Accessibility statement for Postgraduate Qualifications and Modules site

This accessibility statement applies to the Postgraduate Qualifications and Modules website accessed via

Note: some links in this statement are only available to OU students and staff with their OU login details. These are marked as "(Internal only)".

The Open University’s web presence consists of several million individual pages across numerous websites. We want as many people as possible to be able to use our websites, and accessibility is an essential part of our mission. To adapt the content to your needs or preferences in most cases you should be able to:

  • Change colours, contrasts levels and fonts.
  • Resize text up to 200% without impact on the functionality of the website.
  • Zoom in up to 400% without loss of information or functionality, or the need to scroll in more than one direction.
  • Navigate the website using just a keyboard.
    • tab to ‘Skip to content’ links at the top of the page to jump over repetitive information to the main content.
    • tab through the content; the current location will be indicated by a clear visual change.
    • control the embedded media player to play audio and video materials.
  • Use a screen reader (e.g. JAWs, NVDA) to:
    • listen to the content of web pages and use any functionality on the page.
    • list the headings and subheadings in the page and then jump to their location on the page.
    • bring up a list of meaningful links on the page.
  • Use transcripts or closed captions with most audio and video materials.
  • If you have a print disability we provide SensusAccess (Internal only) to students, which is an automated service that converts files from one format to another, for example, PDF to text, audio, Word or Braille.

For additional accessibility for websites associated with teaching and learning, students should read the Learning Accessibility Statement (Internal only). If any module-specific accessibility-related guidance is needed beyond the Learning Systems statement, you will find this in the Accessibility Guide on your module website.

For additional accessibility information about Student Support sites (including StudentHome, the Help Centre, Student Policy and Regulations) and other sites designed to support students but excluding the websites covered within the Learning Systems statement, students should read the Student Support Accessibility Statement.

How accessible this website is

We strive to exceed current accessibility standards. However, we know some elements of Open University websites are not fully accessible:

  • Older legacy and archived material.
  • Some third-party content not created by The Open University.
  • Sites linked from Open University pages but not run by the Open University.
  • Older PDFs and Word documents may not be fully accessible to screen reader software.

We aim to provide accessible alternative content or activities where we can. For more information please visit What Support is Available and for more guidance please visit Studying on a Screen.

Feedback and contact information

If you find that a certain section of our website is not accessible and you can’t get access to the information that you need please use this form to request support and we will ensure that you are provided with the information you require. You will need to provide your contact details and PI if you are a student so we can get back to you. You should expect to hear back from us within 5 working days.

The OU is very experienced in meeting accessibility needs for our students. In many cases we are able to provide module and other study support materials in alternative formats for students who indicate a need for this when completing a Disability Support Form (Internal only).

In addition, some module materials are available in different formats and can be downloaded from module websites. Students can contact their Student Support Team for advice.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of our websites. If you find a problem that isn’t already listed on this page, or you think we’re not meeting the requirements of the current accessibility regulations (Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018), please use this accessible Feedback Form which is monitored daily.

We will ask you for the web address (URL) of the page and a description of the problem. We will also ask for your name and email address so that we can contact you about your feedback. You should expect to hear back from us within 5 working days.

Enforcement procedure

If you are a student, or someone who has had contact with the University before, and have a complaint about the accessibility of our websites, you should raise a complaint via the complaints and appeals process.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you are not happy with our response and all our procedures have been exhausted, please contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS). If you are based in Northern Ireland you can contact the Equalities Commission for Northern Ireland Equalities Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI).

If you are neither a student, nor someone who has had contact with the University before and have a complaint about the accessibility of our website, you should go directly to the EASS.

Contacting us

If you wish to contact us about anything not covered above, please visit our Contact Page where we have a comprehensive list of services to suit your specific enquiry and requirements.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

The Open University is committed to making its websites accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance Status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.2 AA standard, due to ‘the non-compliances’ listed below.

Non accessible content

The majority of content elements in our websites are accessible and do not contain the problems below. This has been confirmed by internal testing and auditing.

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Information and relationships

Some pages don’t use the correct semantic markup to enable screen readers to identify blocks of content as quotes. This makes it more difficult for screen reader users to understand when content is part of a quotation. This fails WCAG 2.2 Success Criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A). We plan to resolve this issue by April 2025.

Qualification page ‘module’ tables are missing captions. This makes it more difficult for screen reader users to understand the purpose of these tables when navigating. This fails WCAG 2.2 Success Criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A). We plan to resolve this issue by April 2025.

