The Open University is the UK's largest provider of part-time and distance education, with students based all over the country and abroad.
Most students are studying part-time. About 70 per cent of undergraduates also have full-time jobs.
OU students come from all walks of life. They have a wide variety of backgrounds and all bring a whole range of experiences and knowledge with them.
What does the OU offer?
OU study can be done anywhere
OU modules are studied at a distance, so study materials are sent to the student's address and study is done at home or wherever is convenient.
Assignments are sent in by post, emailed or submitted online for marking. Some modules have an exam, which is held at one of our many centres around the country.
Distance learning doesn't mean that a student is alone with their study. A tutor or study adviser is available to answer questions, help with study problems, or to give advice and feedback on assignments. A timetable helps to keep students on track.
At the same time, using a computer for email and online conferencing offers alternative ways to keep in touch with other students, and there are also module and university websites.
The OU is known among employers for the high quality of its graduates. Achieving an OU qualification is no mean feat – it requires many of the skills that employers most value.
Become an OU student yourself
So now you know a bit about how your friend or family member will be affected by OU study, perhaps it's time to think about enrolling for a module yourself!