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College students

Graduation 2016 - group image

The Open University in Scotland has a hugely successful record of helping people who have studied in college build on their qualifications and go on to study at university level. The information on this page is a sample of our opportunities for college students. Full information can be found on our College Routes website.

From diploma to degree

Trainee EngineersDo you already have a college qualification, like a Higher National Certificate (HNC), Higher National Diploma (HND) or a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ)? We have opportunities to develop your skills even further to improve your job prospects or progress your career. 

You may be able to transfer credit towards an Open University Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, and join our 900 students with an HNC or HND who are working to achieve their degree qualification in a shorter amount of time. Click here to find out more about the subject areas and qualifications available to you

We have developed specific pathways with 15 colleges across every Scottish region for students who want to build on their college qualifications. Click here to see a map of our partnerships.

Thanks to our flexible approach you can even fit learning around your working or family life. Click here to read about OU-style studies and meet some of our OU students here.

Stat graphic - 19% of new undergraduates have a college HNC/D​How to apply

  • To apply for an Open University degree, you don’t have to go through UCAS like most other universities
  • Most of our degree courses begin in October with others commencing in February each year
  • Find out how to apply here

Many of our students benefit from the Part-Time Fee Grant which covers 100 percent of their course fees. For details on fees and funding, click here

OU studies on college campuses

OU Learning Space

a couple sharing a laptopFive colleges offer an official Opening University 'Learning Space': Fife CollegeDumfries and Galloway CollegeNew College LanarkshireSouth Lanarkshire College and West College Scotland. These gives OU students and staff across the Fife, Dumfries and Galloway, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire areas access within each college to 

  • Library services
  • IT and study facilities
  • Social spaces where OU students can get together
  • Information about OU study

Campus-based articulation model

The OU delivers curriculum in collaboration with some colleges on their campuses. Students have the opportunity to progress from their HND to university level studies by transferring credit. They can continue to use the college as their study base, and benefit from a supportive peer group and a known tutor at the college for their OU studies.

For many students, being based at their college is the only option available to them to continue studying due to financial or geographical constraints, caring responsibilities, their employment or disability. Enquire at your college if you would like to find out more.

Graduate Josh Malcolm achieved an honours degree in Combined Social Sciences from The OU, delivered in partnership with Ayrshire College. Josh is pictured at the top of the page (third from right) with fellow graduates from Ayrshire, North East Scotland and Fife Colleges, who studied for their degrees on campus-based programmes.

The campus-based programme features in an article on the 'Learner journey' in The Scotsman by (the then) Learning and Teaching Co-ordinator at The OU in Scotland Joan Thomson.

In July 2017 the programme won the prize for ‘Best Use of Articulation’ at the Herald Higher Education Awards. It was highly commended in the ‘Innovation’ category at the CDN (College Development Network) College Awards in October 2018.

Campus-based degree

City of Glasgow College induction eventSince October 2017 The OU and City of Glasgow College have been piloting an innovative degree programme at the new state-of-the-art college campus in Glasgow.

In an extension of our college campus-based delivery, The OU is delivering a portfolio of modules from Levels 1-3 at the College. This is meeting local demand for a combined programme of Social Sciences and Arts modules, with students studying towards the award of the flexible Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Open degree.

The programme also provides opportunities for students studying HNC and HND Social Science at the College to join at Stage 2 or 3 of the Open Degree.