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Find your course type

We offer more than degrees. If you’re not ready to commit to a degree, you could start with a certificate or diploma of higher education. They allow you to gradually build your studies, and if you opt for a degree later, you’re already part way there.

You can also develop your knowledge and skills with one of our new microcredentials or by studying a standalone module.

If you already have a degree, you may be interested in our postgraduate qualifications.

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Choose from our most popular qualifications

Many of our qualifications work as stepping stones, from one stage to the next. They’re also valuable in their own right. You could start with a certificate and stop there. Or continue your studies to gain a diploma and then a degree.

Certificate of Higher Education

Stage 1

120 credits

Total of 120 credits

 
  • Raise your confidence and support a career change or progression in a current career.
  • Demonstrate your ability to study at university level.  
  • Typically 1 year full time or 2 years part time to complete.

Why choose a certificate?
A certificate helped Nicola achieve her dream job, find out how.

Diploma of Higher Education

Stage 1

120 credits

Stage 2

120 credits

Total of 240 credits

 
  • Gain the expertise that many employers value in less time than a degree.
  • Develop specialised subject knowledge and invaluable skills.
  • Typically 2 years full time or 4 years part time to complete.

Why choose a diploma?
Studying a diploma gave Kenneth the confidence to make a change, read his story.

Honours degree
 

Stage 1

120 credits

Stage 2

120 credits

Stage 3

120 credits

Total of 360 credits

 
  • Open the door to graduate jobs and schemes, postgraduate qualifications and higher-level jobs. 
  • Typically 3 years full time or 6 years part time to complete.

Why choose a degree? 
Our flexible degree fit around Hina's busy life, discover how.

Or choose one of our other qualifications

Integrated Masters Degree

Good for you if ...

... you want to study at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Equivalent to

Combines undergraduate and postgraduate study

Credits

480

How long will it take?

Typically 8 years part time 

We currently offer an integrated masters degree in engineering.

Foundation Degree

Good for you if ...

... you're working or volunteering in a particular area and want to enhance your professional and technical knowledge and skills.

Equivalent to

The first two-thirds of an honours degree

Credits

240

How long will it take?

Typically 4 years part time or 2 years full time

We offer most of our foundation degrees as diplomas of higher education for students living or working in Scotland.

Open University Certificate

Good for you if ...

... you want to focus on a particular profession or subject area.

Equivalent to

These qualifications are unique to The Open University

Credits

60–90

How long will it take?

Typically 1 year part time

Or study a standalone module

If you want to develop your knowledge and skills in a particular area, you can study a module on a standalone basis. And if you choose to study for a qualification at a later date, you may be able to count your module towards it, saving you time and money.

Modules

Good for you if ...

... you want to complete a self-contained unit of study without committing to a qualification.

Credits

30 or 60 credits

How long will it take?

Typically 6–9 months part time

Access modules

Good for you if ...

... you want to improve your confidence and prepare for study, especially if you haven't studied for a while.

Credits

30 credits

How long will it take?

Typically 30 weeks part time

Or study a short course

From digital photography to galaxies, stars and planets, our wide range of short courses offer you the opportunity to explore your interests or develop professional skills.

Short courses

Good for you if ...

... you want to study entirely online for personal interest or professional development.

Credits

No academic credit

How long will it take?

Typically 25–100 hours of study

NEW Microcredentials

Good for you if ...

... you want to build professional skills and earn transferable academic credit.

Credits

10–15

How long will it take?

Typically 10–12 weeks