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Professional learning

Registration is now open for The Open University Education Conference: Evolutions in Education taking place online on 24 and 25 April 2024. This free conference is for anyone across the UK interested in the education sector from early years to further education. Recognition of professional learning via a digital badge will be available to participants.

Professional learning takes many forms, from everyday experiences to undertaking courses or engaging in specific projects. The Open University offers a vast array of resources and courses to support you, whatever stage of your career you are at, and whatever you are interested in. 

Courses to support professional learning

You may want to study for a qualification to support your ongoing professional learning. Visit our courses webpages for full undergraduate and postgraduate offerings. They include:

Credit transfer

Check if your previous study is eligible for credit transfer - reducing how many modules you need to study - and discover how to apply.

Find out more about transferring credit and building on college qualifications.

  • Related qualifications such as Higher National Certificate Childhood Practice or Professional Development Award Childhood Practice (at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Level 9) ​have established credit transfer arrangements.
  • They can count towards BA (Honours) Early Childhood, Top-up BA (Honours) Early Childhood, Diploma of Higher Education in Early Childhood, or towards the undergraduate Open degree,

Masters in Education

The OU’s Masters in Education programme is designed specifically for those wanting a flexible qualification, which could work with their professional interests and personal contexts.

The programme has been endorsed by Education Scotland for its 'deep learning which participants engage in' and its 'clear focus on the importance of collaboration and peer networks to support learning'.

There are four specialist pathways: Teaching and Learning, Educational Leadership, Applied Linguistics, Inclusive Practices. 

This personalisation, along with the OU’s world leading pedagogical approach and strong learning communities, creates an innovative and exciting environment for transformative professional learning.

Open Masters 

Our innovative Open Masters degree allows you to create a personalised course of study across a range of academic disciplines. Expand your discipline-related knowledge, gain broader subject-specific knowledge and pursue further professional development in areas that align with your employment needs and professional aspirations.

Advance your independent learning module

The OU module Advance your independent learning provides a structure and support for education professionals to conduct their own professional enquiry into an area of interest.

TEachers Learning to Teach Languages (TELT)

Our TEachers Learning to Teach languages (TELT) programme aims to increase and improve language provision in primary schools. Teachers simultaneously learn a new language and the skills to teach that language in the classroom.

Scots language teacher professional learning programme

Our Scots language teacher professional learning programme is designed for teachers teaching any subject at any level in a Scottish school context. It upskills teachers in incorporating teaching Scots language and culture in their classroom practice. The course will be recognised by the General Teaching Council for Scotland with the GTCS professional recognition award.

The Scottish Government are funding all places for teachers studying on the programme starting in January 2024. Future funded places will be confirmed on this webpage before the school summer holidays, for the next presentation of the programme, starting in September 2024.


Supporting practitioner enquiry 

A woman standing, writing with a pen on a boardEnquiry is at the heart of professional learning in Scotland, underpinned by a critically reflective approach to our work. For many teachers and practitioners it is a stance, involving cycles of questioning, finding out information, and trying new ideas.

It can also be a more explicit activity: developing a particular project to find out more about an issue, or through evaluating the impact of introducing a new resource or idea into your practice. 

Whatever form of enquiry you are engaged with, our free professional learning resources can help:

Topic or issue-based enquiry

Mental health, inclusion, and child development are among our materials available on OpenLearn, supporting different and current topics of interest to all those involved in education. 

We have an OpenLearn collection for primary teachers and collection for support staff.  

Enquiry skills and approaches 

Leadership of and for learning

Visit our subject knowledge webpages for professional learning linked to specific curriculum areas