The Open University

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.8 million students and has almost 200,000 current students, including more than 15,000 overseas.

The OU was given an overall satisfaction rating of 90% in the latest National Student Survey, making it one of only three Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to consistently score 90% or above every year since 2007. Over 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.

In the latest assessment exercise for university research (Research Excellence Framework), nearly three quarters (72%) of The Open University’s research was assessed as 4 or 3 star – the highest ratings available – and awarded to research that is world-leading or internationally excellent. The Open University is unique among UK universities having both an access mission and demonstrating research excellence.

The OU has a 41 year partnership with the BBC and has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to co-producing prime-time series such as Frozen Planet, The Bottom Line, Britain’s Great War, I Bought a Rainforest and Business Boomers. In 2013/14 OU co-productions were viewed by 220m people in the UK which prompted more than 600k visits the OU’s free learning website, OpenLearn.

Regarded as Britain’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn, which received 5.2million unique visitors in 2012/13, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded more than 66 million downloads.

As an employer the Open University is the UK’s largest university and a world leader in flexible part-time education, transforming lives through education. Uniquely we operate within the four nations of the UK, with national offices in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh as well as regional offices in England and our head office in Milton Keynes.

All of our roles play a key part in our student’s journey. We offer a wide range of general vacancies including support, research and executive positions among others. We also have teaching roles which include Associate Lecturers and specialist Tutors positions.


Jobs About the OU Research Mission OU Community

Key facts

  • Approx. 4500 core staff and 4700 Associate Lecturers

  • Headquarters in Milton Keynes, national offices in Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff, with 9 English regional centres