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Enhanced Learning Credits

If you’re a serving member of the British Armed Forces (or you’ve recently left), then you may be eligible to use Enhanced Learning Credits (ELCs) to pay for your studies.

ELCs are ideal if you want to upskill your existing qualifications, change career paths or boost your CV, and they can be used to fund Open University studies.

Woman from the armed forces thinking about her future

Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) are used by the Ministry of Defence to sponsor their Armed Forces personnel to improve their education and, in particular, to support them through the move to civilian life.

There are two types of ELC funding available:

  • With 100% funding, you may receive funding for up to 360 credits of Open University module fees, enabling you to gain an undergraduate qualification (either a BA or BSc ordinary, an honours degree or a foundation degree). To be eligible you must be in the two-year resettlement period and not already have an undergraduate degree.

  • With 80% funding, depending on how long you’ve been serving in the Armed Forces, you may be eligible for either the higher tier (up to £2,000) or lower tier (up to £1,000). If you choose to study with us, as your learning provider we'll receive payment towards the cost of your fees, for up to three Ministry of Defence financial years. The Ministry of Defence pays for up to 80% (within the maximum of £1,000 or £2,000) of your Open University module fees, and you pay the rest (at least 20%).


I had little disposable income to front tuition fees, however the services offer personnel a funding scheme known as the Enhanced Learning Credits Award Scheme and this contributed heavily towards my degree. It goes without saying that my future is now far brighter.

Philip Mitten, BA (Hons) Open

To learn more visit our Forces pages or to find out about eligibility visit the Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Services website.

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