University Guide

The Open University

The OU was established in 1969 and used the original television studios and editing facilities at Alexandra Palace, in north London, which had been recently vacated by the BBC. The first students enrolled in January 1971. The university administration is based at Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, in Buckinghamshire, but has administration centres in other parts of the United Kingdom. It also has a presence in other European countries. The university awards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, as well as non-degree qualifications.

Find a great place to liveVisit their website
The Open University

The overview

The main things you need to know about studying at the The Open University.

  • Rankings

    The University is ranked as the 36th best overall university in the UK for 2021, while being in the top 500 universities for worldwide rankings.

  • Employability

    Organisations like PwC, IBM, and NHS value the skills and experience that OU graduates bring – and according to THE (Times Higher Education), OU graduates are regarded as among the most employable in the UK (ranked 13th). OU study certainly stands out on a CV, demonstrating initiative, resilience and the determination to succeed.

  • Fees

    Fees for part-time students is £3,096 per year, and £6,192 for full-time students.

  • Bursaries

    Open University offers some bursaries and scholarships if you meet the required criteria, with financial assistance of up to £1,000.


Unlike most universities in the UK, Open University does not have any accommodation available, as the majority of study is remote.

Students' Union

The Open University Students Association is the equivalent of a students' union for the Open University, and is a registered charity wholly funded by the Open University (OU). The association is governed by a Board of Trustees and a Central Executive Committee. Each student registered with the OU automatically becomes part of the Students Association unless they elect to formally opt out. It offers opportunities to meet up, volunteer, find information and access services to support learning.

Go to their website
The Open University Students' Union
The Open University Students' Union

Famous for

Prominent alumni from Open University include: entertainer, Sir Lenny Henry; actress, Myleene Klass; the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi; sailor, first single-handed crossing of the Atlantic by a deaf person, Gerry Hughes.


Professor Nicholas Braithwaite, of The Open University (OU), received a national award from the Institute of Physics (IOP) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to practical science. Professor Braithwaite was awarded the Lawrence Bragg medal and prize for developing the award-winning openSTEM labs.

AFS says

"Open University offers equal opportunities to every student, allowing them to improve their education and pursue a degree qualification".

Still looking for accommodation?

We have lots of great student properties available near the The Open University.

See all available properties