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Frequently asked questions

To view this information in Welsh click here

I weld y wybodaeth yn Gymraeg, cliciwch yma


 FAQs which relate to vacancies

Q:  I’d like to teach with the OU.  Can you send some information?

A:  All the information you need to know about teaching for the University can be found on the AL Recruitment website

Q:  Am I suitably qualified to apply?

A:  You need to demonstrate on the application form how you meet the requirements of both the generic person specification and the module person specification.

Q:  I live outside the UK or Republic of Ireland, can I apply to tutor with the OU?

A:  The OU is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all backgrounds and nationalities, however, it is only able to accept applications from candidates who are resident in the UK or Republic of Ireland.

Q:  Where can I find vacancies in my subject area?

A:  All vacancies are shown on the Vacancies page of the web site. If you know the module you are interested in applying for you can use the search facility on the right hand side of the page. You can find more detail about our modules on the OU Modules page .  If there are no vacancies in your subject area, please complete the ‘Expression of Interest’ form with your preferences and we will email you when a suitable vacancy is advertised.

Q:  There is a vacancy in one part of the country but I live in another. Can I still apply for it?

A:  Yes, you can apply for any vacancy advertised on our recruitment site providing that you live in the UK, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland.  For modules taught entirely online all live applications will be considered which are received by the published application close date. However selection for modules with any face-to-face tuition may well be defined by your proximity to the vacancy.

Q:  Is a vacancy still open?

A:  The close date for a vacancy is the final date that we will accept applications. We will not accept any late applications that are received after 12 noon on the close date.

Q:  What does the ‘tuition delivery model’ mean?

A:  For an explanation of the terms we use please have a look here

Q:  What do the various codes mean on the module person specification e.g. IT requirements, method of submission etc?

A:  For an explanation of the terms we use please have a look here

Q:  How many hours face to face on this module / are the tutorials weekdays or weekends?

A:  This varies by module, a staff tutor who is responsible for the module in a location where there is a vacancy will be able to provide more specific information about the module and the amount of face to face contact.



FAQs which relate to applying for a vacancy

Q:  Can I send a CV instead of completing a form?

A:  No, CVs will not be considered in the selection process. We will only accept completed AL application forms.

Q:  I have saved an earlier version of the AL application form, can I reuse it?

A: A new version of the application form (ALAPP5) was introduced on 11th June 2021 to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) employment legislation and the Welsh Language Standards 2018 (WLS 2018).

Q:  The application form is in MS Word format, but I don’t have this software on my computer.

A:  You can use either Open OfficeStar Office or LibreOffice to edit the form. You should ensure that your application form has been saved in rich text format (*.rtf) before you submit your application.

Q:  Can I apply for more than one module using the same application form?

A:  No, you will need to complete a separate application form for each module for which you wish to apply to teach on.

Q:  I have more information to accompany my application form. Can I send it as separate documents?

A:  No, you should provide any additional information using the continuation sheets on the application form.

Q:  How do I ‘sign’ the application form?

A:  Simply type your name in the declaration statement space.

Q:  I’m experiencing a problem submitting my form to the mail address.

A:  Please e-mail us at if you have any problems submitting your form.

Q:  Can I fax my application?

A:  No, all applications need to be submitted via email, to

Q:  I have submitted an application for a current module with a vacancy. Will my application only be considered by my local regional centre?

A:  It depends on the model of student support, modules which are supported entirely online will consider a UK wide applicant pool, whereas modules with face to face student support will consider local applicants. Click here for details of the area that each of our National/Regional Offices has responsibility for.

Q:  I was deemed appointable after an interview for this module.  Do I need to reapply for the next presentation?

A:  No, if your appointability for a module has been determined, your application will be extended to 31st December 2021.

Q:  I have a current application for a module and a vacancy for it has just been advertised. Do I need to do anything?

A:  You will need to reapply if your application is due to expire before the start date of the vacancy (this is given in the vacancy advert). If your application will still be valid at the vacancy start date, then you don’t have to do anything. Internal staff can access their application details via Staff Self Services


FAQs which relate to after you have submitted an application 

Q:  I didn’t get an acknowledgment to my e-mail, should I be concerned?


A:   If you do not receive an automated acknowledgement soon after sending us an e-mail then it means that we have not received it. Check your Spam folder for error messages before trying again. If you are an existing Associate Lecturer use your University mail account. If you still do not get an acknowledgement then please contact us at


Q:   I have missed the vacancy deadline. Will my application still be considered for the next presentation?


A:   No, you will need to resubmit your application form when the module is next advertised.


Q:  When will I know if I’m short listed?


