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View frequently asked questions for Studying Outside the UK:

What happens if I am posted overseas and am a serving member of the British Armed Forces?

The OU has a thorough system of support which will follow you to whichever BFPO address you find yourself at. The structure of the schemes vary according to where you are, but a minimum level of support is guaranteed throughout the world; this is summarised below:

You pay the relevant UK Home Nation fee for your modules if you are a UK National. The support of a UK-based tutor is available throughout your study period by phone, email, correspondence or fax Examination facilities and invigilation are provided by the MoD if you sit your exam at an established exam centre.

Students who are members of the British Armed Forces may claim the Enhanced Learning Credit allowance towards their module fees

Audio and video CD/DVDs for all modules are available via the Broadcast Programme Loan Scheme.

Further information on any aspect of the schemes is available from: Cyprus, Germany and rest of world - general-enquiries@open.ac.uk or The Open University Forces website at http://www8.open.ac.uk/choose/forces/studying-ou


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I am in the Merchant Navy, how does this affect studying?

For UK domiciled personnel serving with the Merchant Navy your liaison body is The Marine Society & Sea Cadets, whose details are given below. You will be eligible to pay the relevant UK Home Nation module fees if you meet the criteria in the Fee Rules.

Tutorials are not obligatory, many modules no longer have a compulsory residential school, and serving seafarers have access to our broadcast loan scheme. Even our Business School modules, which typically require regular access to the internet, can be studied during a long voyage.

Full details of all issues which particularly affect you can be found on The Marine Society's website, including ways in which they will support you while you study.

The Marine Society College of the Sea
Tel. 020 7654 7050
Email: education@ms-sc.org
http://www.mscos.ac.uk


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Will I have to apply and pay for an overseas examination?

Examination centres for each conflation period are available here under the heading 'Forms and information'.

If you want to sit your examination outside of the areas specified you must apply and pay for an overseas exam, regardless of the module fee paid. We do not set up standard examination centres outside of the areas listed.

Students resident outside of the areas specified above can sit an exam in the UK, Republic of Ireland or Continental Europe. Although you don't have to pay a fee, you will need to tell us, as your home address will not automatically be linked to an exam centre.

If you are a serving member of the armed forces, or their dependent, and you are taking an exam under the invigilation of an Educational Officer at a military educational centre, you do not have to pay a fee. However, students resident at a BFPO address outside OU normal study areas will have to apply for an overseas exam.

The overseas examination fee will be £222 for examinations held before 31 July 2014. From 1 September 2014 to 31 August 2015 this fee will be £228.

For further information and advice contact The Overseas Examinations Office at overseas-examinations@open.ac.uk.

If you need further information about current Exam Centres, overseas course or module fees or this area in general please refer to Working overseas at the time of the examination.

If you need further information about current Exam Centres, overseas module fees or this area in general please refer to Working overseas at the time of the examination.


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Can I use my Enhanced Learning Credit funding to pay OU module fees?

Most OU modules can be paid for using Enhanced Learning Credit (ELC) funding so long as students are linking them to a nationally recognised qualification. The exceptions are MT127, TM227 and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) modules. ELC funding does not cover accommodation and subsistence costs so some standalone residential school module fees and the integral residential school part of some module fees cannot be covered by ELC funding; this will be dependant on the Home Nation fee you are eligible to pay. If you need more information please refer to the Armed Forces web pages.


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I am a family member of a national from Switzerland or a country within the EEA, and am resident in the UK; am I eligible to pay a UK module fee?

You may be eligible to pay a UK fee if you are a close family member of an EU/EEA/Swiss national and you are ordinarily resident in the UK.

You will be classed as a family member if you are the spouse/civil partner or dependent child or direct descendant of that national. The fee rules are quite complex and will depend on where you currently live, where you normally live, and your residency status at the time of commencing study.

When assessing your eligibility we will ask you to send us relevant documentary evidence, such as visas, copies of passports and marriage certificates for both you and the family member on whom you are claiming dependence.

If you are eligible to pay a UK Home Nation fee, the amount you pay will depend on where in the UK you are ordinarily resident.

For further information about UK fee eligibility please refer to our Fee Rules.

