A-level results day launches a wave of big emotions, as young people across the UK are faced with important decisions to take about their future. The Clearing process will be underway this week, but some students will be looking for alternatives to going away to study and The Open University (OU) could be a perfect fit.
With a third of its students under the age of 25, The Open University is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning; and it offers entry right now, regardless of results.
Most students work whilst learning, able to progress their careers at the same time as gaining new skills and for many it is a cost-effective way to study - fees in England* are set at £5,728 a year for full time study, although the cost is usually £1,432-£2,864 a year as most OU students are part-time. You pay for each module separately and can access a part-time tuition fee loan – find out more on our fees and funding website.
A flexible degree, to fit with your life
Mary Kirby, Acting Director of Academic Services, said:
The Open University extends an unconditional offer at Clearing and is open to everyone. At a time of high emotion and confusion for young people, the OU continues to offer of an alternative route to a degree which is flexible enough to fit in with the rest of their life.
More students study with the OU than with any other university in the UK, thanks to our quality and excellent support for students. The OU has been providing high quality teaching for nearly 50 years and has a long and proud history of offering innovative solutions to meet the needs of students.
Progress your career at the same time
OU students are attractive to employers as many working while they learn (more than 70%) and as many as 88 FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff on an OU course.
Aiming to get practical experience alongside studying, 24-year-old Chelsea Allenby chose the OU after completing A Levels at College and developed some YouTube videos to show what OU study is like. Taking a BA (Hons) in Business Studies was hard work, but Chelsea’s seen the rewards and now runs her own business following the plan she created as part of her final project at the OU. Here's Chelsea explaining a bit more about studying with the OU:
Nicola Rossiter’s A-Level results weren’t what she’d hoped and at that time she didn’t feel ready for further study. Fast forward a few years and Nicola, who's now 31 and lives in Newport, has completed an OU degree and now has a job as a commercial development officer in a recycling firm – a role she couldn’t have obtained without her qualification. She says: “My tutors were always extremely helpful; and I really liked the learning materials, they were interesting and I liked the interactive content. The online forums were fantastic and I went to as many face-to-face tutorials as I could. I’d recommend OU study to anyone thinking of becoming a student and would advise signing up sooner rather than later!”
Flexible ways into study
There are a number of ways you can get into Open University study:
- Access courses; designed to develop your study skills and give you a taster of the OU’s method of learning
- Credit transfer; where previous study counts towards an OU qualification
- Massive Open Online Courses which you can now use, in some cases, as credit towards a qualification
- Degree Apprenticeships; there are already three available in Management, Technology and Health; with more coming up in 2018.
- OpenLearn, our free learning website, has courses and materials you can try, including Badged Open courses
- Validated courses; study a course at a partner institution which is validated for quality by the OU
Registration is open now for courses starting in the Autumn – it closes on September 14.
* 2017/18 prices; fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. Please note that fees vary in Scotland, Wales, Ireland and internationally – for full information go to our Fees and Funding website.