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The Open University in the South West

In the South West


In the South West

The regional centre is the administrative base for services to students and tutors based across the South West Region, covering Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, the Avon Region (Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset), Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

We are based in central Bristol, close to Temple Meads train Station. We are open during weekdays 8.30-4.30pm. Click here for contact details and a map.

Enquirers can view materials on line via our Open Learn website.


Who can help in the Regional Centre?

Learner Support: This is the team that offers practical support with your studies including: getting started/organised, tutorial and examination arrangements, facility needs for disability or health issues and financial issues.

Education Advisers: Advisers are available to offer Information Advice and Guidance to enquirers and students to help with course choice and study support through email and phone or brief drop in and can offer pre-booked appointments upon request.

Advisers offer specialist support with:

  • Careers guidance – can be arranged on a face to face, telephone or email basis;
  • Disability and additional requirement advice and support including help with requesting extra facilities and DSA (Disabled Students Allowance) and other assessments
  • Younger students under 18 years
  • Exam stress support

Tutor Services: this section handles queries from the 550 part-time Associate Lecturers who work in R03.
Tutor Services undertake the recruitment and support of Associate Lecturers plus the organisation of tutor/student allocation, tutorial venues, timetables and staff development events for Associate Lecturers.

Faculties: Each faculty is represented by academic and support staff who are based in the region in the following areas:
Education and Language Studies
Health and Social Care..
Maths Computing and Technology
Business School
Social Science


At your local college and university

Students in classroom

Local colleges and universities provide facilities for Open University staff to meet their students for tutorials at the following places in the South West:

Barnstaple, Bath, Bristol, Cheltenham, Chippenham, Exeter, Gloucester, Plymouth, Redruth, St Austell, Swindon, Taunton, Torquay, Weston super Mare, Yeovil.

Where appropriate, venues other than colleges and universities are used. Tutorials are held at selected locations depending on level of student demand.


Contributing to Widening Participation

WP logo

The Open University has always aimed to make higher education accessible to people unable to pursue the traditional routes to university study. In response to government requirements we are taking further practical measures to realise our vision of a university "open as to people, places, ideas and methods".

The Open University in the South West works with community groups across the region to raise awareness of Open University courses and to develop ideas for overcoming any barriers to Open University study.
We welcome the opportunity to present information on our programme at community events and meetings. For further information contact the regional centre

Our widening participation strategy also focuses on increasing numbers of disabled undergraduate students. We are taking steps to ensure that students with disabilities have every opportunity to succeed. Further information is available from the regional centre

View the OU Widening Participation web site


Working with local businesses

local business

Over 3000 employers in the South West have sponsored their employees on Open University courses. As well as offering a cost effective high quality solution to staff development and training needs, The Open University works with businesses in the following ways:

  • Research and development
  • Validation services
  • Continuing professional development
  • Tailored programmes
  • E-learning content, delivery and consultancy
  • Collaborative teaching with organisations in the health sector.

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