Your feedback is important to us
Please take two minutes at the end of your visit to help us improve our information and services.
Skip to content The Open University

Standalone courses

On this page

Study a module as a standalone course

Whether you want to study simply for interest and personal enjoyment, to get ahead at work or to get into a new job – we can help. As the UK’s largest university, we offer a wide choice of modules in a broad range of subjects.

Choosing the right module for you

All of our modules are set at different levels, according to their difficulty. They start with our introductory Access modules and then go on to longer modules at levels 1, 2 and 3. Each level helps you to develop the academic knowledge and skills – and the confidence – to move on to the next one.

Search by subject


Access modules

Access Courses

The OU offers a range of Access modules that have been specially designed to help you find out what it’s like to study with the OU, get a taste of a subject area, develop your study skills, and build your confidence. They are perfect for new learners with little or no knowledge or experience of studying and use the same top-quality teaching materials and study support we’re famous for. They’re also fascinating and fun to do!

Read more about getting started with an Access module.

Longer level 1 modules

Most OU modules are planned on the assumption that you will study progressively from one study level to the next. Even if you have studied at higher education level before, you may benefit from this progressive approach, especially if you’re tackling a new subject.

Our longer Level 1 modules (which normally take six or nine months to complete) will give you a firm foundation in your chosen subject and will help you to develop good academic learning and organisational skills, as well as giving you a full introduction to the OU’s teaching methods.

Short modules

The OU also offers a range of shorter modules at Level 1. These provide an opportunity to study a specific subject at higher education level for a short period, usually 8–10 weeks.

Modules at Levels 2 and 3

All modules at Level 2 and Level 3 assume that you are suitably prepared for study at this level. If you want to take a single module to satisfy your career development needs or pursue particular interests, you don’t need to start at Level 1 but you do need to have adequately prepared yourself for OU study in some other way. Check with advisory staff at our Student Registration & Enquiry Service to make sure that you are sufficiently prepared.

Postgraduate options

You may want to see postgraduate courses and qualifications

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.

Your questions

Try our frequently asked questions.

Come and meet us at an event near you.

Or contact an adviser by Email or call +44(0) 845 300 60 90 +44(0) 845 366 60 35

Employers' questions

Contact Corporate Enquiries
Visit our website for employers or Email us

Get a prospectus

Download or