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What it's like to study with us

The Open University offers high quality education that can fit around work and family life. Study when and where it suits you, at the pace and level you find best. We will support you every step of the way.

Students and graduates share their OU experiences

We have pioneered distance learning for 50-plus years, supporting over 200,000 students right across Scotland, from Dumfries and Galloway to Shetland, and the Western Isles to Fife. Meet some of our OU community below, and discover more student and alumni stories.

Graduate Faye outside her workplace

Faye, Glasgow

OU graduate Faye is an environment manager at the firm she initially joined as a cleaner, having fitted studies around work.

OU graduate Alastair Bruce

Alastair, Edinburgh

Alastair's OU studies sparked a new career path: the Physical Science graduate is now an astronomer and Planetarium Manager. 

OU student Sarah at Castlebay, with the sea and castle in the background

Sarah, Barra

Support for learning assistant Sarah, a primary education studies student, worked in the film industry before relocating to the Outer Hebrides.

Accessible learning

Our range of course types includes microcredentials and standalone modules, certificates, diplomas, plus degrees and postgraduate qualifications. If you work for an organisation, we offer graduate apprenticeships. For most courses, the only entry requirement is a desire to learn.

  • Not studied for a while and want to boost your confidence first? Our Access modules are a great introduction. 
  • Looking for a tailored qualification? With our Open programme you can pick modules from across subject areas to build your own certificate, diploma and degree level.   
  • Interested but not sure what to study or if distance learning is right for you? Try one of over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn.

Our students have diverse backgrounds. They can be juggling modules with caring responsibilities, learning in a workplace, or when they travel with their sports team.

We have care experienced students and learners who’ve declared disabilities. Our students might have transferred credit from college study, or be doing an OU qualification while in prison.

Flexible payment and funding options are available: 68% of our students qualify for a grant that covers 100% of undergraduate course fees, enabling them to study for free. 

Quality and expertise

As an OU student you’ll have high quality study materials, an online study portal, a dedicated tutor giving expert advice and regular feedback, student forums, learning events and more. 

Connected students 

Studying with the OU, you don't just have the advantages of flexible distance learning, but you will also have access to the UK’s largest student community.

OU graduate Michelle on a Shetland cliffside with the sea, rocks and a lighthouse in the background

At the age of 56, I have a degree thanks to the OU… I chose the OU because I could study remotely yet still have access to lecturers, fellow students and administration.

Michelle Howden,
Bachelor of Science (Honours) graduate in Criminology and Psychological Studies