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The Open University UK

The Open University is the UK’s largest academic institution and a world pioneer in distance learning. To date, we’ve taught more than two million students worldwide.

Top reasons to study here

  • Studying with The Open University has always been inherently flexible: it’s one of the reasons why so many people choose to study with us.
  • The support we offer is extensive, and we pride ourselves on it. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why we’re regularly rated in the top of the UK’s National Stud
  • Our unique combination of flexible study, world-class teaching and individually tailored support provides the best possible experience of higher education.

Bachelor's programmes

Humanities (62)
Social Sciences (43)

About

History

The OU was founded to open up higher education to all, regardless of background or circumstances. Our mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas—and as such, equality and diversity are at the heart of everything we do. 

Education

  • Our qualifications range from certificates, diplomas and short courses to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

  • Whatever you want to study, we’re sure to have the right course for you.

Research

  • Choose the research degree area closest to your field of interest to find out about the department, its research priorities and philosophy, the research environment, and facilities available.
  • Within each research area is a list of topics which tell you more about specific areas of research, current and prospective projects, entry requirements, available supervisors and contact details for advice.

Career

  • An Open University qualification is attractive to employers.
  • Employers know that many of our students study while working. Therefore, they’re aware that Open University study can be challenging, and that it requires you to develop a variety of valuable skills and qualities – all of which will be assets to any workplace.
  • You’ll also be attractive to employers because, being an Open University graduate, you’ll stand out from the crowd of conventional campus-based university graduates.

Global Student Satisfaction Awards 2019

GSSA 2019

The Global Student Satisfaction Awards empower students across the globe to determine the best universities of 2019. By rating institutions on a scale from 1 to 5, on multiple studies-related questions, we found the top educators in the world.

Learn more about the Global Student Satisfaction Awards

University Ranking

World University Rankings by Times Higher Education
2021
601 -100
2020
501
2019
501
World University Rankings is a vital resource that provides the definitive list of the world's best universities.
Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University
2020
701
2019
701 -100
2018
601
ARWU World University rankings is the first world university ranking. It ranks the world's top 1000 colleges and universities based on objective indicator.
Best Global Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report
2021
706 -52
2020
654 -38
2019
616
Best Global Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report presents all the top universities from the U.S. and 60 other countries around the world.

Services

The Open University has its headquarters at Walton Hall in Milton Keynes, which is 80km north of Central London, midway between Oxford and Cambridge, and just off the M1 motorway, linking it to Birmingham and the north of England.

Academics at Milton Keynes

Around 1,200 full-time academics are based at the Milton Keynes campus, along with some 250 of our 1,400 full-time and part-time postgraduate research students.

Research at Milton Keynes

The University has invested significantly in its infrastructure for research, increasing laboratory space at Milton Keynes headquarters by nearly 50 percent in the last seven years. Our newest facility is the Jennie Lee Building, which houses dedicated laboratories for pervasive computing and deployment of ambient and ubiquitous technologies.

Services at Milton Keynes

Our students and academics are supported by around 4,000 administrative, technical, secretarial and student services staff. Among the administrative and service units with a public-facing role who are based at Walton Hall are:

  • Development Office (alumni relations)
  • Library
  • Media Relations
  • Open University Students' Association
  • Open University Validation Services
  • Open University Worldwide
  • Student Services
Milton Keynes community

The OU plays an active role in Milton Keynes life. Among the local networks in which it is a partner, member or sponsor are:

  • Milton Keynes Technology Network
  • Milton Keynes Enterprise Hub
  • University Centre Milton Keynes
  • Milton Keynes and North Bucks Chamber of Commerce
  • Milton Keynes Community Foundation
  • Bletchley Park
Open Day

The campus is open to students, alumni supporters and local residents at Open Days held every two to three years. In 2009 the OU celebrated its 40th anniversary by opening up the campus at the Open Unlimited event.

Student Reviews

a Pro & a Con
Anonymous rated 4 out of 5 stars

The Open University's best aspect is that its distance learning experience helps students become more self-disciplined regarding their studies. However, a con is that because students are spaced all around the world, social communication is minimal.

Open the door to your future with The Open University
Anonymous rated 5 out of 5 stars

The Open University has been an extremely positive higher education experience, it is not a stretch to say that it has changed my life. Support is very accessible, the Professors are very helpful and the course material is very well organised and thought out. Its a stress free, ideal learning environment. I am very happy to have invested my tuition in this university. The...

Law is my thing, my passion and i need to explore every opprtunity to see that i succeed as a lawyer, so that i will defend the less priviledged in the society
Anonymous rated 4 out of 5 stars

My experience studying law at the open university is great. I meet people from different backgrounds, and my lecturers are enthusiastic to seeing that students do well in their studies. The support from the academic team is awesome and this is a motivation to me.

Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom

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