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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.

Back on Course

The Back on Course Scotland initiative provides a free, impartial advice and guidance service for full-time undergraduate students at any Scottish university who have withdrawn from higher education before completing their studies.

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

It currently works proactively with nine 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.

A four-year project, Back on Course runs until July 31, 2017.

Opening Educational Practices in Scotland

  • 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

Funded by the Scottish Funding Council for three years and hosted by The OU in Scotland, this project provides an opportunity for Scotland's higher education sector to build on its collaborative ethos and establish a support network for best practice and innovation in developing open educational resources (OER).

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

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 current three-year Enhancement Theme (2014-17) focuses on Student Transitions with the aim of exploring the nature of transitions into, through and out of higher education.

Our work for 2016-17 focuses on: cultures of student community and engagement; resilience through transition; new learning in familiar spaces; and opening new pathways to higher education. We have developed, delivered and evaluated projects such as our Open Learning Champion model, our campus-based delivery of HE study and our induction events for new students. Read more about The OU in Scotland plan here.

During the previous Enhancement Theme of Developing and Supporting the Curriculum (2011-2014), The OU in Scotland's work included collaborative, cross-sector initiatives to develop a Flexible Curriculum Toolkit and the Staff: Enhancing Teaching project.

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 right, speaking at a Mental Health and Social Support Seminar which he chaired on campus in April 2016.


The Open University runs a collaborative scheme with the University of Dundee where OU students can study courses on Scottish history with Dundee via distance learning, and count the credit they gain towards their OU qualification.

We are a partner / member of several research Institutes with other universities:

The Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)
The OU has expertise in pyschology 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.

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.


Contacting us

  • For Back on Course Scotland enquiries, contact Project Assistant Page Munro [0300 303 0264].
  • For OEPS-related enquiries, contact OEPS Project Manager Rosemarie Mcilwhan.
  • For enquiries about our Enhancement Themes activity, contact Learning and Teaching Co-ordinator Alison Gilmour [0131 549 7134].

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