If, after reading the fee rules, you are still uncertain about your eligibility to pay a UK fee, please contact us; you will find our phone number and email at the bottom of this web page.


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I am a national of a country within the European Economic Area (EEA)/Agreed Overseas Territory, or a national of Switzerland, and am resident in the UK; am I able to pay a UK module fee?

You are entitled to pay a UK fee if you meet ALL the criteria below:

  • You are ordinarily resident in the UK
  • You will be resident in the UK on the first day of the academic year of your chosen module
  • You have been ordinarily resident in the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland or an Agreed Overseas Territory for at least the three years prior to the first day of the academic year of your chosen module
  • You are a National of one of these countries.

The UK Home Nation fee you will pay will depend on where you are ordinarily resident in the UK, whether you started your studies with us before or after 1 September 2012 and whether you are studying towards a qualification.

If you are not sure if you are eligible to pay a UK fee, please contact us on +44 (0)845 300 60 90 before registering. We will discuss your circumstances with you and confirm which fee you will need to pay.


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I am a UK National temporarily and unavoidably resident outside the UK; can I pay a UK module fee?

You may be eligible to pay a UK fee if you meet BOTH the criteria below:

  • you are temporarily and unavoidably working outside the UK for less than three years
  • you were previously settled in the UK (excluding Channel Islands and Isle of Man).

The UK Home Nation fee you will pay will depend on where you would normally be resident in the UK.

If you are serving in the British Armed Forces, or have UK diplomatic status, you will normally pay the England Home Nation fee unless you provide evidence that you are ordinarily resident in another UK Home Nation. If you cannot use a BFPO address you should to contact us for further advice.

You may not be eligible to pay a UK fee if you work for a UK government organisation and were appointed to your post while resident outside the UK (i.e. you were 'locally engaged'). To find out more information about UK fee eligibility, please refer to our Fee Rules.

If you are resident outside of the UK for reasons other than work, or if you are not sure if you are eligible to pay a UK fee, please contact us; you will find our phone number and email at the bottom of this web page. For further information about what you are eligible to study refer to Study outside the UK.


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I am a national from a country other than Switzerland or those included within the EEA or the Agreed Overseas Territories, and am resident in the UK; am I eligible to pay a UK module fee?

You will be eligible to pay a UK fee if you meet ALL the criteria below:

  • You are not a national of any of the above mentioned territories but have been granted 'indefinite leave to remain in the UK' (i.e. you are not on a temporary visa)
  • You have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years prior to the first day of the academic year of your chosen module (excluding anytime spent in the UK on a student visa)
  • You will be resident in the UK on the first day of the academic year of your module.

Please note that if you have applied for asylum and your case has been approved by the Home Office so that you now have official refugee status you only need to have been given 'indefinite/limited leave to remain in the UK' to be eligible to pay a UK fee. You do not need to have also been resident in the UK for three years prior to the first day of the academic year of your chosen module.

The UK Home Nation fee you will pay will depend on where you are ordinarily resident in the UK, whether you started your studies with us before or after 1 September 2012 and whether or not you are studying towards a qualification. You will need to send us relevant documentation to support your application to pay a UK fee. Acceptable documentation includes copies of visas, passports with visa/refugee/asylum seeker details stamped on, Residence cards or letters or official documentation from the UK Home Office providing details of the above.

If you do not meet the above criteria and are resident in the UK on a temporary visa you will not be eligible to pay a UK fee.

If you do not meet the above criteria as your application for asylum has been refused or if you are not sure if you are eligible to pay a UK fee, please contact us on +44 (0)845 300 60 90 before registering. We will discuss your circumstances with you and confirm which fee you will need to pay.


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How can I pay for my OU fees as an overseas student?

If you live outside the UK you can pay your fees by Visa, Mastercard, Maestro and American Express.

We also accept payment by bank transfer. You can transfer money direct to The Open University's bank account:

Bank transfers (Sterling)

Open University Student Fee Account
National Westminster Bank
215 Queensway
Bletchley
Milton Keynes MK2 2YY

Account number: 01926829
Sort code: 601455.

You must enter your OU personal identifier in the 'recipient's details' on your bank transfer form. On your registration agreement, enter the amount you've transferred and write 'Bank transfer' in the space provided. If you are making a bank transfer from outside the United Kingdom, you will need either or both of the SWIFT and IBAN numbers below.

