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Find your course type

We offer more than degrees at The Open University. 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. 

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

Considering your options

Choose from our most popular qualifications

What's right for you depends on what you're hoping to achieve and for how long you want to study.

Certificate of higher education

Good for you if ...

... you want to get a general grounding in a subject with the option to progress to a diploma or degree in the future.

Equivalent to

The first third of an honours degree

Credits

120

Level

FHEQ level 4*

How long will it take?

Typically 2 years part time or 1 year full time

How much does it cost?

£5,856**

See all certificates of higher education

Diploma of higher education

Good for you if ...

... you want to expand your knowledge and improve your skill set with an option to progress to a degree in the future.

Equivalent to

The first two thirds of an honours degree

Credits

240

Level

FHEQ level 5*

How long will it take?

Typically 4 years part time or 2 years full time

How much does it cost?

£11,712**

See all diplomas of higher education

Bachelors/honours degree

Good for you if ...

... you're looking to enter a graduate profession, widen your knowledge of a subject or progress in your career and develop your skill set.

Equivalent to

3 years full-time study at a campus-based university

Credits

360

Level

FHEQ level 6*

How long will it take?

Typically 6 years part time or 3 years full time

How much does it cost?

£17,568**

See all bachelors/honours degrees

**Fees quoted are for students in England starting study before 31 July 2018. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. Find out more about the flexible funding options available to you.

Or choose one of our certificates or vocationally-focused qualifications

Open University certificates

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

Level

FHEQ level 4, 5 or 6*

How long will it take?

Typically 1 year part time

See all Open University certificates

Foundation degrees

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

Level

FHEQ level 5*

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.

See all foundation degrees

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

Level

FHEQ level 7*

How long will it take?

Typically 8 years part time 

We currently offer an integrated masters degree in engineering.

See our integrated masters degree

Or you can study without working towards a qualification

If you want to develop your knowledge and skills in a particular area, but don't need a qualification, you can study a module on a standalone basis. Most modules can be counted towards a qualification if you change your mind.

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.

Level

Access level

Credits

30 credits

How long will it take?

Typically 30 weeks part time

Find out more about Access modules

Standalone modules

Good for you if ...

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

Level

FHEQ level 4, 5 or 6 (OU level 1, 2 or 3)*

Credits

30 or 60 credits

How long will it take?

Typically 6–9 months part time

See an A-Z of modules

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

See all short courses

*FHEQ (The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland).