Open University Bursary Scheme 2019

We’ve recently introduced a new undergraduate bursary scheme. The bursary is for 50 students based in the UK who are new to OU and Higher education study, have a household income of less than £25,000 per year, or are in receipt of qualifying benefits, and meet the qualifying criteria.
OU student using their smart phone

What is the bursary?

The bursary is intended to support students who are under represented at The Open University. There are 50 bursaries per year, awarding a maximum of £3,000 towards the costs associated with study. The bursary isn’t intended to pay fees, it’s to help with study costs, for example, study materials, travel to tutorials, or the cost of purchasing a computer.

Our bursary donors

We'll award a selection of successful applicants a named bursary, in honour of some of our bursary donors.

The Frank Neale Bursary

Frank NealeEducation in its many forms has been a significant part of Frank Neale’s life and career. He’s earned a BA in Economics from Cambridge; an MBA from Manchester Business School; and a BA in Social Studies and a Certificate of Higher Education in Natural Sciences from The Open University. An accredited business coach, non-executive director of FutureLearn, and former OU Finance Committee member, Frank recognises the transformative power of education. To help individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds on their educational journey, Frank’s provided a generous donation to launch the Frank Neale Bursaries, providing much-needed financial support.

The Penny Crooks Bursary

Penny CrooksPenny Crooks worked as an associate lecturer for The Open University for 28 years and sadly passed away on Sunday 28 January 2018. She was passionate about teaching and learning, and seeing adults reach their full potential. She truly believed in life-long learning and felt that a student’s background and their financial status should not be a barrier. The Undergraduate Bursary Scheme would have had her full support and backing if she were still alive. The fact that The Penny Crooks Bursary is there to help underrepresented students at the OU will be a wonderful legacy of her lifelong commitment to learning.

What do you get?

  • If you’re studying 60 credits a year you’ll receive a maximum of £1,000 a year for the first three years. If you’re studying 30 credits a year you’ll receive £500 a year for the first six years.
  • The bursary will be paid in two instalments each academic year, subject to participation in your studies.

Who's eligible?

To be eligible, you’ll need to be registered and have funding in place for your chosen course as well as meeting the eligibility criteria.

This bursary is aimed at groups of students who are under-represented at The Open University, to ensure that the OU reflects the whole of our society. Therefore, in order to be eligible you must meet both sets of criteria detailed below.

1. You must meet all of the following criteria:
  • Have a gross household income of not more than £25,000 per year or be in receipt of a qualifying benefit.
  • Be ordinarily resident in the UK.
  • Be new to the OU – you will not be eligible if our records indicate you have taken any credit-bearing modules, including Access modules, at any point.
  • Be registered towards an undergraduate qualification.
  • Completed your enrolment on your first Open University module, have your funding in place, and have started study by day 14 of module start.
  • Be studying a minimum of 30 credits per year.
  • Hold no existing higher education qualification.
2. You must also meet at least two of the following:
  • Have a declared disability.
  • Be from an ethnic minority.
  • Be a care leaver within the last five years.
  • Be a female intending to study a science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) qualification.
  • Be a male intending to study nursing or subjects allied to medicine, arts, social science, law, education or languages qualification.
Full details of the terms and conditions and frequently asked questions can be found by clicking on the links.

How to apply

Applications for courses starting in the 2019/20 academic year are now open.

To be eligible to apply you’ll need to:

  • be registered on your qualification and the first module towards this qualification
  • have funding for your study in place
  • meet the qualifying criteria as detailed above
  • download, complete and send us your application form and supporting evidence.

What's the process?

  • We open for applications for the 2019/20 academic year on 20 March 2019.
  • The deadline for returning your application is 19 September 2019.
  • 50 successful applicants will be will be chosen at random from a draw of all eligible applications on or before 31 October 2019.
  • Successful applicants will be notified by letter by 8 November 2019.

Need more information? Contact an adviser