OUBS differentiates itself though a distinctive distance learning practice-based pedagogy, underpinned by our focus on practice-engaged research. We expose students to a multitude of different perspectives and contexts, helping them to make connections and comparisons, and use their own organisation as a learning resource – encouraging them to apply their learning to the real workplace challenges that they face. This fusion of theory with practice:
It is also a highly effective professional development method, allowing busy people to test ideas and concepts, and develop new knowledge and skills in line with their organisation’s priorities. The success of this approach is clearly demonstrated by the employability of our students – OU graduates were ranked 13th for employability in a THE list compiled in 2015, above a number of Russell Group universities.
OUBS modules typically attract mature students with considerable management experience, who expect module material to be engaging and relevant. Our learning materials exploit a wide variety of media, including print, web, audio-visual and face-to-face. They are inherently student centred, and are developed by an experienced multi-professional team including leading academics in the field, experts in learning technologies, global employers and professional bodies.
Teaching is facilitated by a network of subject-specialist tutors who are also working professionals, bringing expertise and contemporary experience to contextualise learning. They guide, advise and support students throughout their studies, mark and give feedback on assignments, and provide group tuition.
The OUBS teaching model enables us to deliver consistent learning experiences at scale. Every student, no matter where they live, studies using robust, innovative and research-informed materials that are widely acknowledged to be of extremely high quality (in fact, OU materials are so good that two thirds of the UK’s biggest universities use them too).
We have more than 19,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students distributed across 80 countries round the world, leading to internationalisation without the need for student exchanges. They are encouraged to learn from and support one another, formally in tutorial groups and through online learning activities, and informally through module websites, student study areas, forums and chat rooms. In addition, students completing postgraduate qualifications automatically join a powerful international alumni network that will support them in their continuing personal and professional development (currently there are more than 25,000 MBA graduates worldwide and about 65,000 diploma and certificate members).