Frequently asked questions
What does open learning mean?
Open learning means studying at a location and over a time scale convenient to you. Rather than give up your job, you can continue to live at home and earn while studying. You use specially prepared learning materials written by experienced academics. They know which sections of the work you usually find difficult, and have provided user-friendly explanations and self-assessment questions to help your study. Full answers are provided. Most study packs include a series of tutor marked assignments or TMAs that provide feedback on your progress.
Why should I study?
Increased knowledge and higher qualifications will enhance both your performance in your present job and your future employment prospects.
Who provides the course?
We provide the course materials, and can also provide tutorial support. Other centres also offer support for our courses. The accreditation of the course is provided either by City & Guilds or Teesside University under licence from Edexcel.
How long will it take?
Since open learning programmes allow you to work at your own pace, this varies. But typically, a City & Guilds level 2 or level 3 qualification is completed in one year; and a Higher National Certificate will take between 2-3 years.
What support will I be given?
For each module within a course you are allocated a tutor. The tutor will mark your tutor marked assessments (TMAs) and return them to you with constructive comments, but will also be available to contact by phone, email, fax or (by prior arrangement) in person, to help you with any problems you have with the work.
How will I be assessed?
This varies a little between the different courses but you are normally assessed on a mixture of your Tutor Marked Assessments (TMAs) and a final interview with your tutor or an examination(see assessments).
Where will I undertake any practical work?
If there is practical work involved in a module then it is usually undertaken either at your support centre or at home on special practical kits developed by us.
What resources will I have access to and who will provide books and course literature?
You can use all the resources of your chosen support centre if needed, but all course books are provided by us and they are all self-contained apart from a few which require books of tables to be purchased. In addition for HNC/D programmes, we provide a dedicated online support site through e-learning which provides learning and support materials.