Mathew C Sims' Blog

The one where I choose my final year degree modules.

TM470 is meant to be the undergraduate ‘dissertation’ module in OU computing degrees. But, because I’m studying a Combined STEM degree (where, pretty much, I can do any science, technology, engineering or maths courses), I don’t have to do it.

For the record, I do want to do a project. I think it would be very rewarding to work on the kind of project TM470 allows, solving a practical problem (see the video for more about what TM470 projects look like). And, I think a final project would be a great addition to my portoflio, and job applications when I do graduate.

But, there is a problem. TM470 runs at a different time of year to most other OU modules; February to October. If I study TM470, I won’t graduate until October 2022. If I don’t take it (and choose another taught module instead), I’ll graduate, more conventionally, in June/July 2022.

Why does that matter? Because I want to go on to either a graduate job, or further study, and not graduating until October would severely limit my options to do that. For the simple reason that it’s when most graduates graduate, most graduate opportunities start in the summer.

So, choosing TM470 may mean I finish my current job in July 2022 (a fixed term contract) and have nowhere to go until the start of 2023. I can’t say sitting and twiddling my thumbs studying one 30 credit OU module, and with no real income, for 6 months is massively appealing.

It’s a difficult choice to make, and I’m not sure what to do for the best. So, I think my next steps are:

  • Look at options for further study. Is there something I actually would like to do? Can I do that in Sept/Oct 2022, or Jan 2023?
  • Would it be possible to enter a ‘graduate’ job a few months before I graduate, if I were to study TM470; and then could I do my master’s part time?