How Open University Works (Detailed Guide 2024)

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In past recent years, online education has picked up an immense boost and gained the attention of many students.

Open universities are catching attention due to their accessible, comfortable, and flexible learning method, especially for students who want to manage their professional life and degree simultaneously. 

In this article, I present a depth overview of what open universities are and how open universities work. 

And also, in the end, I am sharing the list of top open universities worldwide to get the degree. So without wasting time, let’s get started!

Before we go in-depth, let’s first have a look at What an open university is?

Open universities are enormous institutions that offer flexible learning with minimal or no entry costs. Open Universities provide equal opportunities to other universities for the students to master their abilities and skills to upskill their educational level and start a new career. 

Open universities are distance learning studies, which means students do not need to travel to the university in order to study. They offer their courses online mode and also some of the universities provide study materials to your home.

Open universities are ideal for anyone who wants to take a higher degree. It is suitable for students who wish to manage their studies and their profession as well.

Difference Between Open University And Regular University

Here are the key differences between Open University and Regular University.

  • Open University has an open policy, meaning anyone can get admission to it, but in a regular university, you need to apply to it and then wait for them to accept your application to study there.
  • Open University does not have any affiliated college to it, you can find only institutes and study centers that offer higher education. Regular University has affiliated colleges, study centers, and institutes.
  • Anyone can attend an open university to get higher education, which is good for those who can not get admitted to regular universities. People who are willing to or able to get into regular universities only they can study at it.
  • The entry requirements are very high in a regular university compared to an open university.

Studying in open universities will benefit you in the following ways:

  • Best quality study materials.
  • Online sessions from experts. 
  • Chance to connect with other open university students to collaborate and build a network.
  • You get assistance before, during, and even after your studies and exams.

Requirements to take admission in Open Universities

The primary goal of the open university is to make higher education convenient and accessible to each and every one. 

That is why open universities have no entry requirements to take any degree. Even if you don’t have a certificate from your secondary high school, you might get admission to the university. 

But there are some open universities, like the open universities of Australia, which have some entry policies; if you want to complete your degree classes on campus, then you need to fulfill at least one academic entry requirement.

And in other cases, maybe you will go through a screening process, but there are no specific requirements to get admission to the open universities.

Open University Courses and Admission Cost

Open universities offer various series of modules. These courses range from different bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology, economics, engineering, journalism, law, mathematics, MBA, etc. 

The fee structure of the open university depends on the course you take. It varies according to the course level and the course period you are taking. 

Each course has different levels that allow you different certifications, like a diploma degree, undergraduate certificate, or bachelor’s degree with or without honors. 

Also, they offer master’s degree certification for master’s programs like MBA, MSC MCS, etc. 

Moreover, open universities offer different specializations that are specific to the area of your field. For instance, undergraduate specializations for chemistry include, 

  • Specialization in organic chemistry
  • Specialization in inorganic chemistry
  • Specialization in biochemistry, etc. 

Thus each specialization carries a different set of courses, and students can choose several alternatives among them. The cost for each specialization varies according to the type and duration of the specialization subject. 

Studying At The Open University


The open university has a concrete approach to course training and teaching. The instructors for the courses are experts from various industries and academic technologists. 

They are the well-experienced tutors that give you hands-on knowledge and support by guiding you through your assignments, preparing you for the exams, and providing you with proper feedback on your academic growth. 

How Open University Works - Studying

Students can simply take full advantage of this opportunity by building great relationships with instructors and tutors.

Study Materials:

The open university provides study materials to its students a few weeks before the course starts. You will get all the textbooks, test papers, guide materials, and special equipment that students need to perform practicals on. 

You also get online materials to study, like various PDFs, videos, and audio clips that cover the manual practical processes to perform practicals.

Course Content:

Students get hands-on study materials that are rich in proper content. Students can quickly learn through interactive audio and video clips that clear every concept of the subject.

Students also get links to external references and quizzes so that students can learn each and every aspect of the subject. 

All the course content provided by the OU will enrich the studying and learning experience and covers the overall practical knowledge.

How Open Universities Take Assessments

The open university has three methods of evaluation. 

  1. Homework: 

OU follows the traditional method of assessment which is homework. The instructors give you some homework that you need to complete at home and at your flexible time. 

Some of the homework are tutor-marked assignments. They especially aim to acknowledge your understanding of topics in the course. This involves various tasks like answering short and long answers, programming practicals, and solving quizzes. 

Open university gives a deadline to submit the homework. So within that, students need to complete and submit the required homework by uploading it on the course website. 

How Open University Works - HomeWork

The homework is then checked by your tutor, who evaluates the performance. They also provide feedback on your homework by mentioning the wrong one in red color. 

The second method is computer-marked assignments. This type of homework includes specific quizzes and MCQ pattern tests that you need to complete online. 

The marks are automatically generated after the competition of the assignments. 

  1. Exam assessment:

The first type of exam assessment by the open university is offline exams. Students need to attend the exam in person, followed by the timed environment, and under the watch of the examiner.

The second method is online exam assessments that involve multiple choice questions, theory-based questions, and fill-in-the-blank questions. 

This exam is under watch by your web camera, and after finishing the exam, the score will be analyzed automatically.

  1. Assignments based on theory and practicals:

This type of assessment is based on practical assignments. It is a project-based assignment that measures the practical knowledge of your expertise. 

It is basically an open-ended and practical based project that takes around 30 to 60 hours to measure your knowledge of the course material.

Grading System at Open University

After all the assessments and exams, the open university determines the grades by evaluating the overall performance. 

It is done in three steps:

The first step is evaluating students’ homework. The second evaluation is by calculating the overall marks of your exams, and third, your continuous and exam scores are compared then the evaluation is determined. 

Related Read:

So here are we. As we have discussed, open universities provide the best values to their students. It offers huge opportunities to get the degree in flexible time and with low costs.

Here I am adding the list of top open universities in the world you can take advantage of.

Open UniversityCountry
University of LiverpoolUK
Indira Gandhi National Open UniversityIndia
The Open UniversityUK
Boston UniversityUSA
University of FloridaUSA
University of ManchesterUK
Massey UniversityNew Zealand

I hope this article helped you understand what open universities are and how open universities work. Still, if you have any doubt, then let us know in the comment section below.

Adam Cheise
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