Designed to enable ordinary people to access higher education, the Open University has admitted over 1.5 million students since its founding in 1969. It’s changed a lot over the years, but remains a great place to learn skills, upgrade your CV and build a better future. And with many OU discounts on offer at HotUKDeals, anyone can find affordable courses to build their skills.
After the Second World War, Britain saw a huge increase in demand for higher education, as incomes grew and people sought to improve themselves. However, the traditional universities had limited capacity and struggled to offer services to people in full-time work, so an alternative was required.
The first Labour government of Harold Wilson provided the answer in the form of the Open University. Opening its doors in 1969, the OU offered a huge range of distance learning courses. It enlisted leading academics from other institutions to provide teaching support, and also leveraged the role of the BBC, running a famous series of documentaries for students to use.
Nowadays, the emphasis has moved away from TV to online learning Courses still take place remotely (although there is a central OU campus in Milton Keynes), and use tools like online forums, mailed out DVDs, video lectures and video conferencing.
The teaching has been consistently rated as “excellent” by official regulators, which may be why 250,000 people are currently enrolled. Why not join them and improve your knowledge and employment prospects in the process?
If you want to start an Open University course, the first place to head is their course listings on the Open University website, www.open.ac.uk. You can request a brochure with full listings and fees, give them a call or book a call back at a convenient moment to discuss your options.
Students at the Open University study a dizzying variety of subjects, so there should be something for everyone. Options include:
That’s really just a small cross-section of the courses on offer, but it gives a sense of how much choice the Open University provides. Browse in detail, and you’ll find some niche subjects that many places don’t offer, including some of the most popular Welsh courses in the UK.
One of the founding principles of the OU is to keep it affordable for ordinary people, and with part-time degrees costing a maximum of £2,500 (double that for full-time), it remains among the cheapest higher education providers in the UK.
Then again, these are still hefty prices for courses, but help is at hand. Check out the HotUKDeals Open University listings for any current savings. And check them in mid to late-summer as well. You may be surprised by how many common subjects are discounted as the new university year approaches.
There are also many free courses which come with no fees at all. These include beginners language courses, courses for carers and local history courses, and a list of them can be found on their website.
When it comes to paying for OU courses, you can use the following methods: All major credit and debit cards, including VISA, MasterCard and American Express, as well as direct debits. You can also arrange mixed payments featuring a blend of bank transfers and card payments if this makes more sense, and payments are staggered over the term of your course.
The Open University offers a variety of flexible learning schedules to fit in with the lifestyles of working people. These include:
Degrees area big investment in both time and money, but sometimes anyone can make a wrong decision. If you find that you are in the wrong course, you may be able to cancel and request a refund.
If you realise straight away, you have 14 days from the receipt of the letter accepting you onto an OU course to start the cancellation process.
To cancel, you’ll need to send the Open University the following information: Your name, your Open University Personal Identifier Number, the name of the course or module you wish to cancel, and the course codes of the cancelled courses.
You can phone the OU to provide this information at: 0300 3035303, or write to them at:
If you inform them before the 14 days expires, you will receive a full refund. No refunds are provided if you cancel after that date.
New OU courses appear all the time, and the university also announces plenty of deals and free courses via social media. You can follow their media team at:
Another handy resource is the OU StudentHome Community, which allows students to stay in touch and support each other, and the OpenLearn Newsletter, which will keep you up to date about new free courses.
The Open University offers quite a few apps on their downloads website that are useful for the different courses or are just for fun. There is e. g. the OU Brainwave app that is helpful for researches focused on psychology or the Devolve Me app that lets you find out how you would have looked like as an early human. Students at the OU can also download the OU Anywhere App for iOS and Android devices. With the probably most helpful app installed, you can download ebooks and other printed course materials – making learning on the move that much easier.
If you want to discuss your course options further, you can get in touch with the Open University via the following methods:
You might also want to check out the Open University FAQ section.
From Chinese to accountancy and from counselling to history, the Open University is your portal to new skills and new qualifications. You’ll find hundreds of discounts for their distance learning degrees along with plenty of free courses at the Open University HotUKDeals listings.