SWIFT: NWBKGB2L
IBAN: GB30NWBK60145501926829

Bank transfers (Euros)

NatWest Bank
215 Queensway
Bletchley
MILTON KEYNES
MK2 2YY

Account number: 02526077
Sort code: 601455
BIC: NWBKGB2L
IBAN: GB28 NWBK 6072 1102 5260 77

You must enter your OU personal identifier in the 'recipient's details' on your bank transfer form. On your registration agreement, enter the amount you've transferred and write 'Bank transfer' in the space provided.

We'll use the exchange rate in effect on the day we process your registration agreement, except for payments in Euros which are subject to a monthly exchange rate.


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Can I study with the OU if I am living anywhere in the world?

Most of our qualifications and courses/modules are open to residents of the following countries/territories: Aland Islands, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Channel Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Vatican City State. You do not have to be a national of these countries/territories in order to study.
Some qualifications and courses/modules are available for worldwide study. Where this is the case, it is indicated in the drop down list of countries on course descriptions on Study at the OU. Wherever you are in the world, you can study some of our courses/modules and qualifications, either online or through one of our educational partners.

To find out more information about what you can study, go to our Studying Outside the UK website.

If you live in the UK but travel overseas The OU is ideal for people who travel a lot, or are stationed outside of the UK for work or are in the armed forces.

If you are serving in the armed forces, you can find out more information on the Armed forces webpage. If you are abroad for brief periods of time, you can continue your studies just as if you were at home. You will be able to use our online library service, Open Library, from outside the UK if you have access to the internet.

If you move outside the UK during a module we can usually arrange for you to complete your module but it may cost more.

If you are not sure if you are eligible to pay the UK fee, please contact us on 0845 300 60 90 before registering.


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Why are fees only shown in GB pounds?

Although fees are shown in GB pounds, you can also pay for your fees in Euros, Danish kroner, Swedish kronor, Swiss francs and US dollars. We'll use the exchange rate which applies on the day your registration is processed except for payments in Euros, which are subject to a monthly exchange rate. Because we are guided by these exchange rates it is not possible to display fees in other currencies.


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I am a UK National; am I eligible to pay a UK fee?

You are entitled to pay a UK fee if you meet BOTH the criteria below:

  • You are 'settled'* in the UK (excluding the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) on the first day of the academic year of your chosen module
  • You have been ordinarily resident in the UK (excluding Channel Islands and Isle of Man) for the three years prior to the first day of the academic year of your module.

If you are temporarily and unavoidably working outside the UK for a period of less than three years you will still be classified as ordinarily resident in the UK and therefore eligible to pay a UK fee.

If you are a member of the British Armed Forces or have UK diplomatic status using a BFPO address while you are resident outside of the UK you can pay a UK fee during your time outside the UK. The UK Home Nation fee you will pay will depend on where you are normally resident in the UK, whether you started your studies with us before or after 1 September 2012 and whether you are studying towards a qualification.

If you are ordinarily resident in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man then you are not eligible to pay a UK fee.

If you are not sure if you are eligible to pay a UK fee, please contact us on 0845 300 60 90 before registering. We will discuss your circumstances with you and confirm which fee you will need to pay.

*'Settled' means you are normally and lawfully resident in the UK from choice without any immigration restriction on the length of your stay in the UK.


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Will the OU act as my sponsor for a 3 year full-time student visa if I wish to study in the UK?

To qualify for leave to enter and remain in the UK as a student you are required to be following a recognised full-time degree course with an organisation which is on The Home Office UK Border Agency Register of Sponsors.

The Open University appears on the Home Office Register for the full-time research degree students that study with us. For further information about full-time research degree study refer to the OU Research Degrees Office.

For non-research degree qualifications, the Open University is classed as a distance learning institution and students register for part-time study; although some students may register for the equivalent of "full-time" study, this is not a University requirement. Attendance at tutorials is not compulsory and students could successfully pass a course without having any face to face contact with the University. In light of this, the University cannot act as sponsor to any student wanting to come to the UK on a full-time 3 year student visa (other than for full-time research degree study) as we are not able to meet the "monitoring of daily/weekly attendance" requirement laid down by the Home Office.


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