Skip to content

Toggle service links

The Open University: our work in the Republic of Ireland

John D'Arcy Nation Director

The Open University offers a route into higher education for anyone with a desire to learn. Its open access policy means that traditional entry qualifications are not a requirement for the majority of its courses. No other university makes this unique offer, especially across the full range of university subject areas. We contribute to local engagement within the community, enable employers to develop their staff, and we make higher education accessible to everyone in Ireland, regardless of age, income, qualifications or geography.

John D’Arcy, National Director since 2010

Our story

The Open University in Ireland is open to people, places, methods and ideas. We promote educational opportunity and social justice by providing high-quality university education to all who wish to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.

We focus on include widening access to higher education, irrespective of background or circumstances, and helping Irish employers to develop and upskill their workforces.

The OU was established by Royal Charter in 1969 and has operated across Ireland for 20 years. In Ireland we offer a wide range of courses and qualifications through supported open learning, we support our students and staff, undertake projects around learning enhancement, and engage with key education stakeholders and policy-makers.


Courses and qualifications

The Open University specialises in providing high quality distance learning at undergraduate and postgraduate level. There are nearly 1,500 people studying with us in every corner of Ireland; most of whom are looking to upskill and increase their career prospects. In fact, 81% of our students are combining their studies with work.

Our strategy

The Open University’s mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas sets us apart from other universities globally.  The OU alumni and current student community is a movement of millions.  We are enormously proud to promote educational opportunity and social justice. Through world-leading academic research and the latest pedagogic innovation and collaborative partnerships, we are focused on transforming the design, content and delivery of supported, flexible open learning.

Meet our students

The Open University in Ireland provides supported open learning to students across the length and breadth of the country. Our flexible programmes and wide range of qualifications enable learners to choose a study route that best suits them.

Partnership with RTÉ

Around 60 members of RTÉ staff are engaged in a variety of modules and qualifications at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. This excellent partnership has been extended for another two years.

time to think logo

Time to Think: Open University journeys in British and Irish prisons during the years of conflict 1972-2000

A unique oral history archive containing interviews on the educational journeys of Loyalist and Republican ex-prisoners, Open University staff who tutored in the prisons or were involved in administration of study from the Belfast Office, prison education staff and Open University students who worked in the prisons. It also includes reflective interviews with OU staff and the Time to Think team about gathering interviews and building the archive.

We are a fairtrade university 2018

Request a prospectus

Explore our qualifications and courses by requesting one of our prospectuses today.

Request prospectus

Contact Us:

Holbrook House
Holles Street off Merrion Square
North Dublin 2, D02 EY84

Tel: +353 (1) 678 5399

Our office is open between 08:30 and 17:00 Monday to Friday.

Upcoming Events

Nov 18

Better Options College Fair

Monday, November 18, 2019 - 10:00 to 13:00

The Conference Centre, Marino Institute of Education Griffith Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin 9, D09 R232

Nov 20

Dublin Open Day

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 14:00 to 19:00

The Open University Dublin office Holbrook House, Holles Street Dublin 2 D02 EY84

See All