getting into a master's program when youhavepoorundergraduate grades?

20 May 2008 - 1:49pm
6 years ago
2 replies
275 reads
Caroline Jarrett

Hi all

Don't know if this would fly in the US, but here's a suggestion: try the Open University.

This is the UK's distance learning university. It consistently gets the highest ratings for student satisfaction of all UK
universities, and it also has a high reputation academically.

The point being: you can sign up for postgraduate courses if you have an undergraduate degree. And for a lot of the ones in the
computing area, there aren't any entry requirements at all: you merely have to decide that you have enough background knowledge to
tackle it.

Warning: these courses aren't an easy option. You'll have to set aside 8 or 16 hours a week, do assignments, and take an exam.

Get a good result and you'd have demonstrated that you can stick it out at postgrad level (= USA grad school) and pass exams at that

Only a few OU courses can be studied in the USA, but luckily most of the ones that are available are in management or computing so
are likely to be at least somewhat relevant to IXDA people . (Note: levels 1, 2, and 3 are undergraduate. Skip down the page a bit to get to

For non-US people who might be interested: the same list applies to most countries outside the EU. If you're inside the EU, or in
Switzerland, the Channel Islands, and a couple of other European countries then you can study a much wider range of stuff.

(Declaration of interest: the OU is a major client of mine).

Caroline Jarrett
caroline.jarrett at
07990 570647

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21 May 2008 - 3:14am

> Don't know if this would fly in the US, but here's a suggestion: try the Open University.

Interest or otherwise, what Caroline says is true! The OU is an
excellent option.

There's definitely some relevant stuff there - ethnography springs to
mind ( - I'm going to sign up for this myself
at some point). Have a poke around their site - there's plenty around
Psychology and the social sciences.


21 May 2008 - 11:09am

It never hurts to contact someone in the program, or the head of the
program and just ask how seriously they take grades. Some schools put a
lot of value on things like GRE / portfolio / work experience, but
sometimes it is simply a matter of what the admissions committee for a
specific program thinks is important.

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