You are here

  1. Home
  2. The benefits of a short course

The benefits of a short course

Two hands typing on a laptop keyboard

The Open University, in partnership with the Department for the Economy, is currently offering fully funded places across eight different short courses for those whose employment has been affected by COVID-19. You can find out more here:

But what is the benefit of completing a short course over a full degree or diploma?

Short courses are a great way to fill the gaps in your professional knowledge without the more substantial investment required for longer programmes and online learning gives you a choice of where, when and how to study. It also allows you to study at a pace that suits you.


Skills boost and professional development  

Short courses are a great boost to a CV or portfolio but that isn’t the only reason to undertake one. A short course can help to bridge a skills gap that you’ve identified. They offer a smaller commitment to retraining in a specific area and they allow you to refresh or brush-up on skills areas that you think might need some work.

OU short courses offer professional recognition in the form of an OU certificate of completion that can be used to document your commitment to professional development, and it can be included in your CV or portfolio.

The short course you choose to study will also force you to learn a wider variety of study skills that can be applicable across all areas of life. If you study “Finance for non-financial managers” you are not only learning new skills around finance but also how to study online, manage your time more effectively and you demonstrate your motivation for self-learning. These transferable skills can then help you in other areas of life such as remote-working or even if you decide to take up further study later down the line.



All study materials, exercises and support are delivered online. This not only gives you security during the current pandemic but also ensures that wherever you have access to an internet capable device, you also have access to your studies.

Short courses offer a more condensed form of learning that allow you to both study at your own pace and keep to deadlines and only take an average of 25 hours to study. This allows you to more manageably fit study around the other priorities in your life. You still obtain a certificate of completion, and can still show a dedication to both personal and career development.


A pathway to further study

Short courses give you a taste of what study with The Open University is like should you wish to commit to further study down the line. Whether it is a module, microcredential, a degree or exploration of our free and informal course offering, short courses are one of the best entry points to OU study.

Once you’ve completed your short course, you’ll realise that it is more flexible and less daunting than you perhaps initially thought.


For more information about OU study, or to view our short course offering, visit the website at:

A picture of Christine Murphy who has fair curly hair and is smiling and wearing a white jumper

For media enquiries please contact:

Christine Murphy, Communications Manager

Tel 028 9053 6219