University profile

The Open University

Edition
2021/22 edition

Visit the institution website for COVID‑19 updates

About The Open University

At The Open University, we’ve pioneered distance learning since 1969. Our flexible approach to study means you can achieve your postgraduate qualification without putting your life or career on hold.

As the leading university for online, distance education, you can expect:

  • high-quality learning materials, created specifically for your modules
  • expert tuition from our tutors, many of whom work in industry
  • the opportunity to connect with other OU students worldwide, to share, collaborate and network
  • support before, during and even after your studies.

With the OU, you can choose from over 70 taught postgraduate courses, including certificates, diplomas and masters degrees. You could study qualifications like our MA in Creative Writing, MSc in Engineering, or our MBA, offered by our business school – one of only 100 triple-accredited business schools across the globe.

I chose to study for the MBA with the Open University because of the flexibility.

The MBA has really helped my career and given me a lot more commerciality than many of my colleagues.

Andy Vanburen, MBA (Master of Business Administration)

Postgraduate study that works for you

Wherever you are, we bring learning to you. Once your module begins, you’ll have 24/7 access to the module website – a comprehensive study platform with learning materials, self-assessed quizzes, details about assignments, and access to module forums and online tutorial spaces.

Module tutors will guide you through optional online tutorials and activities on the module forums. Your tutor will support you in your studies, helping you find study materials, or provide additional one-to-one tuition, if you need it.

The study material is very good and the support from tutors has been brilliant all the way through.

Because of the opportunity the OU gave me, I am someone who believes you can achieve anything – I might even go for a PhD.

Paul Mahoney, BSc (Hons) Information Technology, MSc in Advanced Networking

Expert tutors

Just like our students, our tutors come from all walks of life. They bring real-world expertise to your study, many of them combining their work as OU tutors with work in industry, or at other universities.

When I think about how much I’ve achieved in my studies it always makes me very emotional. My tutors were all really great. The materials, both physical and online, were always excellent.

Jackie Manning, BSc (Hons) Technology, Master of Laws

Fees, funding and finance options

Our modular approach to qualifications means you only pay for what you study as you’re studying it, instead of paying for the whole qualification up front.

Your module fees cover the whole cost of your tuition, including any module materials we send you.

Our students in the UK can also access government funding to help support their studies, including postgraduate loans and grants.

With the OU, a postgraduate qualification is an investment you can afford.

Find out more about OU fees and funding options

A huge selling point about the OU for me is that, for a very reasonable price, you get an incredible amount of information and guidance; and I feel I got even more than I expected.

Studying with the OU was an amazing experience. It wasn’t just about the study, it taught me a lot about myself.

Marielle Meulenberg, Masters degree in Education

Your future, your career

An OU qualification says: ‘I’m motivated, dedicated, and can get the job done!’ and can help you stand out in the competitive job market. It’s more than just the subject you study – it’s the transferable skills you develop and demonstrate along the way.

More than 80% of FTSE 100 companies choose to train their employees with the OU, unlocking their potential to grow and progress in a career they love.

Even before you officially start your studies, you’ll be able to access our Careers Advisory Service. Alongside career planning support, they can offer advice on changing careers, finding job vacancies, networking, and how to sell your qualifications, skills and experience to potential employers.

I chose to study with the OU primarily because the nature of the course suited both myself and my employer. I felt it would be a more attractive proposition to them than some of the local university programmes that required weekly attendance.

Lyn Scillitoe, Postgraduate Certificate in Non-Medical Prescribing

Outstanding research

Alongside our taught postgraduate curriculum, we also offer the opportunity to study for a research degree, including PhDs, Professional Doctorates and MPhils. We offer a mix of full- and part-time qualifications to fit your circumstances.

OU research highlights

  • We ranked in the top third of UK universities in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 using the Times Higher Education Power Score.
  • We were 5th for overall satisfaction in the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) 2019.
  • Around 1000 postgraduate research students are currently studying with the OU; at our vibrant campus in Milton Keynes and around the globe.

Find out more about our research and the research degrees we offer.

I didn’t know that The Open University did PhDs; I didn’t know anything about it! People often think the OU is only a virtual entity, they don’t always realise that we perform cutting-edge research at a real campus in Milton Keynes.

I stumbled upon the list of PhDs on offer and they were like nothing else I’d seen.

Hannah Sargeant, PhD researcher

Apply today

Our taught postgraduate programme opens for applications every March and offer modules that start from September to May the next year.

To secure your place, you’ll just need to ensure you complete your application and payment before the final enrolment date advertised on our website.

More on how to apply for taught postgraduate studies at the OU.

Applying for a research degree with the OU depends on the subject area and qualification type you’re looking to study.

Find out more about applying for an OU research degree.

Contact details

For taught-postgraduate enquiries: email us

Phone us on: 0300 303 2477

Visit our website for more detail about Open University postgraduate study

For research queries: email us

Visit our Research degrees website for more information