You are viewing information for England.  Change country.

Distance learning

Distance learning gives you the flexibility to study when and where you want at your own pace.

At The Open University (OU) we've been world leaders in distance learning since 1969. Join the UK's largest university, the only UK university dedicated to distance learning.

Woman participating in an online tutorial

How distance learning works

  • You'll study with other students, online from your home, work or on the move.
  • A dedicated tutor, an expert in your subject area, supports you on each module.
  • Your tutor marks your assignments, answers your questions and meets with your tutor group either online or in person throughout your study.
  • Study materials are mostly online via your personal module website and you'll also be sent CDs, DVDs and books if they are right for your subject.
  • You'll have a lot of flexibility but still have deadlines for assignments and exams.

Why study with the OU?

Study that works around you

  • Our established teaching model means that you can continue to earn whilst you learn. 76% of Open University students work full or part-time. 
  • Employers value the extra skills you gain from OU distance learning. More than 80% of the FTSE 100 companies have trained their staff with us.
  • You don't have to put your life on hold. With the OU you can study alongside working, caring, or other commitments.
  • Start benefitting before you graduate. OU students regularly find employment or receive promotions before completing their studies.

The biggest benefit of OU study was how it fitted around my job and my home life. You don't have to leave family and friends. You can just carry on with normal life and achieve.

Amanda Halifax, BSc (Hons) Sports and Fitness

Support throughout your study and beyond

  • At The Open University you'll join the UK's largest student community, there is always someone here to support you.
  • Choose to attend regular face to face or online tutorials, working collaboratively with other students.
  • Your expert tutor will provide you with regular academic guidance and feedback.
  • Our world-class online library is there whenever you need it, with 24 hour access and webchat.
  • A dedicated Student Support Team will be on hand to answer your questions.
  • You'll have access to other specialist support including computing help and career planning.

I found that I got more support from the OU than I had at a conventional university. The tutors were always available at the end of a phone or by email. Their support was really good and the resources were fantastic.

Rachel West, BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care

World leaders in distance education

  • We are the UK's only university dedicated to distance learning, and the largest academic institution in the UK.
  • Our degree-awarding powers were granted by Royal Charter in 1969 and all our qualifications are fully accredited.
  • Employers including IBM, the NHS and the MOD trust us to train their employees.
  • Our qualifications are outstanding value for a high quality education. Choose from 180 world class qualifications in a range of subjects.
  • Our research is highly regarded across the higher education sector and used by many traditional universities.

At my interview, the panel were really impressed that I was studying with the OU. They said it demonstrated that I was committed and motivated, and showed a lot of self-discipline.

Nathanial Lawrence, BSc IT and Computing

Need more information?

Email us now with your queries

Send an email enquiry

Talk through your options with one of our advisors

Book a call back

Find out more about us and our courses

Request your prospectus