Succeed with learning
Succeed with learning

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Succeed with learning

2.3 Formal learning

Formal routes to learning include educational institutions like colleges and universities, and work-based learning such as internships, cooperative education and prior-learning assessment.

Rather than enrol for one long course, it is now often possible to take advantage of modular courses (where you study each unit separately), credit accumulation (where you build up your achievements gradually) and the accreditation of prior learning (recognising what you have learned before and counting this towards a new qualification). You also can transfer from one institution to another and you may be able to mix distance learning (like that offered by The Open University) with more traditional coursework at your local college or university.

So as you can see, there are many opportunities to fit study time around your other commitments, the resources you have available, the time frame that suits you and your work situation. Plan some time to research these alternatives if you think they may be the right ones for you.


For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?
Free Courses

OpenLearn has over 800 free courses across all our subjects designed by our academic experts. From 1 to 100 hours, introductory to advanced, you can start learning at any time and all for free.