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How to apply

There are some choices to make before starting your studies with us.

Follow the steps below to choose the right course for you.

When to apply
OU student using a tablet


Discover what it's like to study at the OU, and everything you need to know to get started.  

What is OU study like

1. What is OU study like?

Our unique approach to distance learning means you don't have to put life on hold to get the qualification you want. You'll have high-quality materials, support from module tutors, advisers and your fellow students. Discover OU distance learning.

Choose course

2. Choose course

The OU offers around 120 undergraduate qualifications. Find the right course for you in our A to Z of subjects.

Find time

3. Find time

70% of OU students work full time, so we are experts in helping you to fit study around your life. Most will take six years to study part time for a degree, putting aside around 18 hours a week. Try our time planner to see how much time you have free to study.

Funding options

4. Funding options

There are a range of flexible funding options to help make study more affordable. Find out more about your funding options.


A helpful guide to help you through the registration process.  

Start registration

5. Start registration

To secure your place, you need to register – don't worry, there's nothing to pay at this stage. Go to your chosen qualification, select your preferred start date and click on 'Register Now'.

Choose modules

6. Choose modules

We'll ask you to select the module you intend to study in your first year. Some modules on your chosen qualification will be compulsory, while others may be selected from a list of options.

What is OU study like

7. Organise funding

You'll need to tell us how you'll be funding your chosen module. If you've opted for a student loan, you'll need to apply direct to Student Finance England (it can take 6–8 weeks for your application to be processed, so we recommend applying early). Find out more about how to apply for a student loan.

Complete registration

8. Complete registration

To complete your registration, you'll need to confirm your funding method, for example, inform us that your student loan has been approved and is in place.


Prepare yourself for study and start your OU journey.  

Prepare for study

9. Prepare for study

As soon as your payment is confirmed, we'll help you get started, from familiarising yourself with all of our useful resources, becoming part of the OU Community to finding your way around your course materials. You’ll be ready to hit the ground running.

Start course

10. Start course

That’s it. You’re a fully-fledged OU student and ready to get going. You won't be on your own: you'll get support from your tutor, your Student Support Team and your fellow students along the way.