Getting Started

10. Exit Awards

The rationale behind exit awards is to provide opportunities for students at the AOU to obtain certificates or diplomas after completing the requirements of the particular exit award. The exit awards are part of the BA/BSc (Hons) degree programmes at the AOU.

The general requirements for the award of a certificate are the successful completion of 60 credit points of study at Level 1, whereas the general requirements for the award of a diploma are the successful completion of 120 points of study at Level 2 or higher levels.


10.1 Undergraduate Exit Awards in ELL

The rationale for introducing these exit awards resides in the fact that due to unseen circumstances (e.g. social/family considerations; job requirements; etc.) some students may be unable to complete the BA programme they are registered for. In fact some students may leave after having successfully finished 50% of the courses required for the BA programme.

The aims of introducing these awards are to:

(i) provide some satisfaction to the student.

(ii) help him/her transfer credit if he/she is moving to another institution.

(iii) help him/her find a job if he/she is unemployed.

(iv) strengthen his/her position if he/she is employed.

The two undergraduate Exit Awards described below have been developed by OU and will be delivered by AOU. They have been validated through a process of external peer review by OU as being of an appropriate standard and quality. AOU offers two exit awards:

1. Certificate of Higher Education in English Language and Literature

2. Diploma of Higher Education in English Language and Literature

Availability of Awards:

The awards will be only available to students registered in the BA ELL programme who leave part-way through the programme. In other words, they are not free-standing awards.

6.1.1 Certificate of Higher Education in English Language and Literature

Award Requirements

A student will be eligible for the undergraduate Certificate of Higher Education in English Language and Literature if [s/he] successfully completes the following Level-1 modules from the BA programme in ELL totaling 32 credit hours and 120 credit points:

 

 LEVEL 1

Module Title and No:

Credit points

Optional modules

Credit points

EL120: English Phonetics and Linguistics

4

15

EL121: The Short Story and Essay Writing

4

15

A123A&B: An Introduction to the Humanities 
replaced in 2013-2014 with:

AA100A&B: Arts of Past & Present

16

60

A150: Voices and Texts

8

30

Total

32

120

 

6.1.2 Diploma of Higher Education in English Language and Literature

Award Requirements :

A student will be eligible for the undergraduate Diploma of Higher Education in English Language and Literature if [s/he] successfully completes the following Level-2 modules from the BA programme in ELL totaling 64 credit hours and 240 credit points: 

LEVEL 2

Module Title and No:

Credit hours

Optional

modules

Credit points

A210A: Approaching Literature (I): The Realist Novel and the Canon

A210B: Approaching Literature (II): Romantic Writing

replaced in 2013-2014 with:

A230A&B: Reading and Studying Literature (I&II)

8

8

16

30

30

60

U210A&B: The English Language: Past, Present and Future (I&II)

replaced in 2013-2014 with:

U214A&B: Worlds of English (I &II)

16

16

60

60

Total

32

120

6.2 Undergraduate Exit Awards in ELL with Business :

The rationale for introducing these exit awards resides in the fact that due to unseen circumstances (e.g. social/family considerations, job requirements,etc.) some students may be unable to complete the BA programme they are registered for. In fact some students may leave after having successfully finished 50% of the courses required for the BA programme.

The aims of introducing these awards are to:

(i) provide some satisfaction to the student.

(ii) help him/her transfer credit if he/she is moving to another institution.

(iii) help him/her find a job if he/she is unemployed.

(iv) strengthen his/her position if he/she is employed.

The two undergraduate Exit Awards described below have been developed by OU and will be delivered by AOU. They have been validated through a process of external peer review by OU as being of an appropriate standard and quality. AOU offers two exit awards:

1. Certificate of Higher Education in ELL with Business

2. Diploma of Higher Education in ELL with Business

Availability of Awards:

The awards will be only available to students registered in the BA ELL with Business programme who leave part-way through the programme. In other words, they are not free-standing awards.

