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How do I apply for a place on a collaborative module?

Both the teaching institution running the collaborative module and The Open University need to know if you study a collaborative module and want to count it towards an OU qualification.

You apply directly to the teaching institution for a place on one of their collaborative modules. At the start of your collaborative module, you must inform them that you intend to count it towards an OU qualification. Most of them ask you on their application form whether you want to do this but, if not, you need to let them know.

Getting a place on a collaborative module

The contacts provided for each collaborative partner institution can provide you with further details about their application procedures (arrangements vary from institution to institution).

  • For modules starting in October, the closing date is usually late August.  However, please contact the collaborative partner institution for confirmation of the actual date.

Before your collaborative module begins, you must inform the teaching institution that you are intending to use the credit gained towards an OU qualification. This is because, in some cases, their modules are different depending on whether you want to earn academic credit or not (for example, if you do not want to be awarded any credit, you might not have to take the module examination, but you cannot then claim credit transfer).

Please note: the number of places for students on these modules is limited, and decisions on admission are taken by the teaching institution/university itself (not by the OU).

The teaching institution will need to be satisfied that you have the background knowledge to participate successfully in their module. Full details of any such prerequisites for each collaborative module are available from the institution concerned.

Letting the OU know that you want to count collaborative credit towards an OU qualification

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You do not need to complete a Credit Transfer Application Form to apply for collaborative credit. Providing you have informed the institution at which you are studying your collaborative module that you intend counting the credit towards an OU qualification, they will send us your official module registration details. We will then add this information onto your OU student record.

If you intend to count collaborative module credit towards an OU qualification, you must ensure that your OU record shows this module registration (you are strongly advised to check this before the module starts). You can do this by checking your StudentHome page

When we add your collaborative registration to your OU record, we check your study record and the University regulations to ensure that you will be able to count collaborative credit towards your chosen OU qualification.

Please note that the Open University regulations state that students should study no more than 120 credits per academic year (the equivalent to full-time study). This maximum of 120 credits includes any collaborative modules.

OU collaborative module codes

All collaborative modules are given an OU module code that will be different to the module code used by the partner institution.

An OU collaborative module code has four letters and three numbers:

  • the first letter is 'C' to indicate a collaborative course
  • the second and third letters represent the insitution which runs the course
  • the last letter indicates the subject area of the course
  • the first number indicates the academic level of the course

For example: CDDR321 represents a collaborative module from Dundee University, which is at Level 3.

Confirmation of your collaborative registration from the OU

Once we hear from the institution/university at which you are studying, we will send you a letter confirming that you are studying a collaborative module, and the OU degree you want to count this module towards.

If you do not receive an email from the Credit Transfer Centre before beginning your collaborative module, you may not be able to receive credit for that study.

Collaborative module results

You will receive official notification of your results for your collaborative module study from the teaching institution at which you did the study.

As part of the collaborative arrangements, they will also send these results to us and we will add them to your OU record.

You will then receive an official letter from the OU confirming your collaborative module result and that it counts to your chosen OU qualification. Your class of module result will be explained in the module information provided by the teaching institution.

Please note: there may be a delay between the teaching institution informing you of your result and the result showing on your OU record. Due to quality assurance requirements, we can usually confirm your final collaborative module result a couple of months after the partner institution releases the results.

Can I use a student loan to study a collaborative module?

If you are eligible for a student loan for your OU studies, then you may be able to transfer this to another university in England or Wales for a year, and then transfer it back to the OU at the end of the year if you are intending to continue your OU studies.  Please contact the collaborating institution to initiate this process.  Unfortunately, the opportunity to transfer your student loan for a year is not available for the Scottish History modules: CDDR301 and CDDR321.

Please be aware that the Student Loans provider will only fund a student loan at one Higher Education Institution at any one time per Academic Year.  If your qualification includes a collaborative module, and you choose to fund your study through a Student Loan, it will therefore take you longer to complete your qualification if you are studying full time.  Please contact your Student Support Team or National office to discuss how a Student Loan may impact your study plans.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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How can I find out more about collaborative modules?

Details of individual schemes are available from the appropriate faculty (Dean's Office), university or regional centre (see When can I study? for contact details).

If you have any queries about the schemes in general, or the award of credit for collaborative scheme study, please email the Credit Transfer Centre.

Useful OU contact details

Credit Transfer Centre
Email credit-transfer

Student Registration & Enquiry Service

Phone +44 (0)300 303 5303

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