Click on this image to open a pdf version of this handbook. (72 pages)
The fees of full-time students who hold research studentships are paid by their funding bodies which may be The Open University, a Research Council or other type of organisation such as a company or charity. Most of these full-time students receive a maintenance grant as well as a fee waiver. Self-financed full-time students pay the composite annual fee.
Part-time external students must meet the cost of fees and research facilities from their own resources, but may be able to get help as outlined below.
This fund provides support for research students who are experiencing financial hardship. The money is provided from voluntary donations by the trustees of the Open University Development Fund.
Full-time students can apply for financial support towards living expenses and unfunded study costs. Part-time external students can apply for assistance with study costs. Thereís no citizenship restriction - both UK and non-UK citizens can apply if theyíre resident in the UK. You canít apply for financial support to reimburse expenditure already incurred.
The amount of support depends on individual applications and on demand. Awards of less than £25 or over £200 arenít normally made, and no awards can be given once the fund has been exhausted.
You can apply at any time - ask the Research Degrees Office for an application form.
The Crowther Fund was set up as a tribute to the late Lord Crowther, our first Chancellor. Itís intended to help OU graduates build upon their OU degrees, either by formal study or research or by generally broadening their experience through a period of voluntary work. The fund doesnít take account of financial circumstances.
Additional funds were also donated by the late Dr Robert Beevers, one of The Open Universityís "founding fathers" and appointed as the first Director of Studies in 1969.
The application closing date is 28 February each year. For further details on eligibility criteria and a copy of the application form, please email
firstname.lastname@example.org for an application pack.
Disabled Studentsí Allowances (DSAs) are government grants for students in higher education who are obliged to incur additional study-related costs because of a disability, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty.
The Disabled Studentsí Allowance Office (DSAO) acts as a local authority for students studying with the OU and as such is separate to the University itself.
DSAs are not means tested and are not dependent upon your income or any savings you may have. If you are eligible for a DSA, it will not affect any state benefits you may be receiving. You may still be eligible for a DSA if you are studying part time.
If you are unsure if you are eligible, contact the DSA Office for the latest information.
The DSA Office
The Open University
Voice phone 01908 654136
or look at our website guide to services for disabled students:
To find out if you are eligible and to apply for a DSA you should either: