The Open University


Student satisfaction 4.22 Academic services spend 404
Research assessment 2.91 Facilities spend 14
Research intensity 0.41 Good honours 55.4%
Entry standards n/a Graduate prospects n/a
Student–staff ratio 31.8 Degree completion n/a

The Open University does not appear in the League Table because its students are distant learners and so data are mostly not available.

OU students study in their own homes and workplaces, taking courses whose materials and methods are specifically designed for this type of distance learning. All students have named tutors, and most also have the opportunity to meet tutors and other students at local tutorials. The university's methods allow for study anywhere in the UK and in many other parts of the world.

Entry Requirements

  • The Open University was established to be 'open', with no entry requirements.
  • Nearly all of its courses continue to have no entry requirements.
  • Some courses aimed at postgraduates or people who are working in specific jobs do have entry requirements.
  • For further information on entry to Open University courses, visit our website.

Teaching Methods

  • Of the 24 subjects assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency, 17 were placed in the top 'Excellent' category.
  • The Open University has been highly ranked for overall satisfaction in all of the National Student Surveys to date.
  • The OU is one of only two universities in England to have been awarded the leadership of four Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Undergraduate Courses

Type of Qualification:

Mode of study:

Course Flexibility

  • The Open University offers more flexibility than most other universities. Although the start and end dates of most courses are fixed (and there are recommended study timetables and fixed days for tutorials), it is for the student to decide when and where they study day-to-day. Some study in the evenings; others work shifts that allow them to work during the day, for example.
  • Flexibility also extends to allowing students to take breaks in study between courses on most programmes – to allow them to stop studying after the end of a particular course if they wish and resume at a later date.
  • While the university offers a comprehensive range of named degrees, it also offers Open degrees, which allow students to combine courses from a range of different academic disciplines.

Student Services and Facilities

  • All material that students require to complete their course is included in their course fees. They do have access to both electronic library resources and a library building on campus. The nature of the university's methods means that student facilities that would be expected at other campuses are not required at the OU.
  • University staff are available to provide guidance in all areas of student support.

Disability Services

  • Visit the university's website for information about services for disabled students.

Students' Union

  • All students registered to study with the OU are automatically members of the Open University Students' Association (OUSA), which is run by students for students. It has a network of local branches and representatives throughout the OU regions, as well as operating centrally.

Student Mix

Student population


Level of study

  • Undergraduate 94%
  • Postgraduate 6%

Mode of study

  • Part Time 100%

Where students come from

  • UK 100%

Student gender

  • Male 40%
  • Female 60%


  • The university was given its Royal Charter in 1969.
  • Since then, it has become the UK's largest university, and the only UK university dedicated to distance learning.
  • More than two million people have studied with the OU since its opening. Today more than 30% of all part-time undergraduate students in the UK study with the OU.

Further Details

Address The Open University PO Box 197 Milton Keynes MK7 6BJ
UCAS Code O11