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Become an OU student

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Being an OU student
Being an OU student

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1 Modules and qualifications

Modules are the building blocks of your study. They focus on specific areas and specific skills. 

They are available at different levels: 

  1. Access – to prepare for studying
  2. Undergraduate – OU levels 1, 2 and 3 (equivalent to levels 4, 5 and 6 at other UK universities)
  3. Postgraduate – study beyond undergraduate level.

You can study modules on a standalone basis, or build them towards a recognised qualification.

If you are a new student studying a qualification you’ll normally start at OU level 1, and then, if you wish to, progress to OU level 2 before completing your studies at OU level 3.

OU level 1 modules give you a general grounding in your chosen subject, so the content is meant to be quite broad. They introduce the key skills and knowledge you’ll need to succeed in your chosen subject area. This usually includes study skills – all to help you become a successful distance learner.

At OU levels 2 and 3 you’ll have more opportunities to specialise in topics that interest you, building on what you learned at OU level 1.

If you are an apprentice and/or on a professional programme you will also be working towards a set of externally agreed standards. The modules you need to study are detailed in your Training Plan part one: commitment to learning. You do not choose modules on a year by year basis. You follow the schedule in the plan.

Now let’s take a look at what to expect from a module.