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

The Access to Success Route is our unique and low-cost access offer. If your household income is under £25k, and you have little or no previous experience of higher education, Access to Success offers an ideal starting point to build your confidence and develop study skills. On completion, you’ll be well prepared for further study towards a nationally recognised qualification in a field you are interested in or want to work in.

To find out more and check if you’re eligible please contact our friendly team of advisers on +44 (0)1908 659253. You cannot register online for the Access to Success Route. Call us today to reserve your place.

What’s involved?

The Access to Success Route is a two-step process:

  • Step 1 – Choose your qualification and enrol on an Access module. Our Access modules have lots of support and no examinations. On successful completion, you will gain an Open University Access Module Certificate and be ready to move on to Step 2.
  • Step 2 – A more in depth 60-credit module (or two 30 credit modules). Step 2 is the first 60 credits of Stage 1 of your chosen qualification. If you complete and pass this step, you’ll earn 60 credits at OU Level 1.

On completion of Step 1 and 2, you will be well prepared to continue your studies with us. There is no obligation to continue – the choice is yours.

Will I be eligible?

You may be eligible for a place if you:

  • Live in England
  • Have an annual household income that is less than £25,000
  • Have little or no previous higher education experience*.

* Successfully completed no more than a year of full time study towards a higher education qualification, or for OU students, registered for no more than 75 credits and successfully completed no more than 15 credits at OU Level 1.

How much will it cost?

Your Step 1 Access module will cost just £25 (normal fee £625). The more in-depth, longer step 2 module will cost £1000 (normal fee £2562) and you can apply for a student loan to cover this. So in total, you will pay just £1025 for modules that would normally cost in excess of £3000.

How long does it take?

  • Step 1 – These modules are studied over a period of six months and during that time you should expect to spend approximately nine hours per week on your studies.
  • Step 2 – A 30 or 60 credit module will take either six or nine months.

When can I start?

University modules usually begin on 1st October and 1st February each year. See individual module information for details.

How do I find out more?

Request or download our Access brochure.

If you haven’t already done so, try our online quiz, Is an Access module right for me?

Contact our friendly team of advisers on +44 (0)1908 659253.

The National Scholarship Programme

The National Scholarship Programme (NSP) is a UK Government programme designed to benefit individual students entering higher education from Autumn 2012. The UK Government and The Open University are funding step 2 of the Access to Success Route in England via the National Scholarship Programme. Step 1 is being funded by The Open University.

Facts about The Open University’s NSP allocation

  • In 2013/14 there will be 2848 places available on Step 2 of the Access to Success Route.
  • In 2013/14 each place on Step 2 of the Access to Success Route represents a fee waiver of £2512.
  • Step 2 of the Access to Success Route can either be studied over one year (1 x 60 credit module) or two years (2 x 30 credit modules).
  • The eligibility criteria for a place on Step 2 is a household income of less than £25,000 plus success at Step 1.
  • Individual students can apply for a place via the Access to Success Route.
  • Students on this route will receive a high level of support.
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
order