The Open University (OU) in the UK is the largest and most reputable institution in distance learning. Since its inception in 1969, the OU has worked hand in hand with close to 1.8 million students.

It currently has a strength of almost 220,000 students, which also includes 15000 overseas students. Over 70 per cent of the students are in part-time or full-time employment. The two best features of the OU are its flexibility and reputation

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Courses offered by the Open University

The OU offers courses ranging from accounting and science to youth studies and music. It has an extensive list of subjects which also have several sub-categories. Students can join short courses, certificate programs, or qualifications from diplomas to master’s degrees. Students can browse the OU website and get more information about the available courses. 


Some of the most popular courses offered by the OU

A student can look for suitable courses to study in two ways: subject list and course type.


Subject List: choosing the subjects they want to study from the following

  • Arts & Humanities
  • Business & Management
  • Computing & IT
  • Design
  • Engineering
  • Health & Social care
  • Law
  • Maths & Statistics
  • Nursing & Healthcare Practice
  • Psychology & Counselling
  • Science
  • Social Sciences
  • Technology


Course type: based on the credits and length of the course

  • Honors Degree: usually requires 6 years of part-time studying with 60 credits per year. A total of 360 credits.
  • Integrated Master’s Degree: 8 to 9 years of part-time studying with 60 credits per year. Total credits: 480.
  • Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE): 4 years part-time with 60 credits per year for 240 credits.
  • Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE): 2 years part-time studying with 60 credits per year. 
  • Open University Certificates: usually one year of part-time studying for 60 credits. 
  • Undergraduate Modules: typically, 6 to 9 months for 30 or 60 credits.
  • Short courses: 25 to 100 hours, but there are no academic credits
  • Masters’ degree: 3 years of part-time studies for 180 credits
  • Postgraduate diplomas: approximately 2 years of part-time studying for 120 credits
  • Postgraduate Certificates: one year of part-time studies for 60 credits


The popularity of subjects among the students changes from time to time. It depends on what the trends are and what seems like a good choice in career building. At present the most popular subjects are:


  • Computing & IT: since the last few years, the IT industry has been ruling the roost. With faster internet and better gadgets, the students can see a great future in this line. 
  • Nursing & Healthcare Practice: this is relatively a new trend. With COVID-19 causing havoc worldwide, many people realize the importance of healthcare professionals and want to be a part of it. 
  • Business & Management: this is one field that never goes out of fashion. Studying business gives an edge to students in today’s competitive world. 


The open University continues to deliver

The OU is doing a great service by offering high-quality education to millions of students in a flexible way. As a student you can choose a subject of your liking from the wide variety of options available.