OU Mathematics – final module choice

I started this degree not long after my daughter was born, a choice between an MBA and a degree for “fun” (learning for me rather than for career reasons) and it’s strange that I’m so close to the end of it. I have one level 3 module left to take. 30 points (or a quarter of a full time degree) to fit in around work and family1. I wrote a post a couple of years ago on my choices for level 3 and looking back at it now, I’m not sure I feel the same way.

Complex numbers (M337) was far more interesting and practically useful that I thought it was going to be. While it was a little drudgey at the start, towards the end everything came together beautifully. Deterministic and stochastic dynamics (MS327) was dull, it was essential mathematics and really useful, but there was nothing to excite me. Maybe this was a product of trying to study alongside long hours at work at the time. I wish I started with M303, the pure mathematics course, and then done complex numbers and the quantum world (my favourite module so far). However, I now have a choice again and I’m finding it tricky.

My choices are2:

What I thought would be an easy choice two years ago is now more difficult. There are aspects of the courses of optimisation, mathematical statics and graphs, networks and design that really interest me, but I worry that much of it will be covering old ground. I didn’t take this degree for an easy ride and covering things I was doing daily, but to learn new things. Even the fluid mechanics module has fascinating elements which prevent me from ruling it out completely.

I’m leaning towards electromagnetism, something to help me further understand some of the aspects of the world in which we live. Although mathematical statistics and applications of probability look they have a lot of useful parts too. I’ve got two weeks to decide. So time to do the practise quizzes for each one and see which I enjoy most!

  1. And all the other things that fill my time!
  2. Technically there’s also ME620 Mathematical thinking in schools, which I can immediately rule out and the M303 Pure Maths 60 pointer which will no longer fit for me.

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Dr Janet is a Molecular Biochemistry graduate from Oxford University with a doctorate in Computational Neuroscience from Sussex. I’m currently studying for a third degree in Mathematics with Open University. During the day, and sometimes out of hours, I work as a Chief Science Officer. You can read all about that on my LinkedIn page.

8 thoughts on “OU Mathematics – final module choice”

  1. Fascinating Janet! I think MST326 would be quite interesting. I’ve read your articles with keen interest-thanks for sharing! I’m planning to take M337, M303 and MST326.

  2. I have no idea if it’s a route you want to go down, but you could contact the OU, and see if they’d let you take M303 for 30 credits.

  3. Looks like M347 has some scary student reviews. It’s hard to parse out if it’s just that the material is hard/the exam is hard (fine), or if the teaching material is bad (not so fine). Looks like it’s probably quite rigorous vs M343 and MT365

    1. I agree it’s tricky to work out which is the cause of the reviews – going to do all the practise quizzes this weekend and make a decision…

  4. Hey Jan,

    Your OU maths posts have inspired me to take the plunge, after umming and ahhing for at least a year, and start studying a maths degree with the OU, I started MST124 over a month ago and I’m enjoying it 🙂

    I’m an electrical engineer-turned data person-turned software engineer so hoping all the disciplines will work in my favour.

    Hope you enjoy your final choice! And good luck.


    1. Hi Sophie

      Thanks for reading and best of luck with MST124! Your background sounds perfect and I’m glad you’re enjoying it. My only advice (which you’ve probably got from reading my posts) is try not to fall behind on the workload as it can be really hard to catch up, particularly if you have other commitments in your life.

      Best of luck – let me know how you get on with it!


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