OCA preloader logo
A new chapter for OCA - The Open College of the Arts | Distance Learning Degrees and Courses

This is an exciting new chapter for OCA, as an organisation and for our students, as we join The Open University

On this page you'll find a host of information explaining what is happening, why, and when

An exciting new chapter for OCA…

OCA is pleased to announce that from August 2023 we will be welcoming a new sole member of OCA, The Open University. The Open University will replace the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) as OCA’s awarding institution for courses.

This marks the end of a rewarding five-year partnership with the University for the Creative Arts (UCA), as both organisations forge their own unique and ambitious strategic paths.

The Open University is a world leader in distance education and shares with OCA a common heritage of being founded by Michael Young. With The Open University we will be exploring a shared mission of open access and widening participation, providing access to high quality higher education to all through distance learning.


What does this mean for me as a student?

Firstly, and most importantly, very little will change. Students will follow the same course pathway, access the same resources, and be guided by their tutors. Students will receive support services through OCA, and you’ll still access your course through OCA Learn and use the same systems.

In the future OCA undergraduate and postgraduate programmes will be awarded by The Open University.

Being part of the Open University will bring benefits to OCA and our students. We will combine OCA’s expertise in creative arts with the Open University’s distance learning pedagogies to transform the student learning experience. Support for students we hope to expand, with more academic skills in particular, delivered in multiple formats and through interactive media.

In the future, we will be exploring opportunities on combined curricula, additional short course offerings, and research in creative arts. Together, these will revolutionise OCA as an organisation and help us to deliver on our mission.

We have put together the below Frequently Asked Questions which covers many of the questions you may have. There are other documents and resources on this page that will also be of use.

Frequently Asked Questions for OCA students


When is this happening?

OCA will become part of The Open University Group in June 2023, and start registering students from August 2023.

Between August 2022 and January 2024 the University for the Creative Arts will provide access to services and teach out for students. The partnership with UCA will have completed at the end of January 2024.

For you as a student, to provide as seamless a transfer as possible, you will have the opportunity to transfer to an award from The Open University when you enrol to your next unit after August 2023.

If you are midway through a unit in January 2024 you will have three options; to stay with OCA and move to The Open University, transfer to complete at the University for the Creative Arts, or to exit with any credits awarded up to that point.


We realise that there is a lot here to take in.  To help with this we have created a transition plan detailing different student scenarios and what this transfer means for you as a student.

Whatever stage of study you are at, whether you are about to embark on the final stages of study, or just starting out, you will hopefully be able to find a scenario that fits your circumstances. If for any reason you can’t find something that fits you, or you are unsure, please contact us at change@oca.ac.uk and we will be happy to answer your queries.

See all the student scenarios in the Transition Plan


Contact Us

This is an exciting change with the opportunity to revolutionise the experiences of OCA students, and there will be much more to come on this over the next twelve months.

So please follow us on social media, join up to our blog mailing list (details in the footer at the bottom of this page) to receive updates as the year progresses.

If you have any questions about the transfer, how it relates to your personal circumstances, or for anything else, please get in touch with us at change@oca.ac.uk.