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Fees, Funding and Other Costs - The Open College of the Arts | Distance Learning Degrees and Courses
To find out more details about the transfer to The Open University see A New Chapter for OCA.

Fees, Funding and Other Costs

Our courses are one of the most affordable ways to gain a degree in the market today, while providing high-quality academic services and course materials for our students.

How much is a degree course with OCA?

OCA degree courses are roughly a third of the cost of a campus university and are paid for and delivered on a course unit by unit basis so that your learning experience is as fruitful as it can be.

Based on 2022/2023 academic year fees, the appoximate cost of a BA (HONS) is £13,500 for UK students and £15,480 for international students. Unit fees are reviewed annually therefore the total cost of a degree will vary and may increase over time, however we aim to keep any increases to a minimum where possible.

The 22/23 course fee breakdown is available to review through the link below.

How can I pay for my degree?

Student’s pay for a degree course on a unit by unit basis, regardless if self-funding or funding through Student Finance. You can review how many units feature a degree by reviewing the degree pathway available on the course information page.

Student Finance

All OCA degree courses are listed with Student Finance England, Wales, and Northern Ireland allowing eligible students to apply for a Student Loan towards the cost of course fees. Find out more about funding through Student Finance in the section below.

Unfortunately, OCA courses are not eligible for Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

2023/2023 Student Finance Application Guidance. 

Self-Funding

Being able to work and study at the same time may mean you wish to self-fund your degree. Pay for the course on a unit by unit basis, or even spread the cost even further by taking advantage of our deposit and instalment option available with each course unit, for which a £50 instalment fee is included in the deposit you pay.

Learner Support Scheme

As part of OCA’s charitable purpose to widen participation in arts education, funds are allocated each year to our Learner Support Scheme.

This means we can offer bursaries to help with the cost of the unit fee where students would be unable to pay the full cost of the fees themselves, and are not eligible for other funding. This includes Scottish students who are not able to gain funding for our courses via Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) and students who are evidenced to be ineligible for Student Finance funding (England, Wales or Northern Ireland).

Learner Support Scheme Eligibility and How to Apply
Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

Student Finance FAQs

  • All OCA undergraduate degree courses are listed with Student Finance England, Wales, and Northern Ireland allowing eligible students to apply for a part-time Student Loan towards the cost of course fees. Unfortunately, OCA courses are not eligible for Student Awards Agency For Scotland (SAAS).

  • You will usually be eligible for student finance if you are doing your first higher education qualification, even if your previous course was self-funded. There is no upper age limit, and you can apply if you are a UK national, have ‘settled status’ or normally live in the UK.

    Please check your eligibility with the appropriate Student Finance website.

  • No. OCA can only accept part time tuition fee loan applications from Student Finance, as we only offer part-time study. Be sure to check out our degree times frames information.

  • OCA accepts enrolments all year round and as Student Finance applications take between 4 – 6 weeks to process, to help keep your study plans on track we recommend applying at least six weeks before your preferred start date. Don’t worry if your funding application isn’t approved in time. We will keep your enrolment pending until you receive your outcome and then get you enrolled straight away.

    22/23 OCA Student Finance Application Guidance

  • No. OCA do not use UCAS, therefore there is no code to provide.

  • Once a year. Like campus-based students, your funding application once approved is available for 12 months. For instance, if you received your funding approval outcome in October, you would need to apply for your next lot of funding in time for the following October. You will need to do this for as long as you study with OCA, and we recommend applying for the full amount available each time to give you the maximum flexibility. 

  • OCA only claims for the cost of your degree course on a unit by unit basis, and so Student Finance notify you of this reduced claim, however you still have the maximum amount that you applied for available.

  • As per OCA’s Conditions of Enrolment, funded students are liable for any fees not covered by their funding body, even if they withdraw.  Full fees are due for all courses 14 days after enrolment.

  • Student Finance England offers maintenance loans for students who are studying through distance learning due to a disability only.

    Student Finance Wales offers maintenance loans depending on your intensity of study.

    Student Finance Northern Ireland offers different maintenance loans/grants dependent on your circumstances and study intensity.

    For further information and guidance, please visit the respective Student Finance website or speak directly to their Customer Service team who can advise on your eligibility.

  • Study intensity may affect the amount you receive from your maintenance loan. At a minimum, you need to study at 25% intensity, which is the minimum study intensity with OCA.

    We confirm all new students as studying 40 credits. We can confirm a additional units studies within a once students have completed their first course unit and enrolled to another. If you apply for a maintenance loan at specific study intensity, you will need to keep this to this study intensity throughout your course, otherwise it would reflect in your maintenance loan.

  • OCA will need to confirm your registration with Student Finance to release your maintenance loan. OCA confirms your registration 14 days from the date you receive your welcome email. We cannot confirm your registration prior to beginning the course. 

Additional Costs

As a student with OCA, most reading materials can be accessed through the digital library services and eBooks, or sent to you in the post if included within the course materials. Degree students also have access to the UCA online library. Foundation courses are not part of degree study.

Other costs you may find on your degree include purchasing software (i.e. Adobe Suite) and /materials/books/texts to assist in your practice and research. These can be around £400 at Level 1, £500 at Level 2, and £550 at Level 3. Costs will vary depending on your choice of medium and whether books are bought or loaned from the library. Work is largely submitted to tutors and for assessment via email, however postal costs are expected to be around £40 per assessment for sending materials depending on quantity and weight of materials. Rates for overseas students will be higher.

For further information about additional costs to your degree programme specifically, please review the Programme Specification available the degree information pages.

Photo by Carissa Weiser on Unsplash

Foundations

£935

Per course

Level 1 (HE4)

£4,500

For the level

Level 2 (HE5)

£4,500

For the level

Level 3 (HE6)

£4,500

For the level

Total approximate undergraduate fees

Breakdown of costs...

Level 1 (HE4)

£1,500

Per course unit (4o credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 1 (HE4) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards an Open degree, you’ll need three Level 1 (HE4) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 2 (HE5).

Deposit is £465 followed by 7 monthly instalments of £155.

Level 2 (HE5)

£2,250

Per course unit (6o credits)

Some of the OCA’s Level 2 (HE5) course units are worth 60 credits each. If you’re studying towards an Open degree, you’ll need two Level 2 (HE5) course units to gain the necessarry 120 credits to move on to Level 3 (HE6).

Deposit is £595 followed by 11 monthly instalments of £155.

Level 3 (HE6)

£4,500

For the level

OCA’s Level 3 (HE6) course units hold differing amounts of credits depending upon the given Open degree pathway.

Foundations

£1,075

Per course

Level 1 (HE4)

£5,160

For the level

Level 2 (HE5)

£5,160

For the level

Level 3 (HE6)

£5,160

For the level

Total approximate undergraduate fees

Breakdown of costs...

Level 1 (HE4)

£1,560

Per course unit (40 credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 1 (HE4) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards a degree, you’ll need three Level 1 (HE4) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 2 (HE5).

Deposit is £580 followed by 7 monthly instalments of £170.

Level 2 (HE5)

£2,580

Per course unit (60 credits)

Some of the OCA’s Level 2 (HE5) course units are worth 60 credits each. If you’re studying towards a degree, you’ll need two Level 2 (HE5) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 3 (HE6).

Deposit is £760 followed by 11 monthly instalments of £170.

 

Level 3 (HE6)

£5,160

For the level

OCA’s Level 3 (HE6) course units hold differing amounts of credits depending upon the given degree pathway, and therefore are varied in cost. For individual pricing, please see the individual course unit pages on this website.