Name, role, value

The main navigation 'submenu' disclosure button elements are coded incorrectly across all pages. These elements are presented as HTML 'links' rather than 'buttons'. This makes it more difficult for keyboard users to understand how to interact with these elements. It's also confusing for screen reader users because they expect links to take them to another destination.

These 'submenu' disclosure button elements don't use ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) in the correct way to support assistive technologies. Screen readers users aren't told when a submenu is 'open' or 'closed'. Additionally, the inclusion of an inappropriate ARIA attribute means that the Voiceover screen reader on Mac can't identify and navigate to the submenu toggles. This fails WCAG 2.2. Success Criterion 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (Level A). We plan to resolve this issue by April 2025.

Labels or instructions

The ’course search’ text field isn’t labelled correctly. This makes it more difficult for screen reader users to understand that they can search for both ‘courses’ as well as ‘subjects’. This fails WCAG 2.2 Success Criterion 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions (Level A). We plan to resolve this issue by April 2025.

On ’course search’ the radio buttons used for filtering search results, are missing a programmatically associated group label known as a ‘legend’. This makes it more difficult for screen reader users to understand that the ‘postgraduate’ and ‘undergraduate’ radio buttons are ‘course search’ filters. This fails WCAG 2.2 Success Criterion 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions (Level A). We plan to resolve this issue by April 2025.

Resize text

On all pages, when users resize text, it overlaps and obscures other content. This causes reading difficulty and critical information loss for people with low vision relying on text enlargement. This fails WCAG 2.2 Success Criterion 1.4.4: Resize Text (Level AA). We plan to resolve this issue by April 2025.

Consistent navigation

Research topics pages don’t identify breadcrumb navigation consistently. Breadcrumbs are not always contained within a ‘navigation’ landmark, and they don’t use the correct type of HTML list. This makes it more difficult for screen reader users to find breadcrumbs on these pages. This fails WCAG 2.2 Success Criterion 3.2.4: Consistent Identification (Level AA). We plan to resolve this issue by April 2025.

Disproportionate burden

We are not claiming Disproportionate Burden for the Postgraduate Courses website.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulation

We do not have anything considered to be out of scope on the Postgraduate Courses website.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

As we build new websites and digital services, we strive to ensure that they are accessible and comply with the current legislation. We also review and audit older sites to identify what changes we need to make to improve accessibility.

The Open University website development process has stages that test the usability and accessibility of new and updated platforms, activities and services against WCAG 2.2. As well as working with external consultants, an internal Accessibility and Usability Evaluation team helps to offer guidance in this area and to ensure that accessibility and usability are embedded in the design and development process for developers and content creators.

These activities ensure that we are meeting and responding to the changing digital requirements of our students and users as well as developing and delivering systems and websites which are as accessible and usable as possible.

The Open University is committed to accessibility and demonstrates this in a number of different ways:

The Securing Greater Accessibility team (SeGA) was set up in 2010 as a university-wide initiative to promote accessibility and inclusive practice and support students and staff. SeGA offers training and guidance in accessibility in teaching and learning and oversees forums and activities for a wider community of practice and research. SeGA also runs a network of over 50 accessibility champions and coordinators, who work as points of contact on accessibility queries within their respective academic areas.

Staff at the Open University are offered on-demand accessibility training in a variety of topics to support them to carry out their roles. This will be complemented in the future by the introduction of bespoke, mandatory training in accessibility for all staff to complete in order to further embed accessibility good practice.

The Open University Library provides wide-ranging support to students with disabilities and specific requirements. As well as working with students directly to offer guidance in accessible resources, the Open University Library staff work with publishers to help improve the accessibility of their products.

The Open University aims to make studying as accessible as possible and a range of adjustments and support are available. A well-established disability support team provides guidance for students and arranges for students to have support when accessing digital content online or alternatively, access to a variety of formats. A wealth of resources for information and guidance in enabling students to study as effectively as possible in the digital environment are available via the help centre.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 25 November 2021. It was last reviewed on 01 May 2024.

This website was last tested on 8 March 2024. The test was carried out by the Accessibility and Usability Evaluation Team at the Open University. Manual testing against WCAG 2.2 AA guidelines was carried out on a sample of 7 web pages which were selected to represent different website elements and content types. In addition to this, automated testing was conducted across the entire website. Findings from both test approaches were then merged.

The accessibility of this site is also monitored in real-time using an automated accessibility tool.