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Education & Development
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Open Pathways to Higher Education

Updated Wednesday 13th September 2017

Open Pathways to Higher Education is a resource for people who are thinking about getting back into learning.

Open Pathways to Success PDF Front Cover Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Open University

Open Pathways can help you to identify your learning needs and interests, navigate your journey through OpenLearn and, if you choose to take it further, towards more formal study.​

You can explore each pathway, starting with short ‘tasters’ of OpenLearn content. When you feel ready for something more challenging, you can delve deeper into short courses. Then you may move on to a reflection course to help decide your next step, or a badged open course to gain recognition for your learning. You decide the direction and destination of your learning journey.

Open Pathways is also available as a resource pack which contains:

To request a pack, contact R11 (available to learners in Scotland only).

Open Learning Champions

There is also an Open Learning Champions guide which offers information and suggestions to facilitators on using Open Pathways to support individuals and groups of learners interested in exploring the opportunities available to them on OpenLearn.

Getting Started:

Explore with OpenLearn...

There are thousands of resources on OpenLearn, so to help you get started we’ve selected a few samples at introductory level. 

Delve deeper...

If you’ve enjoyed some of the 'Explore with OpenLearn' resources, why not take the next step and try out an OpenLearn course for yourself?

Subject pathways...

These subject pathways invite you to look in more depth at subjects that interest you. They show how you can progress to formal study with The OU. If you feel you are not quite ready for this you can prepare for study at higher education level with a badged open course on OpenLearn. Where you start on this pathway will depend on your individual circumstances and any previous educational qualifications.

Useful links...

Contact us...

The Open University in Scotland

Tel: 0131 226 3851 - or contact our Learning Development Team at


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

Have a question?