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Access modules

"Help! I'm not sure I'm ready!"


If you want to study with the OU but you’re not quite sure you are ready, an OU Access module is the ideal way to prepare. You may even be able to study for free. Access modules help you:

  • build confidence and study skills
  • try out the OU’s style of learning
  • get a taste of your chosen subjects
  • increase your chances for success in future study

On successful completion, you’ll gain an Access Module Certificate, and you’ll be ready to continue with your OU studies.

Did you know?

Students who prepare by taking an Access module are more likely to be successful in their future studies.

Study for free

If you study an Access module as an additional preparatory stage towards an OU qualification you could be eligible to study your module for free.

In order to qualify you must:

  • be resident in England
  • have a household income of less than £25,000 (or be in receipt of qualifying benefits)
  • have no previous experience of study with The Open University
  • have not completed a higher education qualification at NQF level 4 or above.

If you are unsure if you meet these criteria why not speak to one of our friendly advisors on +44 (0)1908 659253.

Paying for your study

If you don’t meet the eligibility criteria to study for free (or you're studying the module on a standalone basis), there are flexible ways to pay including a student loan or spreading the cost through monthly payments.

What can I study?

There's a choice of three modules. The right one for you depends on what you plan to study next – but they all prepare you for university study. As you work through the module, you'll be introduced to skills like reading and writing for study purposes, note-taking, and organising your study time – as well as the basic computing skills needed for study and online learning.

How will I study?

You study where and when you like to fit in with work, friends and family; and you get all the high quality study materials you need to study the module – including printed books, audio and video material, and fun online activities to consolidate your learning. You'll have a personal tutor to guide and comment on your written work, and you can join the OU's lively online community to share ideas and experiences with other students just like you. There are no examinations to sit. Instead, you'll complete some short written assignments and online activities.

How long does it take?

You'll need to put aside about nine hours per week, over a period of 30 weeks. You can start in October or February each year – it's a good idea to apply early to guarantee your place.

How to apply

Booking your place is easy:

  1. Choose your module.
  2. Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 to secure your place. There’s nothing to pay at this stage. We’ll check if your chosen module is the right starting point for you, answer your questions and guide you through the next steps.
  3. Decide how to pay (remember you may be able to study for free).
  4. Complete your registration.