We have a number of services described on this page that should enable you to study successfully.
You might need to think about accessing study materials, taking notes and producing written work, as well as whether you will need any alternative arrangements for your examinations or at residential school.
You can contact your regional or national centre to talk about the services and support you might need.
Although it is highly recommended, you do not have to attend tutorials if you feel unable to. It may be possible to arrange some individual tuition instead, either by telephone or in person.
If your module has a residential school you will be able to take someone with you if needed. Alternatively, by presenting medical evidence you may have excusal from the school, if the module allows it.
We can if necessary provide you with flexible study arrangements, such as extra time for assignments.
You may be eligible for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) to help you fund study related support. Use the short DSA eligibility quiz to find out if you are eligible. If you are DSA eligible the University will only provide study support that cannot be provided by a DSA.
Your OU tutor or a study adviser is available for contact at certain times through your period of study so you can discuss your requirements. It would be useful to discuss any study strategies at the beginning of your study.
The OU Learner Support team in your regional or national centre can deal with any queries you might have. Centres are open Mondays to Fridays, 9am - 5pm.
The Evening Advice Line is available out of office hours, phone 0870 3331444.
Additional arrangements can be made where there is clear evidence of need and arrangements are agreed by the Examination and Assessment Board.
For example, it may be possible for you to sit an examination at home or in a separate room.
You can find more details in the main examination arrangements section and can contact your regional or national centre for further information. Do look at the information as soon as possible as you will be required to provide evidence of your needs and that can take some time.
We do our best to offer appropriate support whenever we can, but this does depend on us knowing about your requirements in good time. You will need to think about the study strategies and support you might need at residential school.
There is more information in the residential schools section.
In my first year I tried to use the study calendar as best I could but found that during breakdowns in my mental health I was unable to do much of anything nevermind uni work, nor felt I could contact anyone. If you want my advice, get WELL ahead in your work during the good times. Get a rough copy of your assignments completed as soon as they become available (skipping out bits you are unsure about if needs be). At least that way you will have something to hand in. Maybe colour-code your solution document as you go through... say, green for you are 100% happy with your answer, red for it needs changed drastically.
Also: Take note of the sections you found difficult, even in the slightest and work on these for the exam.
I downloaded a program called TextAloud which allowed me to change some of my notes, key definitions I needed to learn, into a very lifelike speech format and save as MP3. I used these as exam revision while out walking, which broke up the day. Being able to walk during the revision period was also very good for my mood.
If you can, set up a desk or workspace where you can leave your books and other materials out between study sessions. I found this really helpful as if I found a spare half hour or hour, I would already have everything ready to pick up from where I last left off. Studying little and often meant that I could fit more study into my day. Before I had my desk, I would study in places where I found it hard to concentrate and at times I found it hard to find the motivation to get all of my books etc out just for a short study session. Sometimes simple, practical things really make a difference.
Put language material on to MP3 so you can listen and absorb whenever you have a spare moment. Secondly, record programmess from a TV chain channel such as TV5 - again so you can watch and absorb whenever you have a spare moment.
You can download a PDF or buy a print copy of the Studying and Staying Mentally Healthy booklet, or registered students can request a copy in print or DAISY from our regional and national centres. The booklet offers suggestions and advice for study strategies and is generally sent on receipt of the facilities request for general services and equipment on Tell us what you need.
It is important that you tell us about the ways you think your studies may be affected. Studying with the OU is demanding but we will do our best to support you.
If you have any queries about a module, finance or the support you would receive, please contact an adviser in our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.
For DSA, examination arrangements, and some other financial or equipment schemes you will need to provide written evidence of additional needs. This evidence is usually a diagnostic assessment or medical report but will depend on the individual situation. As this can take a considerable period of time to arrange it is advisable to think about this well in advance.