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.

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

Take your learning further

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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.

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