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This page provides a selection of fee-paying courses across a variety of subjects specifically aimed at policing. They can give you credit towards a qualification and are aimed at all levels of Police Officers and staff. These courses can be used to improve knowledge within a specific subject of interest, develop professional skills and expertise, and support confidence and performance.

Each course can be studied independently, or combined over time to form an Open University (OU) Certificate, Diploma or Degree. This provides you with flexibility in exploring specific areas of interest and providing you with an experience of the OU style of learning.

Find out more about the different types of OU Courses available.

OU Courses for Policing

These fee-paying OU Courses are organised in collaboration with police partners, into categories of interest for all police officers and staff. All courses, except the short course, are credit bearing, which when combined form part of an OU qualification, (see Course Level below).

There are many more courses available than shown here, if you are looking for something different please see the full List of OU Courses, (credit bearing), or the List of OU Short Courses (non credit-bearing).

Business & Management
Computing & IT
Mental Health
Social Science

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About OU Courses

An OU course is 'modular' in structure. They can be studies individually as self-contained courses for interest or used to support your Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

There are three different types of OU courses. Short Courses, Access Courses, and Level 1-3 Courses.

OU Courses provide credits that can be combined to form an OU qualification, such as a Certificate of Higher Education, Diploma or Higher Education, Foundation Degree or Honours Degree.

See the different OU Course Types that can be gained from combining OU Courses.

Course Level 1-3

Mode: Full or Part-time

Time: 6 - 9 months

Credits: 30 or 60

OU Courses Level 1-3 (termed modules by the OU) are self-contained units of teaching, learning and assessment, offering either 30 or 60 credits. Combining credits from studying several courses over time, can lead to and OU qualification. Credit in an appropriate subject is widely recognised by many other universities. You may also be able to transfer previous study into a credit to be used towards an OU qualification. See Credit Transfer to find out more.

Most OU Courses are graded by level of difficulty, ranging from OU level 1, 2 and 3, (equivalent to Framework for Higher Education Qualification (FHEQ) levels 4, 5 and 6). These courses can be used to support your progression from Level 5 to 6 within the Competency and Values Framework (CVF)​, which will replace the Policing Professional Framework (PPF).

All OU Courses are fee-paying, which include OU course material, tutor support, assessment and exams. Find out more about OU Module Fees and Funding.

Access Courses

Mode: Part-time

Time: 8 months

Credits: 30

If you are new to higher education, then an Access course is an ideal starting point to increase your confidence about studying. They are designed to develop, or refresh your study skills. Supporting essay writing, critical reading, understanding information and time management. Upon completion you will receive an OU Access Certificate (worth 30 credits) and will be well prepared for further study with the OU.

Find out more about OU Access Course Fees and Funding, you maybe able to study these courses for free.

Short Courses

Mode: Part-time

Time: 25 - 100 hours

Credits: None

These standalone online short courses are studied in your own time, allowing flexibility with start dates. They do not provide academic recognition (credit), but are an ideal short course to support Continuing Professional Development (CPD), providing evidence for your work appraisals.

See the Full List of OU Short Courses, where you will find information about fees and registration.

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2023 Annual Report

This annual report features a selection of the work undertaken across 2023 which we consider to be highly relevant for the current policing environment.

15th May 2024
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Upcoming Events

May 22

Online Seminar: Trust and confidence in policing

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 - 13:00 to 14:30

Jun 6

The understanding of domestic abuse in the criminal justice system- current issues, challenges and developments

Thursday, June 6, 2024 - 09:30 to 16:30

The Open University, Milton Keynes

Contact: Book your place

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