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Undergraduate Course Timeframes - 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.

Undergraduate Course Timeframes

Study a part-time undergraduate course to maintain a work-life balance while you work to achieve your goals.

You can complete an undergraduate degree between 6 and 9 years. How quickly you complete depends on how much time you can dedicate to your course. 

Some courses can be completed in as little as 4 years, though please note none of our courses can be completed at a full time pace. 


Our undergraduate courses are split into three levels of study, and each level has three core 40 credit units. You have a maximum of 12 months to complete each unit and will need a minimum of 10 study hours per week to complete within the maximum course timeframes.

You can change the pace of your studies to suit your needs, however if you have a goal in mind as to when you want to complete the course then we’d recommend following a schedule.

We accept enrolments for our undergraduate, foundation and personal development courses at monthly intakes, so you can start at a time that suits you. Simply indicate your preferred start intake on your enrolment form and arrange your funding! 

If you are funding through Student Finance, the tuition fee loan application process can take between 4 – 6 weeks. To help keep your study plans on track, we recommend applying for Student Finance at least six weeks before your preferred start date, but don’t worry if your funding application isn’t approved in time. We’ll keep your enrolment pending until you receive your outcome and then enrol you on the next available intake.

What if something happens?

The longer timeframes offered aim to account for most delays but understandably, sometimes there are unexpected mitigating circumstances that affect your ability to study. In these instances, students can apply for an extension or deferral. We encourage students to seek support as early as possible in such circumstances.