6.2.1 Certificate of Higher Education in ELL with Business

Award Requirements :

A student will be eligible for the undergraduate Certificate of Higher Education in ELL with Business if [s/he] successfully completes the following Level-1 modules from the BA programme in ELL  with Business totaling 32 credit hours and 120 credit points:

 LEVEL 1

Module Title and No:

Credit points

Optional modules

Credit points

EL120: English Phonetics and Linguistics

4

15

EL121: The Short Story and Essay Writing

4

15

A123A&B: An Introduction to the Humanities thar was replaced in 2013-2014 with:

AA100A&B: Arts of Past & Present

16

60

LB 160: Professional Communication Skills for Business Studies

8

30

Total

32

120

 

6.2.2 Diploma of Higher Education in ELL with Business

Award Requirements :

A student will be eligible for the undergraduate Diploma of Higher Education in ELL with Business if [s/he] successfully completes the following Level-2 modules from the BA programme in ELL with Business totaling 64 credit hours and 240 credit points: 

Programme Structure - LEVEL 2

Compulsory modules

Credit points

Optional

modules

Credit points

U210A&B: The English Language: Past, Present and Future.

This module is already replaced in 2013-2014 with

U214A &B: Worlds of English.

16

16

60

60

B203A&B: Business Functions in Context.

16

60

Total

32

120

 

10.3 Exit Awards in Computing and IT :



HE Certificate /HE Diploma

Requirements

HE Certificate in ITC (120 Credit Points).

All Level 1 courses in the ITC track.

HE Diploma  in ITC (240 Credit Points).

All Level 1 and Level 2 courses in the ITC track.

Student Life/ Getting Started:

1.  Reasons for Joining the AOU

The AOU is unique in the Arab world by virtue of its partnership with the Open University (UK), where its graduates receive two degrees: one from the AOU and a validated award from the OU-UK. Furthermore,

·         The learning system of the AOU is a blend system[one] that applies face-to-face tutoring and a self-instructional textbooks designed for distance learning by the OU-UK; and uses the latest applications of electronic technology in teaching and learning (e-learning).

·         High quality academic programmes are carefully selected and designed to meet the needs of both local and international markets

·         Only 25% student attendance is required compared to traditional modes of higher education that helps students who have time constraints, and other commitments such as family obligations (e.g. children), or who have disabilities.

·         Courses are designed to accommodate working students and those commuting from remote areas.

·         High quality interactive educational materials are employed.

·         Mobility and opportunities for credit transfer across branches are possible.

The AOU encourages its students to become independent learners whereby self-learning is emphasized throughout their studies. This enables students to become lifelong learners beyond graduation.

The language of instruction at the AOU is English, which not only improves students’ proficiency in the English language, but also ensures better job opportunities after graduation.

2.  Partnership with the Open University UK :

The AOU is approved by the Open University as an appropriate organization to offer higher education programmes leading to Open University validated awards. OU validated awards have parity of esteem with similar awards offered throughout UK higher education. A validated award is exactly the same as an OU direct award in terms of employment or application for postgraduate studies. Under this partnership, the OU-UK provides the following to the AOU:

·         Programmes and courses.

·         Learning materials (textbooks, DVDs, etc.).

·         Programme monitoring, external examining.

·         Dual awards (BA/BSC) and exit awards (diplomas and certificates) together with the AOU:

AOU sought institutional accreditation and validation from OUVS so that the university could demonstrate a commitment to quality by accepting UK norms for academic and operational performance and service to students. Furthermore graduates from the university would receive an internationally recognised UK qualification along with their Arab Open University degree.

The AOU received institutional accreditation and validation in December 2003, renewed for five years in 2007, and in 2012 it is renewed for another 5-year period.

3. A System of Integrated Learning :

The AOU learning and teaching model is based on high quality educational materials. The OU-based courses offered at the AOU are taught in English and are licensed from the OU(UK). Following is a brief description of the model:

·         Students are allocated to an individual subject tutor in the ratio of 25:1.

·         Learning is facilitated through a university-wide electronic Learning Management System (LMS).

·         All branches are equipped with multimedia and computing laboratories to support students.

·         Student assessment is carried out through two main components:

o   Continuous assessment, i.e. Mid-Term Assessments (MTA) and Tutor Marked Assignments – (TMAs), and

o   Formal end of semester examinations

            Each component comprises 50% of the overall assessment score.

