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Topic Title: Colu HNC's distance learning
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Created On: 21 February 2010 10:12 PM
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 21 February 2010 10:12 PM
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Joined: 21 February 2010

Hi all, I'm new here, currently working as a sparky, have been for 5 years now and am looking for a career change to engineering. I have found Colu on this site and am looking at doing either the HNC Mechanical Engineering or the HNC Chemical Engineering. Could some of you let me know your opinions of this distance learning provider, and if any of you have/ are doing either of these courses please can you give me your thoughts of the course, I am particularly interested in the HNC Chemical Engineering.

Many thanks

 23 February 2010 05:46 PM
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Joined: 10 October 2007

Distance study requires a large dose of self discipline however it also allows you more flexibility to work at your own pace and at your own preferred times. Higher level study also requires some self study and thus the course materials do not always cover everything which is required to pass each module. Thus you will have to do some additional research to answer some of the tutor marked assignment questions. When you are enrolled at a college or university you get weekly access to a tutor and/or a library whereas with COLU you need to work via the phone, email or online with Skype (for the online tutors), for example, etc. Also by being enrolled at a college/university you normally get access to a wide variety of eBooks and eJournals which can assist with the study. This does not appear to be provided through COLU....this you would have to check because things may have changed since I studied with them. That said nowadays there is a ton of freely available stuff which can be accessed via Google.

Some people struggle with the self study, especially when they get bogged down with difficulties, however others prefer it due to the only you will know what will suit you because there is no one size fits all. The COLU system offers you the chance to work at your own pace, and via the Teesside University, and thus if you have lots of spare time you can theoretically work quicker through the modules......and of course you can get support via these and other forums.

I did a couple of HNC's with COLU in about 9 months and I found it quite straightforward once I had completed the first two modules and got used to their system. I used the online help about 4 times and when required the support was good, however I also appreciated that the tutors have 100s of students and holidays and thus sometimes I had to wait a few days for the support. You do not take final written exams but you have an over the phone or online or face to face, depending on your location, end of unit interview just to make sure you understand the stuff you answered in your TMA's......students need to revise for these and they can sometimes be easy whereas others times they can be more difficult.

Basically you pays your money and you takes your choice.

 23 March 2010 12:07 PM
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Joined: 23 March 2010

Hi there,

I am looking to start a HNC in mechanical engineering soon. Roughly how long after sending in the application form were you able to get started? Also were the subjects you did the two HNC's in already quite familiar to you or is it possible to get through a course pretty quickly if you put the hours in?

Thanks in advance,
 23 March 2010 05:18 PM
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I was able to start within about 1 month, i.e., just the time it took to turn all the paperwork around. I was familiar with some of the modules I undertook but they were still hard work. I completed quickly because I made time to do the work and always had a spare module ready to start in case I got held up on the current one. If you undertake the 2nd HNC you are not going to repeat the 'core/compulsory' modules. However, if you get to that stage discuss it with the online tutors because rules/procedures change from time to time.


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