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23 Free Open University courses support the government's Skill Up initiative in Northern Ireland

Following the NIO announcement of £23million worth of skills funding, people across Northern Ireland are being offered a choice of free study course options with The Open University delivering £1.8million.  

Skill Up (the Flexible Skills Fund) offers opportunities for people to access one of the 23 free Open University postgraduate and microcredential courses across a diverse range of areas from management and leadership, cyber security and sustainability through to entrepreneurship.

Running for a duration of two years, the available funding will target upskilling and reskilling opportunities across a range of priority economic areas, focused on supporting individuals to engage in learning and improve the skills profile of the workforce in a flexible way which suits the learner. The Open University is just one of several HE and FE institutions who have been successful. 

John D’Arcy Director of The Open University in Ireland said: “Now is the perfect time for people to enhance their skills to gain a competitive advantage in the workplace – especially with talent shortages in certain industries or if you’re considering a change of career.  

As the only University dedicated to online learning, we have courses available to choose from in key training areas such as business management, computing and supply chain which are studied in a flexible way which fits around a person’s work and other responsibilities in life.  

The Open University in Northern Ireland is ranked the top University for overall student satisfaction and we are proud to have produced more CEOs and MDs than any other UK institute.  We look forward to working with more people here to support their career ambitions.” 

The deadline for enrolment is Friday 1st October 2021, with courses going live from November this year.  

In Year 1, the funding available is expected to support up to 1,600 registrations (depending on the courses selected by students). 

To find out more or view the application page and list of free courses, click here:


For media enquiries:

Contact Christine Murphy

Communications Manager
Tel 028 9053 6219