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Student Help Info: For general help, including in relation to COVID-19, there is an OU students help page.
Info and contact details that may be particularly useful to carers is available in a Carer’s Pack.
There is also help info available from The National Carer Organisations in Scotland

Caring Roles, Learning Lives

Katrina McleodThe Open University in Scotland recognises the challenges carers can face and offers a range of resources and support to help carers get into learning.

Carers choose to study with The Open University for a variety of reasons: some carers want to build on the knowledge and skills they’ve gained while caring, some want to resume studies that had to be put on hold, and others are looking for something completely different to their caring role. The OU allows students the flexibility to fit studying around their caring commitments.

If you are a carer The Open University in Scotland can offer:

Study for free

We provide guidance on funding, including the Part-Time Fee Grant which allows anyone with personal income of up to £25,000 a year to study for free. There are also funds specifically for student carers, to help with study-related costs, such as a Carers' Bursary.  

Positive experience

Before my son was born I had been a Registered Mental Health Nurse and I began to research how to renew my registration. I wouldn't have had the courage to do that before I did the Open University course. I began to believe in 'me' again.

Katrina MacLeod (pictured above), a carer from Dumfries and Galloway, successfully completed an Open University access course and also the OU's Reflection Toolkit

A Return to Practice nursing course at university soon followed. Katrina said: "As to the future, I have passed my course and I have completed an application form for a post as a staff nurse in the local hospital. Sometimes I feel like pinching myself to see if I am dreaming!" 

Read our latest leaflet to find out more about what we offer.

Our work

We work in partnership with carers’ organisations to better understand the needs of carers and ensure that resources to fully support our carer students are developed.

For example, in partnership with Carers Trust Scotland, we developed the free online Carer Aware at University module for staff at all universities in Scotland, to help improve support for student carers.

We also support Carers Trust Scotland’s Going Higher project, which encourages carers to access higher education. The Open University received the Going Higher for Student Carers Recognition Award in 2020.