Choosing an appropriate sequence of courses in your studies

When you start out on the path of a particular qualification there’s usually one or two sequences of courses that you have to do if you want to pick up that qualification at some point but it’s not always clear just what overall sequence you should follow.

Certainly, if you are doing a tightly defined qualification you may well find that almost all of your courses are compulsory but in a lot of cases the sequence itself isn’t compulsory and that’s where it can be very worthwhile examining what each course entails before deciding on the appropriate sequence for you. If you have previous experience or qualifications (even in a seemingly unrelated area) then you may find that you can make life a whole lot easier for yourself if you work out an appropriate sequence because in this case the ideal sequence for you may be entirely different from that for those who are coming to the qualification with no prior experience.

For example, in my own case to get the modern languages degree I needed to do a sequence of courses in French, another sequence in Spanish and a single course in English language. Most people doing that degree tend to start with the English course since that’s perceived as the easiest one and they tend to do the French sequence next and finish with Spanish because the majority of people here will have done French at school therefore it should be easier for them than Spanish. However, that’s not necessarily the easiest sequence to do. For a start, Spanish is usually seen as easier to learn than French so logically it would be a better to start with than French. Then there’s the business of learning a language which is obviously covered in the French and Spanish sequences and which thereby makes the English course (which is supposedly one of the hardest in the university) seem fairly simple. So, in theory the ideal sequence for me would have been Spanish, French and finally English.

Since I’m a bit of a glutton for punishment, I’ve recently embarked on a psychology degree. There too there’s a sequence to follow that’s recommended which does not seem to be the ideal one for me. Although I should have started on the introductory psychology course first I actually started on the child development one. That seems to be working out to be a better sequence for me in that “learning English” was obviously covered in the English course and it’s also covered in the child development one. Right now I’m in the midst of that section which is proving to be relatively easy going for me thanks to the previous English course. In theory, the introductory course next year should also appear easier in that I’ll have already done a year of psychology. As to the subsequence years, well I’ve not gotten as far as considering a sequence for them yet.

Now, if anyone could work out the ideal (read: easiest) path to the Open University psychology degree it would be really helpful….

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