A:  We normally short list soon after the published application close date. Please see our ‘What next’ page on the ‘How to Apply’ page


Q:  I applied for a vacancy last month. I now need to change my qualifications/name/referee. How can I do this?


A:  Please amend your form and resubmit it to with a message of explanation.


Q:  I applied for a vacancy last month, I now wish to add another vacancy to my application. Is this possible?


A:  No, you will need to complete and submit a separate application form for each module you wish to apply for. You should ensure that each application has addressed both the generic and module person specification for each module vacancy.


Q:  I want to speak to someone to get feedback on my application. Who should I contact?


A:  You should e-mail your request to the appropriate AL Services team, you can find contact details here.


Q:  I understand that the application form is valid for a year. What does this mean?


A:  Your application form will be live from the date that it is received for a period of 12 months. If you are deemed appointable for a module, your application expiry end date will then be extended to 31st December 2021. During this period you will be considered for any suitable vacancies which occur for that module.

Q:  I’ve not heard anything since I applied.


A:  We do not contact unsuccessful applicants. If you have not heard anything by a month before the module is due to start and wish to have some feedback on your application please contact the relevant details here


If you are an existing member of staff you can check the status of your application on your Staff Self Service page.


Q:  I’ve just seen a vacancy, can it be added to my earlier application?


A:  No, you need to complete a separate application form for each module for which you are applying.


Q:  I am currently teaching the last presentation of my every presentation AL appointment, do I have prior consideration?


A:  Yes, provided you have applied for a vacancy which will be considered before the end of the current module presentation (or during a period of contractual leave of absence (redundancy)). Applicants with prior consideration will be flagged to selection panels to ensure that we avoid a potential redundancy wherever possible.


Q:  I’m not on an applicant list (also known as the long list) but I submitted my application before the deadline.


A:  If you applied for a module that has face to face student contact then you may not have been shortlisted if you live too far from the location of the vacancy, or if you didn’t indicate on your application form if you wished to be considered for vacancies outside of your location of residence. You may also not have been considered if the vacancy is only open to internal staff and you are an external applicant.


Q:  Can you tell me what vacancies I have applied for? What are my ‘live’ applications?


A:  If you are an existing member of staff you will be able to see the status of any applications in Staff Self Service under ‘application details’. To access the information go to ‘Your Employment’ via Staff Self Service. If you are an external applicant and want to know which applications are live please contact


Q:  I live in the location where the vacancy is based. Why are you appointing ALs out of location over me?


A:   Following consideration of the head of unit report and current workload, ALs are offered appointments in the following order based on interview scores

•             PC

•             MOLD

•             Internal

•             External

where they are able to teach in the vacancy location due to proximity or regular travel due to work, leisure or family reasons

Q:  How will the longlisting work now?


A:  Longlists will be run UK wide to include ALs who have applied to teach outside of their location of residence, either because of proximity or because of regular travel due to work, leisure or family reasons.


Q:  I have several AL applications in the system on the old application form.  Do I need to resubmit these applications now?


A:  There is no need to resubmit your old applications, they will be considered in the normal way.


Q:  If I am successful in gaining an appointment in a location outside of my location of residence due to regular travel for work, leisure or family reasons, can I claim travel expenses?


A:  If you are successful because of travel that you are regularly undertaking, you would not be reimbursed for the regular travel but would be able to claim for additional travel. For example, I regularly fly from London to Manchester to visit my daughter for the weekend so I can deliver F2F tuition in Salford or Manchester on a Saturday.  The cost of my flight will not be reimbursed but travel from my daughter’s residence to the tutorial venue will be.

FAQs which relate to the expressions of interest facility 

Q:  How do I access the Expression of Interest form?


A:  Applicants need to either be signed in as a member of staff to see internal vacancies, and will receive an email prompting them to visit the site when a vacancy they may be interested in is live,  or register with JISCM@il and subscribe to our mailing list TUTOR-VACANCIES-OPEN-UNIVERSITY, to receive an email of externally advertised modules.


Q:  I completed the expressions of interest form and haven’t received any notification of any vacancies although there was a vacancy on the recruitment site when I submitted my details. Does this mean that my details haven’t been recorded?


A:  You will only receive notifications of relevant future vacancies and we will not prompt you about vacancies which are on the site when you registered.


Q:  I notice that there is a new module; can I add that to my expressions of interest?


A:  Yes, you can go back into the form at any time (by logging in with your email address and password for external applicants and OUCU and password if an internal applicant) to update your details and add more modules. This will re-set the expiry date.


Q:  There is a vacancy advertised, but I have not received an expression of interest email.


A:  E-mail alerts for new vacancies are sent out shortly after a vacancy has been added to the site.