The Student Room Group
Student at the Open University
Open University
Milton Keynes

I am considering applying with The Open University and I have a few questions.

I just wondered that since The OU is remote, how will things like exams or lectures work. Like I understand that it's all online, but how does the 'real life' stuff work and if certain things like exams take place at a specific place, where would that location be since the main reason people like me are considering The OU is because they don't/ can't really travel too much.
Also, another question I have is about student finance. Would I have to reapply for student finance on the student finance website or does student finance not cover The OU courses?
Reply 1
Not sure what degree you are planning to do but most are tutor marked assignments that need to be submitted. They go towards your final results. You don't normally have to travel anywhere.

As for student finance, you apply just like every other student who is attending a brick uni. You apply each year. The only difference is, considering open uni is 'supposed' to be studied part time, you don't qualify for maintenence loans.
Student at the Open University
Open University
Milton Keynes
Reply 2
I have done one module with the OU, and there were no exams, only tutor marked assignments. However, further courses did have exams and these were held in a centre about 20 minutes drive from where I was living. There was also optional in person tutorials, but these were only every one or two months.
As for student finance, like mentioned above, you cannot apply for a maintenance loan, only the tuition fee loan. The exception being if you cannot physically attend university in person due to a disability. There is strict evidence criteria for this, so it’s hard to get, but not impossible if that is why you are studying from home. Hope that helps.
Reply 3
Exams have been remote since covid, but they might well go back to in-person exams before you're done studying. Back when they were in-person they always arranged a bunch of exam venues across the country, so it's unlikely you'd need to travel far.

The details of student finance depend heavily on which part of the country you're in. The OU website has a lot of information about it so I'd start there- it'll ask you where you are and then some questions about income, existing qualifications, etc.
Reply 4
Original post by toppby55
I just wondered that since The OU is remote, how will things like exams or lectures work. Like I understand that it's all online, but how does the 'real life' stuff work and if certain things like exams take place at a specific place, where would that location be since the main reason people like me are considering The OU is because they don't/ can't really travel too much.
Also, another question I have is about student finance. Would I have to reapply for student finance on the student finance website or does student finance not cover The OU courses?


Lectures are mostly completed online, either live or recorded if you cannot make it.
Some, however, are not recorded, but they give you advance warning of this.
There are drop-in sessions where you physically go to a Uni, which are dotted around the country.
These last around two hours and are generally on a weekend, these are not compulsory and there are not many of them.
Student finance is easy to set up; just follow the guidelines from the OU. You need to re-apply every year; it's not hard to do, to be honest.
Hope this helps.
Reply 5
Most teaching events are online. There was a time where you could drop in somewhere nearby and do face-to-face. Since COVID, nah.

Lectures and all that are generally pre-recorded.

Assessments are either TMA's (Tutor Marked Assessments) or iCMAs (Interactive Computer Marked Assessments). You also have an EMA (End of Module Assessment)/ Exam at the end of the module.

Sometimes residential schools take place where you go to a in person venue and do some practical/physical work - I know science subjects have these. It is a good way to brush up lab skills.

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