Studying out of area
Studying outside the UK
If you are posted outside the UK at any time during your studies, the Open University has a system of support which will follow you to whichever BFPO address you find yourself at. A minimum level of support will be guaranteed throughout the world.
Registration and Course Fee Payment
So long as you use a BFPO address you will only have to pay the UK course fee whilst you are resident outside the UK.
As a BFPO address is regarded as being part of the UK, you will be able to study any of our courses anywhere in the world
As part of the BFPO scheme for Forces students we have a few regional centres that are used to providing support to students in your situation.
Therefore, you can either choose to remain linked to the regional centre you are currently assigned to or you can ask to be changed to the following regional centres:
- The Open University in the North (Region 9) supports Forces students who are studying the OUBS Professional Certificate and Diploma in Management and also the MBA courses, no matter where they are based in the world;
- The Open University in Yorkshire (Region 7) supports students who are based in Cyprus;
- The Open University in the West Midlands (Region 4) supports students who are studying anywhere else in the world.
If you choose to move regions as recommended above and you are currently studying, you can choose to stay with the same tutor until your current course has finished or you can be allocated a tutor from the new regional centre.
The support of a UK-based tutor is available throughout your study period by phone, e-mail, correspondence or fax.
Attendance at tutorials is optional so your studies will not be affected if you are posted to a different location during your studies. Also, many courses now offer alternative methods of tutorial, such as online conferencing or telephone tutorials.
If you are posted to Germany or Cyprus then face-to-face tutorials may still be available through our BFPO Germany and Cyprus schemes.
Where you are on board ship or posted to a remote location and access to the internet or email is infrequent, then planning your studies around possible internet access time (e.g. when you are in port) using the course study calendar will enable you to complete your studies.
The University is very understanding of difficulties which arise from particularly demanding postings. Most tutors will be very sympathetic of such situations, and allow you extra time to complete any written assignments (apart from the final one as the deadline is absolute) that may be due.
If you have a residential school and you are a member of the Armed Forces you can apply to be sponsored by the MOD for the residential school fee.
Where a course has an integral residential school element, completion of this part of the course is now compulsory so students are no longer able to seek excusal. However, for Forces students, attendance at the residential school counts as duty and travel expenses are available from port of entry into the UK.
Where you are not able to attend a face-to-face residential school, an Alternative Learning Experience is usually available instead. The Alternative Learning Experience can take the form of online or telephone conferencing or project work and will vary depending on the course in question.
Examination facilities and invigilation are provided by the MOD.
If you need to sit an examination outside the UK, you will need to apply for an overseas examination, but you will not have to pay the overseas examination fee where the examination takes place at an approved Armed Forces BFPO address.
Withdrawal from a course
If you find that you are not able to continue with your current course there are a number of options that are available to you as follows.
- Transfer to a future presentation of the same course that starts within 18 months of the original course start date. You will also be given a discount on the next course fee, which will depend on when you contacted us.
- Transfer to the next presentation of the same course as part of our interrupted study programme, provided the course is included in the scheme. You can take marks from certain assignments already completed to the next course start date, depending on when you withdraw. There is a small administrative fee for this facility. For further information about this scheme, to find out which courses are in the scheme, or to obtain an applicaton form for this scheme, please contact your Regional Learner Support team.
- Where you have been posted to a conflict situation, then you may be able to apply for a full or partial refund of your course fees. This will be dependant on when your course started in relation to when you were posted to the conflict situation.