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Fees and Funding in England

An Open University qualification is more affordable than you might think.

In this section, learn how much your qualification will cost and how to finance your studies. Our Finance Finder will highlight possible funding options that are tailored to you.

Young woman calculating costs on a calculator and laptop

Pay nothing up front

80% of students pay nothing up front by funding their studies with a student loan.

How much will it cost?

Open University qualifications are made up of a series of modules. Every module has an individual fee – added together, they give you the total cost.

You’ll fund your modules as you study them, which means you won’t have to pay for your whole qualification up front.

Whether you choose to study part time or full time will affect how much it costs each year. With us, you can study flexibly, meaning you can switch between part- and full-time intensity throughout your studies.

 

Part time

Part-time study is roughly equivalent to studying at half the rate of a student on a full-time course at a campus-based university.

  • You’ll typically study one 60-credit module a year.
  • Our fee for a 60-credit module is £3,096.
  Years to
complete
Cost
per year*
Total
cost*
Certificate of higher education
(120 credits)
2 £3,096 £6,192
Diploma of higher education
(240 credits)
4 £3,096 £12,384
Honours degree
(360 credits)
6 £3,096 £18,576

 

Full time

Studying full time is equivalent to studying at the same rate as a full-time course at a campus-based university.

  • You’ll typically study two 60-credit modules a year.
  • Our fee for two 60-credit modules is £6,192.
  Years to
complete
Cost
per year*
Total
cost*
Certificate of higher education
(120 credits)
1 £6,192 £6,192
Diploma of higher education
(240 credits)
2 £6,192 £12,384
Honours degree
(360 credits)
3 £6,192 £18,576

 

All OU students are considered part-time students. That means, even if you choose to study at full-time equivalent intensity, you’ll be a part-time student and your eligibility to claim government benefits and/or to fund your studies with a Part-time Tuition Fee loan will usually be unaffected.

 

What’s included?

Your module materials, tuition, assessment and exams are all included in our module fees.

There are some additional costs that aren’t included:

  • You’ll need your own computer and internet access.
  • For some modules, you may need to buy additional set books, such as fiction books or a language dictionary.
  • You may need to pay for travel to tutorials or exams.
  • A handful of our modules include a residential school. For these, you’ll need to fund the cost of travel to the residential school venue. There may also be additional costs for meals and accommodation.
  • For a small number of our qualifications, you may be able to apply for additional accreditation – this may be something like a membership fee.

 

How do our fees compare with other universities?

Open University qualifications are two-thirds the cost of an equivalent qualification offered at a campus-based university. That’s a saving of over 30%.

  The OU* Campus
unis**
Saving
Certificate of higher education
(120 credits)
£6,192 £9,250 £3,058
Diploma of higher education
(240 credits)
£12,384 £18,500 £6,116
Honours degree
(360 credits)
£18,576 £27,750 £9,174

 

*The fee information provided above is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2021. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University’s strategic approach to fees.
**Maximum chargeable fees for 20/21 academic year.

 


 

Funding your studies

Pay nothing up front – 80% of our students in England fund their studies with a Part-Time Tuition Fee Loan (sometimes called a student loan), meaning they pay nothing up front.

Learn more about this and our other funding options below.

Part-Time Tuition Fee Loan

  • They’ll cover the entirety of your module fees.
  • They’re open to everyone – eligibility isn’t based on your income and there’s no age limit.
  • You won’t repay a penny until you earn over £26,575 a year.

OUSBA loan

Pay your fees in instalments with a loan from Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd.

Employer sponsorship

Your employer could partially or fully pay for your module fees.

Card payments

Pay for each module with a debit or credit card in one quick, simple payment.

Enhanced Learning Credits (ELCs)

If you’re a member of the Armed Forces, ELCs could help fund your studies.

Mixed payments

Combine your payment options to fund your studies the way you want.

Credit transfer

If you’ve studied at university before, it could save you time and money.

 


 

Bursaries and other support

Depending on your circumstances, you could be eligible to apply for one or more of the following:

Free OU Access module

If your household income is not more than £25,000, you could take one of our introductory Access modules for free.

Study-Related Costs Funding

After you’ve started studying, if you’re eligible, you could access reimbursements for some additional study costs.

Carers’ Scholarships Fund

If you are, or have recently been, an unpaid carer, you may be able to study a full OU qualification for free.

Open Futures Bursaries

If you identify as being from a black, Asian or other minority ethnic background, you could get £1,000 towards study or living costs.

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)

You could access financial support towards study costs incurred as a result of your disability.

Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund

If you’ve been injured in, or as a result of military service, you could study a full OU qualification for free.

 


 

Interested in second degree funding?

Student loans are now available to study a second degree part-time in a range of subjects.

Learn more about our degree holder loans

 

 

Pay nothing up front

80% of students pay nothing up front by funding their studies with a student loan.

I couldn’t have studied through other universities because of the cost. The value for money that you got from the OU was incredible and, along with the flexibility of distance learning, it did make it a more feasible option.

Julie McGuinness, BA (Hons) Open

Academic credit explained

Credits show the amount of work you’ll need to put in to successfully complete a module or qualification.

One credit represents about 10 hours of study.

You’re awarded credits after you successfully complete a module. For example, a 60-credit module awards 60 credits.

I wanted to prove I could achieve my aspirations of being an engineer. Full-time courses weren’t an option as I had to work. That’s when I enrolled on a course with the OU, covering the cost with a student loan, as it offered the perfect balance between earning and learning.

Steph Lee, studying Bachelor of Engineering

Finance Finder

We've made it quick and easy for you to discover your payment options. Answer a few quick questions to find out about your ways to pay.

Use our Finance Finder to learn about your payment options