The Open University – Free OU Microcredentials Places

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Free places on short courses

Supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), we are offering a limited number of fully-funded (free) places on our popular microcredentials.

Microcredentials are professional development short courses, designed to help you quickly build new skills to take your career to the next level. With many endorsed by leading industry partners, you can study online for 10–13 hours a week for 10–12 weeks, alongside your work or life commitments.

Who’s eligible and how to apply

You can apply for a place on a microcredential by downloading our application form. You can only apply for a funded place through this page. There are a limited number of places available.

You are eligible to apply if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • are domiciled in Wales
  • are eligible to pay the Wales fee for OU study (this means you’re a UK national, Irish citizen or have settled status in the UK, you’re living in Wales on 1 January 2024 and have been living in the UK and Islands for 3 years before starting your course. Further information can be found on our fee rules page)
  • are 18+ years of age
  • are not in further or higher education when your funded course starts.
  • have a personal income of £30,000 or under, or are in receipt of qualifying benefits.

As we have a limited number of places, priority will be given to students who:

  • are carers
  • are care leavers or are care experienced
  • have a disability
  • are from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background
  • are refugees or asylum seekers
  • identify as LGBTQ+.

The final deadline for applications is 23:59 on Monday 26 February 2024.

What are microcredentials?

Microcredentials allow you to gain specialist knowledge and skills to help advance your career. Created by world-class OU academics, microcredentials offer a perfect balance of academic excellence and workplace relevance.

In just 10–12 weeks you can gain:

  • cutting-edge knowledge in a specialised subject
  • practical skills that you can immediately apply to your work, or boost your CV
  • undergraduate credit you could use in the future towards further study.

With microcredentials, your study is entirely online using a combination of learning materials including videos, quizzes and activities to develop your specialist professional knowledge.

What you can study

If you meet the entry criteria, you can apply for a fully-funded (free) place on one of the microcredential courses below.

Our microcredentials run for 10–12 weeks and require around 10–13 hours of study a week. A level 4 course is equivalent to studying at the first year of university. Level 5 is equivalent to studying at the second year; Level 6 is equivalent to studying at the third/final year of university.

Some microcredentials may require previous knowledge or experience. Please check the Requirements section on the course page for more information.

Read More on the OU website here