You are here

  1. Home
  2. About OU Validation

About OU Validation

About Open University Validation Partnerships

The Open University was established by Royal Charter on 23 April 1969.  The University’s mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. We promote educational opportunity and social justice by providing high-quality university education to all who wish to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.

The Open University Validation Partnerships (OUVP) was established in 1992 to enable The OU to validate programmes for institutions that do not have their own degree awarding powers or that want to offer OU validated awards in addition to their own.  OUVP works with Institutions in the UK and abroad.

Meet the team

We are a team of 56, headed up by a Director of Validation Partnerships who is supported by three Heads of teams. Read more about who we are and what we do.

What we do 

Lady looking down


Under the current system in the UK an education provider without degree awarding powers that wants to offer higher education programmes must have a validation agreement with a degree awarding body. Validation is the process where a degree-awarding body judges a module or programme developed and delivered by another organisation and approves it as being of an appropriate standard and quality to lead to one of its awards. 
Find out more about validation with The Guide to Good Validation.

students talking

Our Partners

We have a network of 37 partner institutions worldwide, including FE colleges, performing and creative arts institutions, health service providers and not for profit organisations. See the full list.

brightly lit building

Our Programmes

We validate almost 390 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.  From Foundation Degrees, to PhDs, in a variety of subjects from Garden Design, Performing Arts, Computing, Business to Biomedical Science.  You can find a sample list of the programmes we validate.

Interested in becoming a partner?

Find out everything you need to know about becoming a validated partner.

Validating PhD programmes is managed by the OU Afilliated Research Centre. Find out more by visiting their website.

Did you know?

  • Validated awards are of the same standard as other UK awards of the same level and can offer the same opportunities and postgraduate study 
  • There are over 45,000 students currently studying on an OU Validated award
  • Over 200,000 people have achieved an OU validated award to date (as of September 2023)
  • 7,858 awards were conferred in 2021/22
  • Over 35 partner institutions in the UK and overseas
  • We have around 330 validated programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level

Programmes and Partners

Open University Free Resources

Read about some of our helpful free services.

Open University Free Resources