You are viewing information for England.  Change country or region.

Enhanced Learning Credits

If you’re a serving member of the British Armed Forces (or you’ve recently left), 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

What are ELCs?

Enhanced Learning Credits (ELCs) 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.

What funding can I get?

There are two types of ELC funding available:

100% funding

You can receive funding for up to 360 credits of Open University module fees. This can be used towards a BA or BSc ordinary or honours degree, or a foundation degree (240 credits).

To be eligible, you’ll need to be in the two-year resettlement period and not already have an undergraduate degree (including a foundation degree).

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 £2000), or the lower tier (up to £1000) towards your module fees.

If you choose to study with the OU, we’ll receive payment towards the cost of your fees for up to three Ministry of Defence (MoD) financial years. The MoD pays for up to 80%, up to £2000/£1000 (depending on the tier), of your module fees. You’ll then pay the remainder of at least 20%.


More information

For more information on studying with the OU as a member of the Armed Forces, visit the OU Forces website.

To check the full eligibility criteria and for more information on ELCs, visit the ELCAS website.


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