·         Tutors provide comprehensive feedback on students’ TMAs to direct them towards better understanding of the subject matter, and to enhance their learning experience.

      3.1  The Student Learning Package :

This package, purchased from the student’s AOU branch, contains:

·         Core teaching materials specially prepared for active, independent study

·         A number of other items that vary slightly depending on the particular course requirements, e.g. further reading material in the form of set books, supporting notes, or study guides

·         Audio-visual aids in the form of cassettes and CD-ROMs.

The package contains most of the student’s needs for the study of his/her chosen courses.

      3.2  Tutorial Sessions

Tutorial sessions are designed to provide a forum for interaction between tutors and students on the one hand, and between the students themselves on the other. Tutorial sessions are scheduled on a weekly basis and are conducted by highly qualified and well trained tutors. These sessions are meant to be discussion forums covering the main topics for the study week ahead as identified in the course calendars. Tutors utilize these sessions in innovative ways that help students interact and learn more efficiently and effectively.

      3.3  Student Attendance

Required attendance varies depending on the number of credit hours taken per semester. On average:

·         Students attend 4-8 hours per week

·         English orientation courses require 8 hours of attendance weekly.

These sessions are not intended to serve as classroom-style lectures. Students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning by studying the course materials according to the schedule provided in the course calendar.

Attending face-to-face tutorial sessions of the registered course is mandatory by the student whose absence from such tutorials may not exceed 25% of the prescribed tutorials as stated in the approved University Calendar.

      3.4  Office Hours

Tutors maintain scheduled weekly office hours which are intended to provide a more informal environment for academic support. Students are advised to take advantage of these office hours for assistance with academic problems as needed.

4.  Resources

      4.1  Learning Resources

Each branch offers a variety of learning resources such as textbooks, IT resources, etc. to support the AOU academic programmes, students and tutors. All students have access to a variety of course- and programme-related resources accessible through the internet, collectively referred to as the e-library. Specifically, Moodle-based software, called LMS (Learning Management System), provides access to all electronic resources to which the AOU subscribes and is available to students and faculties in every branch.

      4.2  Computer Laboratories

Some courses require access to computing facilities and all such facilities are provided at various computer laboratories in each branch. Some courses have mandatory online components as part of the course materials or supporting materials intended to help learners: all materials of such kinds can be accessed in the computer laboratories. Electronic support for all courses is provided through the University’s Learning Management System (LMS), which also includes a teleconferencing facility. The AOU is moving towards electronic submission of all student assignments.

      4.3  Other Facilities

Most AOU branches offer additional facilities such as those listed below:

·         Student cafeteria

·         Entertainment rooms

·         Prayer rooms

·         Some parking space

·         Lifts for easy access to the upper floors of the branch buildings

·         Some provisions for students with special needs, such as ramps.

5.  AOU Branches

Each AOU branch is the main source of support for its students. It provides:

·         Advice and guidance on how to study effectively in the AOU and which courses or programmes to study

·         Induction to the AOU and to the mode of instruction employed

·         Allocation to a subject specialist tutor who will provide face-to-face tuition, mark assignments, and be available during office hours

·         A range of other resources and support services (please see your AOU branch website).

                                               

6.  Admission Requirements

To be admitted to any BA/BSc programme, the student should meet the following conditions:

·         Have a general secondary school certificate or its equivalent

·         Fulfill any other conditions determined by the AOU or competent authorities of the branch country. This is because there may be special admission requirements of the local Ministry of Higher Education in some AOU countries. Students are advised to contact the local AOU branch for more information about admission requirements.

The Branch Council shall devise and approve a specific admission policy pursuant to admission requirements in the branch country.

The documents to be attached to the application form may vary from one branch to another, but all branches require the following:

·         A copy of the student’s high school certificate or its equivalent

·         A copy of ID or passport/labour card

·         Passport-size photos.

7. Language Placement Tests

The AOU administers Language Placement Tests in both Arabic and English, not as admission requirements but as indicators to help place students at the appropriate level of language development. Based on the test scores, students will be assigned courses which aim to develop the students’ proficiency in English/Arabic in order to undertake the full course load in their respective areas of specialization.

