 course about the history of English. Then bringing us up to my most recent module, a 60 point level 3 module entitled Children's Literature. In the background I managed to complete my third undergraduate certificate in Contemporary Science.

I finished my most recent module in February 2013. Even though I'd managed to get away with only 2-3 hours of study a week - I needed a break. I wasn't getting any better and I needed time away from deadlines and constant forced reading. I could 'cash in' my points for an ordinary degree, but I didn't want to constantly explain to people what an ordinary degree was and that it didn't have a grade! I've also done well enough that I should be able to finish with a 2:1, which would be amazing and much more than I expected.

So I've now decided, after much deliberation, to try and finish my degree - and thus close this chapter of my life! I've registered for a 60 level 3 module entitled The environmental web.

The Open University website describes the module as an
'interdisciplinary course examines contemporary issues such as biodiversity and climate change in order to develop your environmental literacy, and enable you to take part in informed debate and action. It draws on a wide variety of disciplines to investigate environmental changes, their consequences, and implications for action. You will explore environmental materials on the web used to publish data, implement policy, debate issues, and promulgate views – learning how to navigate, analyse and evaluate such information.'

I'm really looking forward to starting the module and have been reading up about the topic and contributing to the facebook group that I've joined.

I thought it would be a good topic as I'm interested in nature and biological recording and I think that this module will provide me with a great deal of context when recording wildlife and understanding how it all connects. I think it will also help me improve my writing on this blog - and will hopefully inspire me to write not only about the module, but also about topics that I encounter during the module.

So, wish me luck - I'll most definitely need it!


  1. All the best Tim, it sounds exciting! Looking forward to reading your posts on environmental webs :)

    1. Thanks Rachel. Definitely looking forward to learning more about ecosystems, sustainability, climate change, etc. I hope your Masters goes well :)

  2. Sounds interesting and worthwhile. I especially like the reference to "informed debate and action." I look forward to hearing more. Best wishes!

    1. Thanks Hollis. I received an email confirming my registration this morning - so the books and other materials should arrive soon :D

  3. Such great news! Wishing you the best! I know this is late, but it is never too late to deliver good wishes, is it?
    No wonder your book recommendations just keep getting better!

    1. Thanks, Anastasia. Sadly I had to postpone this module due to my CFS/ME giving me a hard time.


I really enjoy reading and replying to your comments, but please don't use this space for advertising!