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Education & Development

Moving on to formal study

Updated Wednesday 4th March 2015

So what's next? You may want to consider moving on to formal study.

Image of student Eric Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: AVU - The Open University "My OU course allows me to study from home while carrying on with my work commitments" - Eric Formal learning usually takes place in schools, colleges, higher education institutions and other education or training centres. It also includes formal distance learning courses, workplace training courses and professional qualifications. It is structured in terms of its objectives and is usually accredited, levelled and credit-rated, for example against the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).
Visit the Scottish Qualifications Agency and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework for information on Scottish qualifications. Head over to My learning in context to see how the different qualifications in Scotland are mapped onto the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.
You might want to consider your current learning and future plans in relation to the bigger picture: your personal circumstances, work experience, and previous educational qualifications including any vocational qualifications.
If you are accessing Open Pathways to Higher Education from elsewhere in the UK you’ll need to check out the framework that applies in the country in which you live.

Preparing for study at higher education level

Image of student Fiona Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Dennis Coutts - The Open University "I didn't really begin my learning journey with a definite aim in mind, and my degree will primarily be for my own satisfaction. That said, I am aware that it may open up new opportunities, and a change of direction could now be possible." - Fiona
As well as resources to explore specific topics and subject areas, OpenLearn also offers a range of free courses to help you develop or brush up on the various skills needed to study at higher education level. In particular Learning how to learn (6 hours) provides a framework for learning-based activities and also helps you to become a reflective learner.
If English is not your first language, you might be interested in Am I ready to study in English? (6 hours) which includes self-assessment exercises that are useful whatever your subject area of interest.
Other courses focus on helping you develop skills in reading, note-taking, essay writing, charts, graphs, mindmaps and much more. Go to OpenLearn for full details of the skills courses available.

This is part of a collection to accompany The Open University in Scotland's Open Pathways to Higher Education.





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