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View frequently asked questions for Residential Schools:

What are Residential Schools?

Residential schools offer you a unique opportunity to:

  • gain practical skills and experience
  • attend stimulating lectures by experts in their field
  • develop your communication and group working skills
  • develop your study skills and examination techniques
  • meet and socialise with your fellow students

A residential school not only gives you a better understanding of your module, it also boosts your confidence, gives fresh impetus to your studies and provides great opportunities for making new friends and study partners.

Naturally some students are quite anxious about attending their first residential school. However, by the end of the week most enthuse about the experience they've had:

"I didn't want to go at first but being a full-time student for a week was a totally exhilarating experience."


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Which modules include a Residential School?

There are now many Open University modules with a residential school component. These last from one day to a full week and are based at universities, hotels, conference and field study centres in the UK and mainland Europe. Language schools run in France, Germany and Spain

Most undergraduate residential schools run in July and August while business and managements schools run mostly in January, March, July and September.

You can register on the longer 30 and 60 credit modules with an integrated residential school or on the shorter 10 and 15 credit Residential School modules where the school is the main element of the module

To view all our current modules that include a residential school visit Residential Schools website.


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Do I have to pay when making a school booking?

No, the fee for your residential school will either be included in your module fee or will have been taken as a separate accommodation and meals payment when you registered for the module. However, if your module requires you to pay the separate fee for accommodation and meals and you have not yet paid you will be required to do so as soon as possible.


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I will be arriving late/leaving early from my school, what must I do?

Attendance for the full duration of the residential school is compulsory to obtain credit for the module. If you will be arriving late or leaving early contact the Residential Schools team at residential-schools@open.ac.uk immediately. It is very important that you let us know your intentions before the school start date or you may fail the module.


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I'll be attending an overseas school, will you arrange medical/travel insurance for me?

No, if you are attending a school outside your normal country of residence, adequate medical and travel insurance must be taken out before attending the school. In addition, residents of the European Economic Area are entitled to the new European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). UK residents can apply for an EHIC at the Post Office, online or by telephone on 0845 606 2030. The EHIC entitles you to free or reduced-cost medical treatment deemed necessary during your stay.


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What is an Alternative Learning Experience?

In exceptional cases you may find that it becomes impossible to attend your residential school. If you are not able to transfer to a later school then an Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) may be available. ALEs take many forms and may involve a written assignment, an online project or computer conferencing. ALEs deliver the same core learning outcomes as the residential school. However, they usually require a considerable amount of effort over a longer period of time and cannot deliver the breadth of learning opportunities offered at the school.


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Can I get help towards paying the cost of meals and accommodation at my residential school?

In some cases the cost of meals and accommodation is not included in the module fee for a residential school - details are included in the module description and you should check this carefully. If you are required to pay for these costs in addition to the module fee, you may be eligible for financial support from the Access to Learning Fund to cover your meals and accommodation.


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I'd like to let someone know about my experience at residential school, who should I contact?

We'd welcome your feedback, both good and bad, please contact the Residential Schools Team at residential-schools@open.ac.uk.


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Can I bring friends or family to my residential school?

Residential schools are intensive academic programmes that typically run from 9am to 9pm each day. They do not allow for much free time to be spent with friends or family. Family or friends are not permitted to be resident in accommodation booked by the Open University unless you have a disabilty or additional requirement and would like support from a family/friend member whilst at the school. All support requirements should be discussed with a member of the Disability Resources Team at least six weeks before the school start date.


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What study materials do I need to bring?

This varies from module to module; speak to your tutor if you are in any doubt.


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Do I need a visa to attend my school?

If you're not a national of the European Union you may need a visa to attend your residential school. If so please ensure that you apply for it in good time. The Open University is unable to assist with obtaining visas or providing visa invitation letters if you are attending a residential school outside the UK.


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Will there be a vegetarian option at mealtimes?

Yes, a vegetarian option is available at all meals. If you have any dietary requirements other than vegetarian, please contact the Disability Resources Team disabled-student-resources@open.ac.uk to discuss your requirements and the choice of food available to students at the site you will be attending. Depending on your requirements we may need to check availability with the venue Catering Team.


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Will my room be en-suite?

Take a look at your venue description on the Residential Schools website, this should indicate whether your room is en-suite.


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I have a query about my attendance, who should I contact?

Please contact the Residential Schools Team by email: residential-schools@open.ac.uk or by phone 01908 653235; a member of staff will be able to help you with your query.


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What is included in my module fee?

The module fee covers the full tuition cost of the residential school. In some cases it is also inclusive of meals and accommodation - details are included in the module description and you should check this carefully. You will need to pay your own travel costs to and from the school.


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Is the online booking made immediately?

Yes, when you book online your booking is made immediately. You do not need to give a number of preferences. You are advised to print off the booking confirmation page for your reference. Shortly afterwards your confirmed booking will also show on your module record on StudentHome.


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Can I stay in residential accommodation off the school site that I've arranged?

Residential schools are intensive academic programmes that typically run from 9am to 9pm. For you to get the most out of your school we recommend that you are fully resident even if the fee for accommodation and meals is separate from the module fee. Family or friends are not normally permitted in accommodation booked by the Open University. Therefore you will need to make arrangements for the care of any dependants during your school. If you do need to use other accommodation please contact the Residential Schools Team at residential-schools@open.ac.uk in advance of the school for advice. If your residential school fee is inclusive of accommodation and meals, there is no rebate on your module fee unless you have children under two years of age and incur extra accommodation costs by living out.


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Can I stay an extra night at the start or end of the school?

If you need to stay an extra night at the beginning or end of your school please see the venue details on the residential schools website. You will have to pay for any extra nights.


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I can't attend my residential school, what can I do?

If you cannot attend your residential school contact the Residential Schools Team at residential-schools@open.ac.uk immediately. You may be able to transfer to a later school or participate in an Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) where available. If you cannot attend a school or participate in the ALE you may fail the module.


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Will my personal property and motor vehicle be insured while at residential school?

The Open University is not insured against loss, damage or theft of your personal property including motor vehicles. You should check that your property is insured when it is away from home.


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