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View frequently asked questions for Qualifications:

I have completed my qualification, when will I receive my certificate?

Providing you have accepted your qualification (if applicable), you should be able to download a Diploma Supplement from http:www.open.ac.uk/students [StudentHome] which is official confirmation of your qualification prior to receiving your certificate. You should normally expect your qualification to be formally conferred and the certificate produced and sent to you within eight to twelve weeks.


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How do I obtain a record of the modules or qualifications I have completed?

From your student homepage (www.open.ac.uk/students) you can download one or all of the following documents:

  • Student Academic Summary - a record of all the modules/qualifications that you have completed or are currently studying towards
  • Statement of Academic Record - if you have not yet completed your qualification - this record shows the qualification you are studying towards, modules you have linked to it and any transferred credit you have received.
  • Diploma Supplement - available from your StudentHome page for you to download as confirmation of your qualification.


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When should I expect to receive confirmation of my qualification?

As long as you have completed the correct modules, and they are all linked to the qualification, you should expect to see either that the qualification has been offered to you, or confirmation that you have qualified for it, on your Qualifications page on StudentHome from five working days of your final module result being released. You should then be able to download a Diploma Supplement from your StudentHome page which is official confirmation of your qualification prior to receiving your certificate.


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What modules do I need to achieve a particular qualification?

The qualification descriptions on Study at the OU shows the pathway(s) available for each qualification. Click on the link to your chosen pathway to see the modules required, and the subjects that you will cover.


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How much will study at the OU cost?

The cost of OU study is dependent on a number of factors - where you live, what type of qualification or module you are studying and the number of credits you plan to study. You can find more information on the cost and how you can pay at what you can expect to pay for undergrauate study, and ways to pay for postgraduate study.


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How do I obtain an academic reference?

You can obtain an academic reference or proof of study by using the request a reference tool .

If you are repeatedly unsuccessful in job applications and have studied with us in the past two years, you may like to contact our Careers Service. Our careers website also contains valuable advice about applying for jobs and links to employers and job opportunities.


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How can I achieve a postgraduate qualification?

At the OU you can study for a postgraduate level qualification.

  • Postgraduate certificates usually require 60 credits of study and are qualifications in their own right but for many students the modules included in the certificate are just the first steps towards a masters degree.

*A postgraduate diploma may be the next step as you progress through your postgraduate studies, or it might be your goal. If you get a diploma you will have gained 120 of the 180 credits you need for a masters degree.

  • Masters degrees are made up mostly of taught modules, but will typically require some research as part of a dissertation. This will enable you to consolidate and apply the skills and knowledge gained in your earlier postgraduate study.


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How can I achieve an undergraduate qualification?

At the OU you can register for a degree, a foundation degree, a diploma of higher education or a certificate of higher education. We measure the size of our qualifications in credits:

  • An honours degree is 360 credits
  • A foundation degree and a diploma of higher education are each 240 credits
  • A certificate of higher education is 120 credits.

Each stage of a qualification is made up of a number of modules which cover different parts of the subject. Modules are also measured in credits and are set at different 'levels'. Levels give an indication of a module's relative complexity and/or depth of learning. Most modules are worth either 30 credits or 60 credits and are set at Level 1, 2 and 3, which roughly equates to studying in the first, second and third year at a campus-based university.


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Can I choose what modules to study for a qualification?

When you register for a qualification you will choose a pathway of study, and this will define the order in which modules must be taken. You can view the available pathways in the qualification descriptions on the Study at the OU website.

You could, however, choose to study a Certificate of Higher Education, Diploma of Higher Education or Degree from our flexible Open programme. The Open programme enables you to:

  • tailor a qualification around your interests and career needs
  • get a qualification that focuses on one main subject, but with the freedom to mix in modules from other areas
  • use successfully completed credit from previous university-level studies elsewhere (for example, from a foundation degree or partially completed studies)
  • easily change direction if you started out studying a particular subject but your interests have changed.


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What is a study pathway?

A pathway is a defined study route through a qualification. Pathways are composed of a series of modules at sequential levels of study. Modules in a pathway may be compulsory, or you might be able to choose from a selection of options.

When you register for a qualification you will choose a pathway of study, and this will define the order in which modules must be taken. You can view the available pathways in the qualification descriptions on the Study at the OU website.


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How can I be sure that my qualification choice fits with my career plans?

If you would like to talk to an adviser to ensure that your chosen qualification is right for you please contact us on +44 (0)845 300 6090.


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