Use your previous HE study to help you gain an OU qualification
COVID-19 IMPORTANT UPDATE: For an interim timescale, we are accepting credit transfer applications electronically as we can no longer accept postal applications. Please email your application to email@example.com. You will need to send a completed credit transfer application form along with an electronic scanned copy of your official academic transcript. For credit transfer assessments towards named degrees, please also send your syllabus information/learning outcomes. We will contact you by email if we need further supporting evidence. We may ask you to provide original documents at a later stage in the process.
Please be aware - due to high volumes of credit transfer enquiries and applications, we may not be able to respond as quickly as usual. If you have already submitted a complete application before the deadline, any additional time we need to process your application, should not impact on your opportunity to start studying in February.
If you are planning to start your studies in February 2021, the deadline for credit transfer applications is 10th December 2020.
Please ensure you apply in good time to plan your studies.
If you have previously studied at the Higher Education level within the last 16 years, you may be able to count your study towards an Open University qualification.
For example if you have:
then you may be able to count this study towards your OU qualification.
A number of our qualifications permit previous study completed up to 16 years ago to be considered for credit transfer.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the Higher Education level (for undergraduate study) is level 4, 5 and 6, Scotland SCQF level 7, 8, 9 and 10, and the Republic of Ireland is level 6, 7 and 8.
The Masters level in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is level 7, Scotland level 11, and in the Republic of Ireland, level 9.
If you think you may be eligible to apply for credit transfer, please ensure you make your application before you register on a module so you know exactly what you have been awarded and exactly what you’ll need to study to gain your chosen qualification. A credit transfer application can be made at any time in the year; we strongly recommend you make your application as soon as possible so you have time to plan your studies. We process applications in strict order of date received, so if you make your application very close to our cut-off date, we'll let you know the outcome very close to final enrolment date. It usually takes around 6 weeks to process a credit transfer application. However, for applications submitted between May to September, this can take considerably longer.
It’s free to apply for credit transfer and you are under no obligation to study with us. Nothing is taken away from your previous study – the purpose of credit transfer is simply to reduce the amount of time it will take you to gain a qualification, and reduce the overall cost.
There is a lot of information on the Credit Transfer website - please ensure you read it all fully as it is designed to ensure you make a successful credit transfer application. Failure to provide all of the necessary/correct supporting documentation will result in us being unable to process your application, which could result in you being unable to commence your studies at the time you had planned to.
If you make your application during our busiest period (May to September) please check back on this section periodically for any updates you may need to know about.
If you would like to transfer credit awarded by The Open University towards study at another provider, we recommend that you contact that provider directly to find out about their credit transfer or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) arrangements.
Whilst this is the case for some qualifications, many have tighter restrictions on the maximum age limit for previous study. Some of our qualifications only allow previous study completed up to 5 years ago to be considered for credit transfer. When determining the age of your previous study, we use the date of the last successfully completed module/unit – not the conferment date. Unfortunately anything completed more than 16 years ago (or the relevant maximum specified for each qualification) will not be eligible for credit transfer purposes. Please check the necessary qualification factsheet for information about associated age limits of previous study.
Credit transfer can be awarded at undergraduate Level 1 or 2, or at postgraduate level, but we do not award credit transfer at undergraduate Level 3 (FHEQ level 6). OU regulations require that any OU Level 3 study in a qualification must be completed by studying OU modules. If you have eligible previous study at OU Level 3 then you will be awarded credit for this at a lower level. A maximum of 90 credits of postgraduate study can be considered for credit transfer into an undergraduate degree.
When you apply for credit transfer you will need to support your application with original, official evidence of your previous study; we do not accept applications by email, and we do not accept photocopies. If you are not able to send your original documents in the post to us, we can accept formally verified copies made by a solicitor, notary or member of staff in a local OU office. If you are applying to transfer credit towards one of our named qualifications (as opposed to one of our ‘Open’ qualifications) you may also need to provide syllabus information - the syllabus provides a detailed description of each of the units you've completed. Please check the necessary qualification factsheet to see if syllabus information is required.
We award credits for periods of study that have been formally assessed and successfully completed. We do not award credit transfer on the basis of any compensated/condoned passes. If you were granted exemption/APEL/APL towards some parts of the qualification, we will award credit only for the part of the programme which you successfully completed with that particular institution. If the study which granted the exemption/APEL/APL is also eligible for credit, we may be able to give an additional award but we will need to see documents which show the original study that you were awarded APEL/APL credit for. If the APEL was awarded for previous work experience, you will need to provide us with written details from your previous university of their APEL process.
Our undergraduate qualifications are made up of modules that are either 30 or 60 credits. For this reason we can only award credit transfer in multiples of 30. If your previous study equates to less than 30 credits, we will not be able to consider it for credit transfer unless you have further additional eligible study that can bring your total credit transfer to 30 credits or more. Please note that some of our qualifications only allow credit to be transferred in multiples of 60 due to the structure of them – thus you’d need to have a minimum of 60 credits in this case.
If you have already studied with the OU please sign in to make sure that you get the credit transfer information that is relevant to you.
If you have any queries about applying for credit transfer please feel free to contact us using the link below.
Please try to include:
If you have general questions about the University feel free to contact us.