Free course

Being an OU student

Free statement of participation on completion
Being an OU student Creative commons Icon
Being an OU student

This free course is for students who are enrolled to start their first undergraduate Open University module. If you have not yet enrolled on an OU module you will not be able to complete all the activities. You should visit the public OU website to find out more about our modules.

If you are enrolled on an Access module, Apprenticeship or postgraduate module, this course won't be relevant to you. Check StudentHome for links to resources to get you started.

Welcome to this free course, Being an OU student. The aim of this course is to help you get off to the best possible start on your journey with The Open University (OU). Students who invest a bit of time preparing for their studies are more likely to succeed, so taking time to do this course now will help in the long run.

The course gives a flavour of what OU study is actually like. You'll learn about how you'll be supported and the technologies you'll use, and you'll start to develop the skills you'll need to succeed.

For some of the activities you will be required to have access to the website(s) for your first module(s). These will usually become available about three weeks before your module starts. You can, however, work through this course now and come back later to complete these activities.

Enrolling on this course will give you the opportunity to earn an Open University digital badge. Badges are not accredited by The Open University but they are a great way to demonstrate your interest in the subject and commitment to your career, and to provide evidence of continuing professional development.

Once you are signed in, you can manage your digital badges online from My OpenLearn. In addition, you can download and print your OpenLearn Statement of Participation - which also displays your Open University badge.

When you have completed the course we would really appreciate your feedback. If you would like to share your experiences of taking this course, please fill in this short survey.

Being an OU student

Earn this free Open University digital badge if you complete this course! The badge can be displayed, shared and downloaded as a marker of your achievement. The badge is awarded for completing the course and passing the quizzes.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand how distance study at The Open University (OU) works and what to expect when you start
  • know where to get help and support for your study
  • recognise the benefits and potential challenges of OU study and consider the skills, technology, time and study space you will need to succeed
  • explore opportunities for becoming part of the OU community.

First Published: 03/07/2018

Updated: 30/07/2021

You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.

Course content

Skip Rate and Review

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371