8. English Language Courses Offered at the AOU

The undergraduate programmes based on courses licensed from the OU UK are taught in English.  Therefore, the AOU has developed a number of language competency courses. These courses, which are not validated by the OU UK, are delivered by the Faculty of Language Studies (FLS)  and are aimed at developing the students' proficiency in English. Currently the AOU offers the following five courses:

·         The English Orientation Programme (EOP) comprises three non-credit courses (EL097, EL098 and EL099), which target students with low levels of proficiency.

·         The English Communication Skills Programme (ECS) 1, and 2, comprises two three-credit hour courses of compulsory university requirements: EL111 and EL112

      8.1  Course Assignment

Prospective students are assigned to the above courses on the basis of their scores in the English Placement Test (Oxford Online Placement Test (OOPT)) .Five levels of English integrated skills courses are available to incoming students:

1.   EL097  Beginner

2.   EL098   Elementary

3.   EL099   Pre-Intermediate

4.   EL111   Intermediate

5.   EL112   Upper-Intermediate 

                       

      8.2  Course Details

·         The programme offers significant face-to-face interaction at each level as language skills development is best done by direct contact between the student and the tutor

·         Four two-hour tutorials are assigned weekly in each level of the English Orientation Programme

·         Credit courses have a total of 32 contact hours a semester (a two-hour tutorial per week)

·         Students registered in the first, second, or third levels of the programme are not permitted to study more than two courses during the semester.

  

8. 3  Exemption from Foundation Programme Courses (EL111 and EL112)

A student will be exempted from EL111 if he/she gets an IELTS score of band 5.5 and below 7, or a score of 500 to 549 in TOEFL completed within 2 years prior to admission to the University.

A student will be exempted from EL112 if he/she gets an IELTS score of 7 or above or a TOEFL score of 550 or above, completed within 2 years prior to admission to the University.

9.  Academic Degrees Offered at the AOU

AOU comprises five faculties: Faculty of Business Studies, Faculty of Computer Studies, Faculty of Education Studies, Faculty of General Studies, and Faculty of Language Studies, four of which have their programmes validated by the OU UK. However, only some of the Faculty of Education Studies programmes are partially validated by the OU UK. These programmes are:

·         Bachelor degree in Business Studies (Systems, Economics, Marketing, Accounting).( BA (Honours) in Business Studies Programme)

·         Bachelor degree in Information Technology and Computing, Information and Communications Technology, Computing, Computing with Business(BSc (Honours) in Information Technology and Computing (ITC))

·         Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature, English Language and Literature with Business Studies(BA (Honours) in English Language and Literature)

·         Bachelor of Education (BEd) for Intermediate and Secondary Stages.

It should be noted that the OU UK follows the credit points system. However, the AOU follows the credit hour system. The following table shows the credit point/credit hour equivalence:

Credit Hours

Credit Points

 
 

8

30

 
 

5

20

 
 

4

15

 
 

3

10

 

10. Exit Awards

The rationale behind exit awards is to provide opportunities for students at the AOU to obtain certificates or diplomas after completing the requirements of the particular exit award. The exit awards are part of the BA/BSc (Hons) degree programmes at the AOU.

The general requirements for the award of a certificate are the successful completion of 60 credit points of study at Level 1, whereas the general requirements for the award of a diploma are the successful completion of 120 points of study at Level 2 or higher levels.

10.1 Undergraduate Exit Awards in ELL

The rationale for introducing these exit awards resides in the fact that due to unseen circumstances (e.g. social/family considerations; job requirements; etc.) some students may be unable to complete the BA programme they are registered for. In fact some students may leave after having successfully finished 50% of the courses required for the BA programme.

The aims of introducing these awards are to:

(i) provide some satisfaction to the student,

(ii) help him/her transfer credit if he/she is moving to another institution,

(iii) help him/her find a job if he/she is unemployed,

(iv) strengthen his/her position if he/she is employed.

The two undergraduate Exit Awards described belowhave been developed by OU and will be delivered by AOU. They have been validated through a process of external peer review by OU as being of an appropriate standard and quality. AOU offers two exit awards:

1. Certificate of Higher Education in English Language and Literature

2. Diploma of Higher Education in English Language and Literature

Availability of Awards:

The awards will be only available to students registered in the BA ELL programme who leave part-way through the programme. In other words, they are not free-standing awards.

