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Pathways To Success in Higher Education

Updated Wednesday, 21 January 2015
For use in conjuction with the 'Pathways to Success' guide created by The Open University in Wales.



This page was published over 8 years ago. Please be aware that due to the passage of time, the information provided on this page may be out of date or otherwise inaccurate, and any views or opinions expressed may no longer be relevant. Some technical elements such as audio-visual and interactive media may no longer work. For more detail, see how we deal with older content.


Pathways to Success

Pathways to success is an interactive guide that will take you on a learning journey through a range of free online resources from The Open University's award winning OpenLearn website. It will help you:

  • tailor some informal study to your own interests and goals
  • gain an insight into higher education study
  • prepare for accredited learning.

Why Choose Pathways to Success?

There are many reasons for enrolling on a higher education course. Perhaps you feel you haven't fulfilled your educational potential; maybe you need to develop your skills to improve your career prospects; or you might just want to learn more about a subject of interest.

However if you’re not sure whether you’re ready for accredited study or you can’t decide what subject to take, or if you’re uncertain about the cost, this guide can help you think things through and prepare for formal study – for free.  All you need is access to the internet.

To get started, simply click on the picture of the guide on the right of the page and work through it at your own pace. You can also download the Pathways to Success PDF here (PDF document10.6 MB) .

To get the best from Pathways to success, you need a hard (paper) copy to work with alongside the interactive version.  you can print one out, or if you live in Wales you can get one from OU in Wales by emailing them emailing them.

How Do I Know Which Subject Pathway to Choose?

You may not be sure of where your interests lie, or you may already have some ideas. For this reason a series of short 'tasters' in different subject areas are available below. You can dip into whichever ones interest you and then progress to other units in your chosen area of study.

Arts and Humanities

The Arts and Humanities Pathway covers a range of subjects that give you the opportunity to explore human culture through its art, history, literature, music and religions. This pathway should give you more understanding of the world we live in and how we got to where we are.

Try out our Arts and Humanities 'tasters' here.

Interested? Head over to the Arts & Humanities Pathway.

Social Science and Psychology

The Social Science and Psychology Pathway tackles some of the key question in the study of society and individuals. Why do places carry meaning for people? What are our rights as citizens? Why are we so fascinated by crime? What shapes our identity and why? This pathway will stimulate your curiosity, encourage you to challenge assumptions, to understand yourself and the world we live in.

Try our Social Science and Psychology 'tasters' here.

Interested? Head over to the Social Science and Psychology Pathway.

Health and Social Care

The Health and Social Care Pathway looks at how we provide help and care for those in need or vulnerable. Such work offers a unique sense of fulfilment. The current focus in frontline health and social care is on giving service-users more independence, choice and control. These developments mean there’s greater demand for well-trained people across a range of rewarding jobs.

Try our Health and Social Care 'tasters' here.

Interested? Head over to the Health and Social Care Pathway.


Science  is all around us, continuously unfolding and giving us the chance to improve our world’s social and economic future. Studying the Science pathway will enhance your understanding of the world, and contribute to your intellectual and personal development.

Try our Science 'tasters' here.

Interested? Head over to the Science Pathway.


How do I Know Which Colour Pathway to Follow?



The blue routes are for those who have little experience of previous study. They contain approximately 50 hours of study.




The orange routes are for those who have some experience of previous study at level 3, but perhaps a long time ago and/or in a very different area of study. They contain approximately 25 hours of study.



The green routes are for those who are experienced at study and are just looking for a fairly brief refresher before moving on to a higher education course. They contain approximately 12 hours of study.



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