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TEF 2023 Gold Award

Distance and online courses

We’re experts in distance learning and online courses – we've helped over 2 million people fulfil their potential and open up their future.

Study with us to benefit from innovative teaching and qualifications respected by employers, all with the flexibility and value not always available at classroom-based universities.

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More to explore

Getting started is easier than you think, but if you've got questions, we have the answers. Check out the essentials to study at The Open University.

What is distance learning?

We're dedicated to distance learning, but what does that mean? Find out how, what, when and where you'll study with our series of short guides on being an OU student.

Can I do it?

We don't believe in barriers, so if you're prepared to put the work in, we'll help you succeed. And if you don't know the best place for you to start, we can help with that too.

How to apply

Choose the right course, find the best funding option and apply at the right time. This guide leads you through the process of becoming an OU student from start to finish.

Fees and funding

More than 80% of our students use a loan with Student Finance England to fund their studies; it's the most popular way to pay. Check out your funding options today.

Get ahead with credit transfer

Previous study can count towards a qualification – even if you didn't complete the course. 20% of OU graduates use Credit Transfer to save time and money when studying.

Already have a degree?

If you live in England you may still qualify for a student loan, even if you already have a degree from another university. Find out if your qualification is eligible.

Be inspired

Every year, thousands of students from all walks of life enrol at The Open University. Discover how we're helping these students achieve their ambition.

TEF 2023 Gold Award