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We work collaboratively with other universities on a broad range of learning, teaching and research activities that enrich our students' experience of study and enhance our contribution to Scottish society.

Enhancement themes logo

Enhancement Themes

The OU in Scotland works in cross-sector collaboration with other universities as part of our quality enhancement activity. Since 2003 the Quality Enhancement Framework (QEF) has shaped an enhancement-led approach to quality in the Scottish higher education sector, including a national programme of enhancement activity known as Enhancement Themes.

The sector focus during the three year life span of the current Enhancement Theme of Student Transitions (2014-17) is to explore the nature of transitions into, through and out of higher education. Our specific OU in Scotland aims can be found in our Enhancement Theme institutional plan.

During the previous Enhancement Theme of Developing and Supporting the Curriculum (2011-2014), The OU in Scotland was involved in collaborative work on the Flexible Curriculum. This project was managed by a team including Dr Martha Caddell (Learning Development Team) and involved the development of a Flexible Curriculum Toolkit for use by staff in higher education institutions.

Roger Davis HSC Seminar

Crichton Campus, Dumfries and Galloway

The OU in Scotland has actively engaged with the Crichton Campus in Dumfries for many years working with community organisations, schools, Dumfries and Galloway College and other Higher Education Institution partners to provide opportunities for accessing HE study in the region.

We became a Crichton Institute partner in March 2013. A major new collaborative venture for the south-west of Scotland, it brings together the Crichton Campus academic institutions and wider partners in the business, local government, health and voluntary sectors.

Roger Davis, Head of Social Work Scotland at The OU, is pictured, speaking at a Mental Health and Social Support Seminar which he chaired on campus in April 2016.

Scottish history with University of Dundee

The Open University runs a collaborative scheme with the University of Dundee where OU students can study a history course with Dundee via distance learning, Medieval and Early Modern Scotland: 1100-1707, and count the credit they gain towards their OU qualification. From October 2019 we will additionally be offering Modern Scottish History 1707-1997 via this study path.

Back on course logo

Back on Course

The four-year Back on Course Scotland project (2013-17) provided a free, impartial advice and guidance service for full-time undergraduate students at any Scottish university who had withdrawn from higher education before completing their studies.

The Open University in Scotland delivered this service, funded by the Scottish Funding Council.

Latterly, the Back on Course initiative worked proactively with 10 Scottish university partners: Robert Gordon, Queen Margaret, Edinburgh Napier, Abertay, Glasgow Caledonian, and Heriot-Watt Universities, plus the Universities of Highlands and Islands, West of Scotland, Stirling and Aberdeen.

Opening Educational Practices in Scotland

Opening Educational Practices in Scotland

Funded by the Scottish Funding Council for three years (2014-2017) and led by The OU in Scotland, this project provided an opportunity for Scotland's tertiary education sector to build on its collaborative ethos and establish a support network for best practice and innovation in developing open educational resources (OERs).

The Opening Educational Practices in Scotland project aims were to

  • facilitate best practice in open education in Scotland by developing a peer support network, an online hub and awareness raising activities ​
  • enhance the Scottish tertiary education sector’s capacity and reputation in developing publicly available online materials supported by high quality pedagogy and learning technology

OEPS aimed to engage with the whole sector and encourage partnership working with other organisations involved in formal education provision (such as colleges and schools), informal education and with other sectors within Scotland and beyond.

Read the OEPS Final Report

We are involved in:

The Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)

The Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)

The OU has expertise in psychology and criminology. We are part of SIPR, a strategic collaboration between 13 of Scotland's universities, Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority. This provides opportunities to do innovative, cutting-edge research focused on developing evidence-based policy and practice which is relevant and applicable in helping the police meet current challenges, and to achieve international excellence for policing research in Scotland.

​Institute for Social Marketing

The Institute for Social Marketing is a world renowned collaborative academic research centre with the University of Stirling, which brings over 30 years’ experience to the study and dissemination of social marketing theory and practice. Current and recent projects areas include alcohol, sustainable transport and low carbon vehicles, sustainable clothing, Smart Grids and community energy projects.

Innogen logo

The Innogen Institute

Launched in 2013, the Innogen Institute is a dynamic collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and The Open University that explores the social and economic impact of innovation in the life sciences.

Contact us

OEPS-related enquiries 
Rosemarie Mcilwhan
OEPS Project Manager

Enhancement Themes activity
Alison Gilmour  
Learning and Teaching Co-ordinator 
Tel: 0131 549 7134

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