Opening access to higher education for the armed forces


We are proud of our relationship with the armed forces and more than 1,500 service personnel and their dependents are currently taking advantage of The Open University's (OU) career and personal development opportunities available for the defence community.

If you are looking to develop yourself or are planning to leave the armed forces and need additional skills to help with your resettlement, the OU can help: 

  • The OU works closely with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to support your education and training while you are in the armed or civil services.
  • The OU’s flexible learning allows you to maximise use of your personal time. 
  • The OU’s unique method of distance learning, called 'supported open learning', means you can study wherever you are in your studies and wherever you are in the world.

We have created this website to provide advice, support and free resources for armed forces personnel, as well as information to help you find out more about what it’s like to study with the OU.

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Enhanced Learning Credits

Enhanced Learning Credits (ELCs) are used by the MOD to promote lifelong learning through financial support, provided by approved learning providers, including the OU.

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Standard Learning Credits

The Standard Learning Credit (SLC) scheme provides financial support, throughout your service career, for multiple, small-scale learning activities. These can be used towards a range of OU courses.

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Credit Transfer

If you have previously completed HE certified learning, you may be able to use the credit gained towards an OU qualification.

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Free Learning

OpenLearn has 1,000s of free resources, with many offering certificates of completon and digital badges.

The OU deserves huge credit for enabling me to do this. I doubt there is another institution anywhere that would have taken me from seven O-levels to LSE in five years whilst I was holding down a busy job stretching across the globe.

Mike Niblett, Army OU student
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Frequently Asked Questions

This page intends to answer most of the questions you might have regarding how the OU works with the forces.

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Supporting the forces

Find out about other work we do with the forces.

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In the spotlight

Keep up-to-date with the latest developments and read more about our latest releases, partnerships, events and insights.

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