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View frequently asked questions for Study Support:

Studying as a carer

The OU offers support for students with caring responsibilities, including students who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Find out more about studying while you care.

Information about government funded carers' allowances and support services (UK students only) can be found at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/CaringForSomeone/index.htm . There is also helpful information on the Carers UK website.


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What are Student booklets and how can I order one?

Student booklets are sources of information on effective learning and study skills. You can view or download the booklets online.


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Can OU students apply for an NUS card?

Open University students are eligible for an NUS card. To purchase your NUS Extra Card visit their website at www.nus.org.uk

You will be taken through a range of screens where you will be asked to supply a photograph and complete your personal details including your Personal Identifier. As an Open University student you are able to request that your card is delivered to your home address.

As an Open University student you are also automatically a member of the OU Student Association (OUSA), unless you choose to opt-out. For further information on OUSA and how to apply for your free membership card please visit http://www.open.ac.uk/ousa


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I am a new student and have reserved or enrolled on my first module. When will I receive my OU Computer username (OUCU) and password?

If you have provided us with a valid email address you will receive your OUCU and password by email within 24 hours. Otherwise please allow a few working days to receive them by letter.


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How can I prepare for OU study?

Depending on your experience of higher education, we offer a range of resources to help you to prepare. Your study materials will tell you if you need to do any preparatory work before your course or module starts.

For those who have little or no experience of study, we offer introductory Openings modules.

Our Skills for OU study website can help you prepare for the different aspects of studying with the OU.


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What support will I get whilst I am studying?

You will have a tutor for each module you take. Your tutor will be your first contact for help with any study issues.

Tutorial support can include face-to-face group meetings, or tutorials by phone or by computer conferencing. Many modules combine all three. They all give you the chance to improve your understanding of study materials and exchange ideas with other students. Your tutor will support you by:

  • guiding you in your studies and helping you to understand the content of the module
  • giving tutorial support
  • giving you advice on setting up a study group with other students
  • providing constructive feedback on your assignments
  • monitoring your progress on the module
  • helping you prepare for your exam or end-of-module assessment (if your module has one).

You will be assigned a student support team who can help with particular study support issues, and advise you on study choice.

You will also be supported by fellow students. Through the many available forums, you will join a thriving online community. You can chat to OU students with interests like yours and support each other through your studies.


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What will happen if I want to give up my OU studies?

If you are considering changing, deferring or withdrawing from a module or qualification, we encourage you to seek advice and guidance from us first. We can help you make an informed decision about deferral or withdrawal and discuss your options, including the implications of withdrawal in terms of future study with us and the fees you will have to pay.

The Deferrals and Withdrawals Policy provides information for students who want to take a break in their studies or wish to change their study plans. The Fee Refund & Fee Discount Policy explains any entitlement you may have for a refund or fee discount on a future registration if you change your module, if you defer your studies or if you wish to end your studies.


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Disabilities and health conditions

The Open University is ideal for people who may have difficulty attending a full-time university. Because you're mostly studying at home, you don't have to worry about travelling or getting about a campus. And because you're studying at the times you choose, you can vary your study hours to compensate for good days and bad days.

If you have a disability, health problem, mental health difficulty or specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia, that might affect your studies, we'll aim to help you to participate in all aspects of study as fully as your circumstances allow. We may be able to supply study materials in alternative forms, and many of our services can be adapted to your needs at residential school, in tutorials and in examinations. You may qualify for financial help as well. When you register, we will ask you about your needs and send you an application form for additional support. Find out more about Disability support while you study.

If you are an international student thinking about studying with us directly, please be aware that some services are funded by the UK government for UK-based students only, so won't be available to you. We therefore advise you to contact us on +44 845 241 6555 to talk through your particular situation.


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