Studying with The Open University

Wales TUC in partnership with The Open University in Wales

Find out how studying with The OU can work for you and browse our recommended courses and qualifications.

Get in touch

If you want to find out more about funding your learning through WULF, register your interest and we’ll get back to you.

Please note: You must be based in Wales in order to be eligible for WULF.

*Mandatory field


    After you complete the form, your e-mail address will be sent to the WULF manager for the union you have selected. The WULF manager will get back in touch with you to discuss next steps.

    You still may be eligible for WULF or an alternative way to fund your study.


    The Wales TUC Union finder tool can help you find the right union.

    If you are not a union member, please choose the union that represents your workplace and/or profession.



    We would love to have you as The Open University community; we have lots to tell you about, including important information relating to OU study. We may contact you by email, phone, text, post or digital channels.

    The OU may also occasionally invite you to take part in market research. The OU promises never to sell your data to anyone else. Of course, you can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time.

    For more details about how The OU uses your data, see our privacy policy.


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    Types of study available to you

    OU courses and qualifications

    There are lots of flexible ways to study, boost your confidence with an Access module as your work toward your ultimate qualification goal; certificate, diploma or degree/post graduate degree.

    Upskill with a Microcredential

    These professional development short courses are designed to help you quickly upskill and get ahead. Gain specialised skills in just 10–12 weeks with flexible online learning.

    Free online

    Openlearn with your Union allows you to study over 10,000 hours of free content, from short one-hour course to something a little more substantial. Learn at your own pace, track your progress, earn digital badges and certificates.

    Browse courses and qualifications

    Many of our qualifications work as stepping stones, from one stage to the next. They’re also valuable in their own right. You could start with a certificate and stop there. Or continue your studies to gain a diploma and then a degree.

    They perfectly align to union learning and WULF funding is available for micro credentials, short courses and Access.

    Course terminology


    OpenLearn is our free learning platform providing free education to all as part of our social remit. Whether you need help with basic maths or English, understanding business a little better or understanding more about mental health, then we can help. Start small, and grow your knowledge, every course has a statement of participation or digital badge.

    See more about OpenLearn


    Theses course can be funded through WULF.

    Gain specialised skills in just 10–12 weeks with flexible online learning delivered on our social learning partner platform, FutureLearn.

    Microcredentials offer a perfect balance of academic excellence and workplace relevance.

    With 10–13 hours of study per week, you can gain:

    • cutting-edge knowledge in a specialised subject, informed by world-class academics
    • practical skills you can immediately apply to your work or boost your CV
    • undergraduate or postgraduate credit you could use in the future towards further study by counting microcredentials towards OU qualifications.

    You can start your learning in March, June or October.

    Good for you if you want to build professional skills and earn transferable academic credit (10 – 15).

    Short Courses

    You only need a few hours a week to study a short course with The Open University. Choose from a range of subjects that can help you build a new skill set, discover a new hobby, or give your career a boost through continued professional development. These may be funded through WULF.

    Good for you if you want to study entirely online for personal interest or professional development. These short courses have no academic credit but most have a certificate of completion*. (*70% pass). Typically these are between 25–100 hours of study.

    See more about short courses


    Modules count towards OU qualifications.

    OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

    Making your learning Count (YXM130) is a flexible level 1 modules that allows you to count different types of informal learning including courses from OpenLearn or other educational resources (OERs) or learning programmes you may have undertaken through work or elsewhere toward a formal OU qualification.

    Good for you if you want to complete a self-contained unit of study without committing to a qualification. Each module will have 30 or 60 credits, level 1 – 3 (NQF Level 4 – 6).

    Typically, modules will take 6–9 months to complete part time.

    See more on modules 

    Access modules

    We have four Access modules that provide the perfect introduction to distance learning and studying with The Open University. You’ll get a broad overview of the subject that interests you, refresh your learning skills, build your self-confidence and you could even study one for free, or get your course funded through WULF.

    Good for you if you want to improve your confidence and prepare for study. Each course is worth 30 credits (L0/NFQ level 3). Typically, our Access modules run for 30 weeks part time, but we do have fast track options, see website for details.

    See more about access modules

    Open University Certificates

    Good for you want to focus on a particular profession or subject area. These qualifications are unique to The Open University. 

    You’ll study two 30-credit level 1 modules (60 credits in total).

    Typically takes 1 year part time.

    See more about Open University Certificates

    Certificate of Higher Education

    Raise your confidence and support a career change or progression in a current career. Demonstrate your ability to study at university level.  

    A nationally recognised qualification in its own right, this diploma of higher education is also equivalent to the first two thirds of the BSc or BA (Honours). This comprises of 120 level 1 credits (120 in total).

    Typically takes 1 year full time or 2 years part time to complete.

    See more about Certificate of Higher Education

    Diplomas of Higher Education

    Gain the expertise that many employers value in less time than a degree.

    Good for you if you’re working or volunteering in a particular area and want to enhance your professional and technical knowledge and skills.

    Equivalent to the first two-thirds of an honours degree, this is a nationally recognised qualification in its own right. This comprises of 120 level 1 credits and 120 level 2 credits (240 in total).

    Typically takes 2 years full time or 4 years part time to complete.

    See more about Diplomas of Higher Education

    Honours degrees

    Open the door to graduate jobs and schemes, postgraduate qualifications and higher-level jobs. 

    Our degrees have three stages, each comprising of 120 credits, to graduate with a degree you will need to complete 360 credits in total.

    Typically takes 3 years full time or 6 years part time to complete.

    See more about Honours degrees

    Open qualifications

    Free from the restriction of a subject-specific specialism, you can set the direction of your learning. Choose from over 250 modules across 16 subject areas, to create a bespoke qualification to match your interests, and help stand out in the job market. This is made up from 120 level 1 credits, 120 level 2 credits and 120 level 3 credits (360 in total).

    See more about Open qualifications

    Foundation Degrees

    This flexible qualification enables you to develop lifelong learning skills that will open doors to further study and career development. You can choose from a wide variety of fascinating modules in any subjects you like, depending on your interests and career aspirations – including work-related modules to help you in your current role and enhance your future employability.

    See more about Foundation Degrees

    Integrated Masters degrees

    Good for you if you want to study at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. This combines undergraduate and postgraduate study and you’ll gain 480 credits. Typically it takes 8 years part time. 

    See more about Integrated Masters degrees


    Arts and languages Access module

    With this Access module you’ll explore the broad, but related, areas of arts, humanities and language. Each subject is introduced and explained at a comfortable pace to develop, or refresh, your knowledge of topics including history, art history, English literature and English language studies.

    Access modules are available for free to residents in Wales with a personal income under £25k.

    Study (Part-time)

    18 months

    Credits gained

    45 Credits

    Level 2 will cost you

    From £99

    Level 2 will cost you

    From £99