Being an OU student
Being an OU student

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Being an OU student

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

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, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 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 prospectus