Entry requirements

To successfully complete the two compulsory work-based modules for this qualification, whatever your chosen career, you must:

  • be engaged in full-time or part-time employment – either paid or voluntary
  • have permission to carry out work-based learning tasks in your work setting
  • confirm that the work you submit is based on your practice in that setting.

Study skills for this qualification

The Foundation Degree in Computing and IT Practice begins with the module My digital life (TU100) which builds a solid foundation for further study. Although it’s an introductory module, to get the best from it you’ll need some basic knowledge of computing, and the ability to read and write to a good standard of English. You can use our online diagnostic tool Are you ready for TU100? to help you decide if you’re ready, or if you could do with some extra preparation.

If you’re thinking about choosing mathematics options, check that you’re ready for mathematical study at this level by visiting our MathsChoices website.

General study skills

Anyone can study with The Open University, but if it's a while since you did any academic work it's worth checking that your time management, computing and English skills are up to speed. Visit Can I do it? to find out more.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will normally mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Read about how some of our students have fitted OU study into their lives, then find out if you have enough time to study by completing our time planner.

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

Study for free

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! You can get started with an Access module – fascinating courses designed to introduce subject areas, build your confidence and prepare you for further study.

The credit gained from the Access module will be in addition to the other credit required for the qualification.

For this qualification, we recommend:

Science, technology and maths Access module

What you will study

This fascinating, multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the sciences, technology and mathematics, and would like to develop both your subject knowledge and your study skills. The subjects included are science, engineering and design, environment, mathematics, and computing and IT.

View full details of Science, technology and maths Access module

Your next step

Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you. Or come and meet us at an event near you.

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If (like most OU students) you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree. Our current fee for 60 credits is £2,786*.
  • Our current fee is £5,572* – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your qualification starts from £11,144* based on our current fees.

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2017. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you register.

An OU qualification will always help you stand out from the crowd, now and in the future – whether you’re just starting out, developing your career, or changing direction entirely.

Skills for career development

If you work, or would like to work, with computing and IT systems in hardware, software, or systems-based contexts, this foundation degree is for you. You will learn the principles of these technologies, how to apply them, and surrounding issues to be aware of. During this course you will gain valuable experience of working in a team to tackle a small development task. You will be well prepared for further study should you decide to complete a full honours degree, and you will gain valuable transferable skills in communication, the use of IT facilities, retrieval of information, numeracy, time management and organisation, and analysing and solving problems.

Career relevance

Finance, government, business, commerce, public services such as health and education, and the voluntary sector are all critically dependent on computing and IT systems. This foundation degree is an ideal starting point for a career in any of these sectors, focusing on information technology, computing, communication technology and related fields, or to enhance your existing career.

Research by e-Skills UK has shown that IT and telecommunications now employs 1 in 20 of the UK workforce. It also suggests the digital sector will need nearly 300,000 new recruits by 2020 to meet the demand for skills in this area.

Growth areas and areas of high demand include cyber security, mobile development, cloud computing and the management of Big Data.

Other careers

A qualification in computing and IT has many applications beyond pure technology roles, such as roles in corporate or management consultancy firms, technical writing or freelance work.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser.  Some areas of the website are available to see at any time, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):

  • applications programmer
  • information systems manager
  • database administrator
  • information technology consultant
  • multimedia programmer
  • software engineer
  • systems analyst
  • systems designer
  • computer support specialist
  • webmaster
  • applications developer
  • web designer
  • technical consultant
  • network engineer
  • technical sales.

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, PlanIT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland.


Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 01/12/2016

Request a prospectus

Our prospectuses help you choose your course, understand what it's like to be an OU student and register for study.

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