Skip to content

Toggle service links
A shot of peoples hands as they sit at a wooden desk ready to learn.

Community Partnerships Project

Bringing learning to local communities

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Our work
  3. Community Partnerships Project

Community Partnerships Project

For more information download the CPP leaflet.


The Community Partnerships Project (CPP) is a widening access initiative to encourage people into higher education by offering Open University study in a local community setting. The CPP is funded by the Department for the Economy.

If you're a community organisation based in Northern Ireland then the CPP could benefit your local community. 


How it works?

Your community setting will offer a local learning space for people to undertake an Open University access course. Participants will be offcially registered as an OU student and their learning will include a mixture of community group sessions with an OU tutor and supplementary online material. Participants will also be offered ongoing advice and support from our team in Belfast.

What will be studied?

Participants study the access module People, Work and Society (YO32).  This module provides a great introduction to Open University study, builds confidence and digital skills, and will provide participants with the skills and knowledge required to progress to degree level.

A white hand with a white heart hovering above it on a turquoise background

Your role as a community partner

As a community partner you are best placed to identify potential participants and to understand their individual needs throughout the programme. You will have access to ongoing advice and support from our Partnerships Coordinator within the OU.

A white calendar with the silhouettes of three people looking at it.

Benefits of CPP

The CPP offers a range of benefits both for you and your local community.

  • Encourages community engagement.
  • Encourages learning and personal development within your local community.
  • It offers participants a pathway to higher education that they may not have had access to or realised existed before.

Current participants include; Falls Women’s Centre, Ballybeen Women’s Centre and Shankill Women’s Centre. You can read about thier experiences below.

Shankill Women’s Centre’s experience working in partnership with the CPP has been invaluable to ourselves and the students. The OU’s CPP is an ideal opportunity to offer students a chance to achieve their full potential and aspire to their aspiration, previously only a dream.

Joan Mercer, Shared Education Co-Ordinator

Completing my study was my dream for long time but difficult circumstances had obstructed me from doing so.  Studying at the OU has boosted my confidence and I've discovered that I have high determination to achive my personal goals.  I recommend that anyone embark on an OU course.  Go ahead and do not hesitate to take the step as it eill be the first step on the way to success and achieving your goals.

Rasha Mourd, Access Module

If you would like to apply to join the CPP and become one of our partners then you can fill out the expression of interest form here:

Expression of Interest Form

This project is part-funded by the Department for the Economy