Open University offering qualifying law degrees recognised in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

The Open University (commonly Open University or OU, but officially the is part of its name) is the UK's distance learning government-supported university notable for having an open entry policy, i.e. students' previous academic achievements are not taken into account for entry to most undergraduate courses. It was established in 1969 and the first students enrolled in January 1971. The majority of students are based in the UK, but its courses can be studied anywhere in the world. The administration is based at Walton Hall, Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, but has regional centres in each of its thirteen regions around the UK. It also has offices in other European countries. The University awards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, as well as non-degree qualifications such as diplomas and certificates, or continuing education units.

With more than 180,000 students enrolled, including more than 25,000 students studying overseas, it is the largest academic institution in the UK by student number, and qualifies as one of the world's largest universities. Since it was founded, more than 3 million students have studied its courses. It was rated top university in England and Wales for student satisfaction in the 2005 and 2006 UK government national student satisfaction survey, and second in the 2007 survey.

Academic divisions


The University has Faculties of Arts, Education & Language Studies, Health & Social Care, Law, Mathematics, Computing and Technology, Science, Social Science, and a Business School. There is no School of Medicine. The new Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology (created from the former Faculties of Mathematics and Computing and Faculty of Technology) was formed on 1 October 2007.

Business school

The OU Business School is the largest provider of MBAs in the UK, producing more graduates than all the rest of the business schools in the UK put together. Its courses are recognised by AMBA, EQUIS, AACSB, and CEL.

Although the majority of students at the Business School are in the UK, many of the courses are also available throughout most of the world. Students study via distance learning for a Certificate or Diploma in Management and MBA programmes. A number of courses have compulsory residential school which students must attend. The faculty also offers Honours and Foundation degrees in Business Studies and Leadership & Management.

The first Diploma courses were developed from 1983; however the School did not become a separate entity until 1988, when development of the first MBA courses was started. The first MBA students were enrolled in 1989, and the School almost immediately became the largest business school in Europe.

Distance Learning Courses and Adult Education - The Open University

The Open University Centre for Law

The law degree offered by The Open University's Centre for Law in collaboration with The College of Law, is a major innovation in legal education. The LLB (Hons) we offer has been developed by two institutions of international standing. It is a Qualifying Law Degree approved by the Law Society (Solicitors Regulation Authority)and Bar Standards Board. Since 1998, over 2,000 students have graduated with LL.B. (Hons) degrees. Our courses have been praised by senior judges, eminent lawyers and internationally acclaimed legal academics. With have consistently received a high ranking in the National Student Survey.

The Open University is a world leader in providing supported open learning. Our course materials have been prepared with great expertise to allow students to progress smoothly through difficult areas of law. Throughout the courses students may attend tutorials with their tutor. They must also submit assignments which are carefully marked and commented upon. Additionally, students are able to contact their tutors for assistance by telephone or or e-mail. There are tutor groups throughout Britain and in Continental Western Europe. Our students can use a magnificent array of law reports, and legal materials on line, and submit assignments on line. Our teaching materials are been designed specifically to enhance off-campus learning. In composing and constructing our courses, we have engaged the accumulated wisdom in such techniques used since 1970 when we were the world's first Open University.

A wide range of people study law with us. Many of our students are young and join us at an early stage after school while others are teachers, doctors, nurses, parents and home managers, police officers, vets, insurance officers, musicians, military personnel, company executives, personnel officers, court officers, magistrates, retired people, journalists, probation officers, social workers, technicians and many others. The wonderful richness of life in our tutor groups gives very helpful added dimension to the study of legal issues

Open University graduates generally move on to revitalise the fields in which they work and graduates of the Law Programme are expected to follow in this tradition.

Professor Gary Slapper
Director of the Centre for Law

Courses and Diplomas

The law courses cover all the main areas of law, including contract law, criminal law, the law of tort, land law, the law of trusts, European law, and public law. Some students may wish to develop an expertise in one or two areas of law with which their careers bring them into contact, while others will wish to pursue the full Qualifying Law Degree in order to go on to become solicitors or barristers.

The courses have been designed to allow students to develop high levels of competence in finding and using legal rules and principles in a reliable way. In conjunction with law library exercises, tutorials, audio, CD-ROM, Internet activities and tutor marked assignments, the course materials will also promote the understanding of deeper legal questions concerning for example, the reasons for changes in the law, and the relationship between law and social, economic and moral issues.

More Info:
The Open University Centre for Law : Home

The Open University Centre for Law

For a copy of the law prospectus call 0870 333 1444. Alternatively you can order a prospectus online here:

To contact the Law Programme Secretary
(Frances Thomas)
Tel: 01908 858589
Fax: 01908 655898
e-mail: [email protected]

If you would prefer to contact your local Regional Centre, enter your location here: Contact The Open University

OU Central Offices and The College of Law

The Open University
PO Box 724
Milton Keynes
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 01908 653231
Fax: 01908 655072

The College of Law
Administrative Centre
Braboeuf Manor
St. Catherines
Portsmouth Road
Tel: 01483 460385

Students with Disabilities
The Assistant Manager
(Students with Disabilities)
The Open University
PO Box 79
Walton Hall
Tel: 01908 653273 (voice)
01908 655978 (text)

Credit Transfer Centre
PO Box 80
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
Tel: 01908 653077