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Changes to policy and curriculum

Open Degrees without Honours (QD) - Changes to Time limits

There has been an extension to the maximum time students can take to complete an Open degree without honours, to bring it into line with the time limits for other undergraduate degrees. This amendment will only affect students who aim to complete an Open degree without honours (QD).

What has changed

The maximum time students can take to gain an undergraduate degree is now 16 years, unless a different limit is stated on their qualification regulations.

The data a student needs to complete their qualification by is normally calculated from when they started their first module linked to their qualification. However, if a student wishes to include credit from a module they passed before registering for the qualification, then the time allowed starts from the date they began that module. For students awarded credit transfer from study elsewhere, the maximum time allowed for their Open University study depends on how much credit they still have to complete.

If the time limit for a qualification is shorter than the standard 16 years, it will be stated in the qualification regulations.

What students need to do

If a student doesn’t have the 300 credits they need within this 16 year time limit, they will not be eligible for Open degree without Honours. They may be eligible for another qualification instead, but they will need to check carefully as qualifications requiring less than 300 credits have shorter time limits.

Even though the amendment may not affect all students at this point in time, all individuals studying with The Open University should consider whether it will influence their study plans.

Please talk to your Student Support Team if you need any further information. You can find out how to contact them on Contact the OU.