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Having Merit

I got the results back from my first Open University module (M816 – Data Management) tonight: pass with merit. It’s a little way short of acing the course and getting a distinction but I’m happy with that. Of course, it sets a precedent for me to try and live up to with the current module (M812 – Digital Forensics), which is proving to be very different in the material and how it is structured but I’ll try to put in a suitable amount of work without getting too stressed about always surpassing myself.

Also, I think it is wise not to take academic success without a certain pinch of salt. Looking at the module forum, some of my fellow students seem to be very unhappy with the results, falling well below what was expected based on the previous assignments. I’ve been there too, like my first, my second and my third attempts at my driving test (I’m in the fourth time club) or A Level graphic design (predicted A or B, got a D and then U on the retake). I’ve got more than twenty years of safe driving under my belt and, of all my A level subjects, graphic design has been the most substantial element of my career (in the form of web design) so maybe it isn’t entirely unwarranted to suggest that, if exam failure can be demonstrably the wrong result in the light of subsequent experience, exam success isn’t something to be too greatly lauded or to get too puffed up over?


  1. Hey Wulf,
    Congratulations on getting a merit on M816 🙂 good luck with your next module!
    I plan to take M816 as part of an MSc in Computing with the Open University, how would you say the course was? Was it lots of practical? More theory based?
    Thanks, Sophie

    • There’s a fair amount of theory and it can be quite dry at times but I think it does give a good grounding in the data management area. The most interesting parts for me were (a) participating in the forum discussions, (b) the broad questions that made up part of each tutor-marked assignment (eg. thinking about the impact of big data on data management) and (c) the externally marked assessment, which involved comparing and contrasting three papers on the subject of my choice within the wider field.

      That last one loomed as quite daunting but, by the time I got there, I had a good enough grounding to find three suitable papers that were personally and professionally interesting. Good luck on your planned study.