The Open University


Fulfil your potential by studying with The Open University. World-leading distance learning that comes to you.

The UK's largest university

In fact, four out of ten part-time undergraduate students in the UK study with us.

Courses to suit you

We offer 180 qualifications and 600 modules to choose from. 76% of students study alongside work.

Established in 1969

The Open University is the leading expert in flexible higher education underpinned by our world-leading research.

Flexible payment options

60% of our students fund their study with a government-backed loan. We also have other ways to make the study more affordable.


The Open University’s mission is to be open to people, places, methods, and ideas.

We promote educational opportunity and social justice by providing high-quality university education to all who wish to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.

Through academic research, pedagogic innovation and collaborative partnership we seek to be a world leader in the design, content and delivery of supported open learning.

There is no typical OU student. People of all ages and backgrounds study with us, for all sorts of reasons – to update their skills, get a qualification, boost their career, change direction, prove themselves, keep mentally active. The OU is open to them all.

The Open University's Former Vice-Chancellor, Martin Bean

Why The Open University?

To date, we’ve taught more than two million students worldwide.

Learn why so many people choose to study with us.


Studying with The Open University has always been inherently flexible: it’s one of the reasons why so many people choose to study with us.

Global support

The support we offer is extensive, and we pride ourselves on it. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why we’re regularly rated in the top of the UK’s National Student Survey.

From tutor support to the support of your peers, you’ll be surrounded by others who will encourage you and want you to succeed from day one of your studies.

From study guides to Skype sessions, we’ve thought of everything to make your learning experience with us as positive as possible.


This is a University of excellence because there is a huge concern on producing high-quality materials and in supporting student learning throughout the process.

Andreia Imamorato Dos Santos, PhD student

The Open University is a quality choice on several levels.

Naturally, we pride ourselves on the quality of our teaching: our scholarship and students come first.

An Open University degree is equal to academic standard to a degree from any other British university. The University is subject to the same quality assurance procedures as all other British universities and uses external assessors and examiners to ensure quality standards. We’re consistently rated ‘excellent’ in teaching assessments.


The Open University’s reputation is outstanding: we’re the world leaders in distance learning.

We’re renowned for a number of reasons:

  • The quality of our research: 50% of our research is ranked as internationally excellent, with 14% as world leading.
  • Our history: We’ve been teaching students successfully for over forty years.
  • Our mission: We’re committed to making higher education open to all.
  • Our popularity: Approximately a quarter of a million people are currently studying with us, over 16,000 of whom live outside the UK, with 71% in full or part-time employment.
  • Our work with employers: More than 50,000 employers have so far sponsored staff to enrol on Open University courses.
  • Our thriving partnerships: This is especially true of our partnership with the BBC; there are 275 million views and listens of Open University programmes in the UK annually.
  • Our willingness to innovate: From late-night television broadcasts in the 1970s through to digital downloads today, we’re reputed for our innovation. Worldwide, there have been 65 million downloads of our offerings on iTunes U to date, and in one year alone OpenLearn attracted 5.2 million visitors (2012/13).
  • Our accreditation: our Business School is among the top business schools, being one of an elite group to have earned triple accreditation from the world's leading management accreditation associations for the MBA programme.

To those worried about the costs... I would say: it’s all about investing in your life.

Nick Logie, BA in Humanities, MA in Music, PhD

So far, an amazing two million people have benefitted from a world-leading university education with us.

We believe that one of the reasons why so many people choose to study with us is sheer value for money.

I’m currently working in Germany, and I was looking at different options for choosing the MBA… The OU MBA’s the best one because it gives the best value for money.

On a practical level, all course materials are included in the cost of your fees.

In addition, there’s no cost involved in moving away to a campus-based university or paying extra travel expenses to be on campus with us. And because you have the flexibility to carry on working while you study with us, you can earn while you learn.

Career opportunities

An Open University qualification is attractive to employers.

Employers know that many of our students study while working. Therefore, they’re aware that Open University study can be challenging, and that it requires you to develop a variety of valuable skills and qualities – all of which will be assets to any workplace.

You’ll also be attractive to employers because, being an Open University graduate, you’ll stand out from the crowd of conventional campus-based university graduates.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

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