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View frequently asked questions for Credit transfer:

What is credit transfer?

Credit transfer recognises your previous higher level study and can reduce the number of modules you need to study with us to gain an OU qualification. You might be eligible for credit transfer towards certain OU qualifications if your previous study was:

  • at the UK higher education level
  • formally assessed
  • essentially academic
  • undertaken in the preceding 16 years.

If we make an award of transferred credit for your previous study, it will reduce the number of modules you need to study with us to gain an OU qualification.

The Credit Transfer website explains which types of previous study - including certain professional and overseas qualifications - are eligible towards our qualifications, how much transferred credit you can count towards specific OU qualifications, and how to apply for credit transfer.

You will need to have applied for credit transfer, and received the outcome of your application, prior to registering on your first module. We will set a deadline by which you will need to make your application for credit transfer in order for the outcome of the application to be known before registration closes. Details of these dates will be made available on the www.open.ac.uk/credit-transfer [Credit Transfer website] and will normally be around 4 weeks before registration closes.


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What study can I get credit transfer for?

You might be eligible for credit transfer towards certain OU qualifications if your previous study was:

  • at the UK higher education level
  • formally assessed
  • essentially academic
  • undertaken in the preceeding 16 years.

The Credit Transfer website explains which types of previous study - including certain professional and overseas qualifications - are eligible towards our qualifications, how much transferred credit you can count towards specific OU qualifications, and how to apply for credit transfer.


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When should I apply for credit transfer?

You will need to have applied for credit transfer, and received the outcome of your application, prior to registering on your first module.

We will set a deadline by which you will need to make your application for credit transfer in order for the outcome of the application to be known before registration closes. Details of these dates will be made available on the www.open.ac.uk/credit-transfer [Credit Transfer website] and will normally be around 4 weeks before registration closes.


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What is the minimum credit that can be transferred to a qualification?

Our qualifications are presented in multiples of 30 credits. Therefore the minimum credit that can be transferred to an OU qualification is 30 credits, and credit is awarded in multiples of 30.


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What is the maximum number of credits I can be awarded?

This varies depending on the structure of the OU qualification you are applying for credit towards.

For example, towards the BA/BSc Open (Honours) degree, the maximum award of transferred credit is 240 credits, and towards the BA/BSc Open degree, the maximum award of transferred credit is 180 credits. Towards Master's degrees, the maximum credit transfer allowed is usually 60 or 90 credits. Full details for each qualification are given in the Credit Transfer factsheets in the How to apply section of the Credit Transfer website.

In all cases we award credit in steps of 30 credits at the level appropriate to your previous study. When making awards of transferred credit, we do not take into account the grades you achieved in your previous study. The final classification of your OU honours degree will be based entirely on the grades you achieved in your OU modules or collaborative courses.


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What information do I have to provide with my application?

You will need to provide evidence of successful completion of study (an academic transcript) and syllabus/outcomes information which shows the academic content of your studies. If you do not have these documents in your possession, you will need to obtain them from the institution where you completed the study.

For study completed at a UK university or other degree-awarding body, we have a form that may help you obtain this information. The form is available to download from the website under the entry for these qualifications in the Your Previous Academic Study section of the Credit Transfer website; alternatively you can use the 'Contact us' button below to request them.

Please note that you should not actually submit your application until you have all the relevant documentation as an incomplete application will be returned to you.


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How long does a Credit Transfer application take?

It takes between four and eight weeks for your credit transfer application to be assessed.


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Why is the level of study important?

The level of study dictates the way in which it can be used within an OU qualification. For instance, if you wish to complete your BA/BSc Open degree or BA/BSc Open (Honours) degree within the minimum credits requirement, no more than 120 of these credits can be at level 1.

Regardless of how much transferred credit you are awarded, you must still include some credit from Open University study at specified levels. For example, for the BA/BSc Open (Honours) degree, you must include at least 120 points from Open University modules which count at level 3. For the BA/BSc Open degree, you must include a minimum of 120 points of OU study at levels 2 or 3, and 60 of these being at level 3.

The level 3 elements of OU qualifications must be met by OU study (or by collaborative courses). So, although we recognise that certain qualifications listed on the Previous Study section of the Credit Transfer website do contain credit at level 3, any award of credit for such study will appear on your student record as level 1 and/or level 2, and it will not be counted at level 3 for award completion purposes.


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How can I apply for Credit Transfer?

The Credit Transfer website gives full details of the application process together with a downloadable application form.


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What are ECTS points?

If you are looking to use your Open University credit in Europe, you may be interested to know about European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). This is the system commonly used in the EU for measuring study workload. You can find out more on our Study Explained website.


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Can I transfer credit to a postgraduate qualification

Yes, previous postgraduate-level study completed after 1971 will be considered for credit transfer. Details, including any further date restrictions, can be found on the www.open.ac.uk/credit-transfer [credit transfer website].


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Can I have my application reassessed at a later date if things change?

Following receipt of an award of transferred credit, you may ask for your award to be reassessed at a later date if one or more of the following apply:

  • you have completed additional study not included in your original application;
  • you can provide further information which was not available at the time the original application was assessed.

We will reassess your whole profile of previous study. You will need to finalise your award of credit transfer before you can begin studying with the OU.


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If I am granted an award of credit transfer, will this affect my choice of OU modules?

If you are awarded credit towards the BA/BSc Open degree, you may be prohibited from also counting certain OU modules that substantially overlap in content with your previous studies. You will be notified of any prohibited modules at the time that you receive your credit transfer award. For other OU qualifications, an award of transferred credit may restrict your choice of modules in various ways. for more information see the Credit Transfer website.


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