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What is an Open qualification?

Can’t decide which course is right for you? Why not create your own! Study different subjects and build a qualification to showcase your interests while developing key skills sought-after by employers.

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A qualification designed by you, for you

Our Open qualifications allow you to build a multidisciplinary qualification that’s unique to you.

You have the freedom to combine modules from a wide range of subject areas and create a bespoke degree, diploma or certificate that fits your professional ambitions or personal interests.

Choose your Open qualification

Freedom to be flexible

This is your qualification; study at your own pace and choose the modules that interest you most. In fact, our Open qualifications are some of the most flexible on offer.

You’ll be able to:

  • design a unique, multidisciplinary qualification to suit your needs
  • combine modules from over 16 wide-ranging subject areas
  • alter your choices should your career ambitions or personal interests change
  • choose between studying towards a BA (Honours) or BSc (Honours) degree
  • count previous university study towards your qualification.

Boost your career prospects

86% of graduate employers are interested in abilities rather than specific subjects studied.

Studying in a multidisciplinary way means you can study across many different subject areas. Learning this way shows employers that you’re flexible and adaptable. It showcases the critical skills you’ve developed along the way. In fact, employers we work with have described OU students as ‘self-starters’, ‘adaptable’, ‘diverse’, ‘determined’, and ‘ambitious’.

Having an Open qualification on your CV shows more than your level of knowledge about a subject. You’ll have acquired a highly employable set of skills and attributes, including:

  • initiative, self-management and resilience
  • commercial awareness
  • communication
  • collaboration
  • digital literacy
  • numeracy
  • problem-solving.

I chose the OU because of its reputation. The flexibility of creating your own path is simply amazing. I am super thankful for the opportunity to create a degree adapted to my needs and interests. It’s ingenious.

Susanna van Tonder, currently studying BA/BSc (Hons) Open

Choose your Open qualification


BA/BSc (Honours) Open

The most flexible degree programme in the UK. Study any subjects you like, in any combination, building a qualification that's unique to you.


BSc (Honours) Combined STEM

Tailor your honours degree to specialist subject areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).


Diploma of Higher Education Open

Equivalent to two-thirds of our BA/BSc (Honours) Open, create a diploma to expand your knowledge and improve your skillset.


Certificate of Higher Education Open

If you’re keen to try university study but want to keep your options open, this flexible certificate is the ideal starting point.


MA/MSc Open

Our innovative masters degree is perfect if you want to design a postgraduate qualification individual to you using a choice of over 60 modules and microcredentials.


Have you studied before?

If you’ve studied at university level before, you might be able to count that towards your Open qualification, saving you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study.

Visit credit transfer to find out more.

Preparing to study

If you’d like to brush up on your study skills and improve your confidence first, an Access module is the ideal starting point. You'll get a broad introduction to several subject areas, and you could even study one for free.

For more details, visit Access modules.