The Open University (OU) is a digital, accessible University that allows people to get a higher education. In particular, those who might have otherwise been denied due to the limitations of campus learning. The Open University can be a great way to retrain, giving you the chance to make a career change if you are unhappy in your current profession.

In 2019 the Open University celebrated its 50th year. It currently stands as one of the leading universities for flexible teaching and innovative research in the UK and worldwide.

The Open University is committed to ensuring there are no barriers to achieving a university degree. They are firm believers that no matter your history, experience, and financial circumstances, you should be able to access higher education. 

An impressive 76% of Open University students fit their studies around full- or part-time jobs. Delivered through a flexible programme of digital learning, Open University is perfect for those who can’t commit to a full-time schedule. This may include people who have other work and family commitments, carers, people with disabilities, people living abroad, or those who want to refresh their skills. It’s a great way to retrain as it allows you to fit your studies around your previous commitments, meaning there is less of a financial burden.

We’ll take a look at why studying at the Open University could be the right choice for you. 


OU Offers Courses for Everyone

Whether you have already completed a degree and are looking to learn more in a new field or have no formal education whatsoever, the OU is there to help get you on the right path. As a result, the Open University is an excellent first step if you are interested in a new career.  Especially if it’s one in which you currently have no training or experience. 

The majority of their courses have no entry requirements. If you were unsuccessful in getting the scores you needed in school exams, there are other great options out there. If you have a desire to learn, the OU can offer you a route into higher education.

To find more information, including the important considerations to take into account before changing careers, visit our dedicated page on retraining.


OU is Supportive and Accessible

The OU has a dedicated support team who is there to help students both over the phone or face-to-face in any of their offices around the UK and Ireland.

They cover everything from financial backing to accessible assessments and study materials. For people with disabilities, the OU can also provide specialist equipment and schedule alterations to make sure the course you are taking fits your needs. This makes the Open University an excellent option for those with disabilities who want to retrain. You can do so from the comfort of your own home, meaning you do not need to worry about the potential accessibility limitations of traditional university buildings. 

For more information about Careers with Disabilities, visit our page.


OU Offers a Huge Variety of Courses

The OU offers over 200 qualifications and 400 modules to its students. These range from conventional academic subjects, such as History and Biology, to courses tailored toward particular career paths, such as Education, Accounting, and Counselling. 

For a full list of courses available, visit the Open University website.


OU Can Refresh Your Career for Less

Because of the government loan system for studying at university, 80% of students pay nothing upfront by taking out a student loan. Since these student loans are not means-tested, you can apply regardless of whether you have an income or not. Additionally, there is no upper age limit. The loans are repaid according to your income, so you will only make repayments that you can afford. But, how much are Open University courses?

Regarding tuition fees, Open University course costs are lower than standard University costs in the UK. The OU offers part-time courses at £3,228 per year and full-time courses at £6,456 per year. These figures include all materials, tuition, assessment and exam costs. Students fund their courses, or ‘Modules’, as they study them. This makes the course much easier to manage financially since they don’t have to pay for the full qualification upfront.


Key Takeaways

Just like most methods of study, doing a course at the Open University is a substantial investment of time, money and energy. Nevertheless, by offering the flexibility of long-distance learning, it allows students to fit their studies around their lives. It is an excellent option for those wishing to refresh their career, albeit not the only option available. If you do choose to commit to studying at OU, it can be a life-changing, rewarding process and one which can help you land your dream job.

Refreshing a Career is full of information for anyone who’s wondering whether they should choose a new career or are simply seeking advice for career changers.