6.1.1 Certificate of Higher Education in English Language and Literature

Award Requirements

A student will be eligible for the undergraduate Certificate of Higher Education in English Language and Literature if he/she successfully completes the following Level-1 modules from the BA programme in ELL totaling 32 credit hours and 120 credit points:

 LEVEL 1

Module Title and No:

Credit points

Optional modules

Credit points

EL120: English Phonetics and Linguistics

4

15

EL121: The Short Story and Essay Writing

4

15

A123A&B: An Introduction to the Humanities

 to be replaced in 2013-2014 with:

AA100A&B: Arts of Past & Present

16

60

A150: Voices and Texts

8

30

Total

32

120

6.1.2 Diploma of Higher Education in English Language and Literature

Award Requirements

A student will be eligible for the undergraduate Diploma of Higher Education in English Language and Literature if he/she successfully completes the following Level-2 modules from the BA programme in ELL totaling 64 credit hours and 240 credit points: 

LEVEL 2

Module Title and No:

Credit hours

Optional

modules

Credit points

A210A: Approaching Literature (I): The Realist Novel and the Canon

A210B: Approaching Literature (II): Romantic Writing

to be replaced in 2013-2014 with:

A230A&B: Reading and Studying Literature (I&II)

8

8

16

30

30

60

U210A&B: The English Language: Past, Present and Future (I&II)

This module is to be replaced in 2013-2014 with:

U214A&B: Worlds of English (I &II)

16

16

60

60

Total

32

120

6.2 Undergraduate Exit Awards in ELL with Business

The rationale for introducing these exit awards resides in the fact that due to unseen circumstances (e.g. social/family considerations; job requirements; etc.) some students may be unable to complete the BA programme they are registered for. In fact some students may leave after having successfully finished 50% of the courses required for the BA programme.

The aims of introducing these awards are to:

(i) provide some satisfaction to the student,

(ii) help him/her transfer credit if he/she is moving to another institution,

(iii) help him/her find a job if he/she is unemployed,

(iv) strengthen his/her position if he/she is employed.

The two undergraduate Exit Awards described belowhave been developed by OU and will be delivered by AOU. They have been validated through a process of external peer review by OU as being of an appropriate standard and quality. AOU offers two exit awards:

1. Certificate of Higher Education in ELL with Business

2. Diploma of Higher Education in ELL with Business

Availability of Awards:

The awards will be only available to students registered in the BA ELL with Business programme who leave part-way through the programme. In other words, they are not free-standing awards.

6.2.1 Certificate of Higher Education in ELL with Business

Award Requirements

A student will be eligible for the undergraduate Certificate of Higher Education in ELL with Business if he/she successfully completes the following Level-1 modules from the BA programme in ELL  with Business totaling 32 credit hours and 120 credit points:

 LEVEL 1

Module Title and No:

Credit points

Optional modules

Credit points

EL120: English Phonetics and Linguistics

4

15

EL121: The Short Story and Essay Writing

4

15

A123A&B: An Introduction to the Humanities to be replaced in 2013-2014 with:

AA100A&B: Arts of Past & Present

16

60

LB 160: Professional Communication Skills for Business Studies

8

30

Total

32

120

6.2.2 Diploma of Higher Education in ELL with Business

Award Requirements

A student will be eligible for the undergraduate Diploma of Higher Education in ELL with Business if he/she successfully completes the following Level-2 modules from the BA programme in ELL with Business totaling 64 credit hours and 240 credit points: 

Programme Structure - LEVEL 2

Compulsory modules

Credit points

Optional

modules

Credit points

U210A&B: The English Language: Past, Present and Future

This module is to be replaced in 2013-2014 with

U214A &B: Worlds of English

16

16

60

60

B203A&B: Business Functions in Context

16

60

Total

32

120

10.3Exit Awards in Computing and IT

HE Certificate /HE Diploma

Requirements

HE Certificate in ITC (120 Credit Points)

All Level 1 courses in the ITC track

HE Diploma  in ITC (240 Credit Points)

All Level 1 and Level 2 courses in the ITC track