TM254 shoved out an airlock

I’ve withdrawn from TM254. That is the most horrible, atrocious module I can imagine. It’s beyond me how anybody was proud enough to submit it, let alone getting it past an academic review. It’s more long-winded than I am, it contradicts itself (a lot), parts of it are wrong, it’s repetitive where it isn’t contradictory or downright redundant, and it’s so boring that I was doing anything I could do not to sit in front of it.

Don’t underestimate my ability to take boring. I sat through to the end of Battlefield Earth. This module is worse than Battlefield Earth.

This is going to end up adding an entire extra year to my degree course, but it also gives me a chance to reevaluate and decide if I want to switch tracks to Maths. Maths was crushingly difficult for me, but it was imparting real knowledge, not bureaucracy dressed up like facts and knowledge.

The only thing TM254 will prepare anybody for is how to be a blindingly ineffective manager who can really tick those boxes and prove why he or she isn’t responsible for the fire they’re standing in.

Meanwhile, M250 is going swimmingly. I submitted all my work for January halfway through December, and am happily working through the rest of the module.


  1. Hi Mark,

    I have been following your blog for a while now and couldn’t agree more with your comments on TM254. I am one of the students that was in your group (saw a couple of your posts) this year and can honestly say that, likewise, I have no idea how they even conceived this module…

    I was thinking of withdrawing as well a while back, but figured I would stick it out and hope to just scrape a pass with it and make up for the result with my other modules. I just cannot believe they replaced the other level 2 modules with this pile of crud…; and think they should have at least giving us a choice considering it is the module’s first presentation…

    I think the only aspect to this module I am looking forward to is the poor review I’m going to give it after it’s done…

    1. Good luck (and to the rest of the team) with the rest of the module. It’s probably worth it just to have one less module to deal with. But I don’t know that the module will last very long if it continues to get the kind of buzz it’s getting. I’ll have to remind the FB group to very carefully consider saying _anything_ positive about the module in their official feedback reviews, as the module teams like to concentrate on this and say what a success an insignificant portion of the module is when they defend it to the OU.

  2. One possibility is doing the combined degree of Computing & IT and Mathematics. If you take the computer science route, at level 2 for computing you only need to study M250 & M269 (a very good module), and so would be able to skip a lot of the more dreadful modules.

    1. Hi Kalia!

      Yes, switching to the joint-honours Q67 Computing & IT and Mathematics is exactly what I’ve been mulling over. On one hand, I’d have to drop back and take MST125 at Stage 1. On the other … I’m basically no worse off if I can convince the OU to let me take MST125 and M269 at the same time, which I think should be fine with a few phone calls.

      Thanks for the comment, though, it is nudging me more in that direction, as it makes me remember how much I enjoyed MST124.

      1. I am sure that would be fine, as it’s not like M269 requires any knowledge from MST125.
        They’re both quite hard/content-heavy modules though, so definitely make sure that you have enough time for both!

        I chose to do a joint Computing & Statistics degree over a pure Computing & IT degree, in large part because I was so unimpressed by the selection of computing modules available. Maths is great fun, so I’m sure you won’t regret it. 🙂

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