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LIBF blog How is LIBF different from The Open University?

08 March 2024

6 minute read

Find the right distance learning provider for you

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Distance learning allows you to study from anywhere, rather than requiring you to attend physical lectures and seminars on campus.

Over the last decade, there has been a significant growth in distance learners. In May 2023, the UK government reported a 38.7% increase in students studying via distance learning between 2015/16 and 2021/22. So it's not surprising that The Open University (OU) is no longer the only option if you want to study online.


LIBF was founded in 1879. Since then, we've combined our 140 years of experience in education with our commitment to pushing boundaries, with the launch of flexible online degrees that aim to prepare students for success in the future world of work.

  • Start your course on any day

  • Choose your exam dates and times

  • Pay monthly, annually or in full with no additional fees

  • Future-focused courses based on high-demand skills

  • Academic tutor and learning support study coaches

  • Self-arranged internship modules optional on all undergraduate courses

Tuition fees

  • Undergraduate degree: £20,805

  • Postgraduate degree: £9,750

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The Open University

The Open University launched in 1969 in Milton Keynes, with a mission to make learning accessible to all. They offer courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level, that can be studied on a module-by-module basis or as full courses.

  • Core intake month: October

  • Fixed exam dates and times

  • Monthly instalment loan, with interest

  • Wide range of subjects, traditional and future-focused

  • Academic tutor and subject-specific academic support

  • Searchable database of internships

Tuition fees

  • Undergraduate degree: £20,772

  • Postgraduate degree: £7,045 – £20,160

How is LIBF different?

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Start your course on any day

LIBF: flexible start dates

At LIBF, you can start your course on any day of the year, whenever it most suits your life. When you start, you'll join a cohort of students studying the same module as you, which means you'll be part of a community from your very first day.

The Open University: fixed start dates

Most Open University modules start in October, which is the start of the traditional academic year in line with most traditional UK universities. Some modules also have a February or April start date.

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Take your exams whenever it suits you

LIBF: exams when you choose

At LIBF, all exams take place remotely and you can book your exam slots any time of the day or night, 365 days a year. You'll be able to book your exam once you've completed a set amount of your module.

The Open University: fixed exams

Exams at the Open University are scheduled on fixed dates. You'll get 12 weeks' notice, so you have time to prepare and to rearrange your other commitments around your exam date and time. If you need to reschedule an exam, there are strict criteria to adhere to. Most exams are remote – if a module requires a face-to-face exam, it will be noted in the module description.

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Interest-free flexible fee payments

LIBF: tuition fee loans or self-fund monthly, annually or in full

LIBF students can apply for tuition fee loans. Students who self-fund can pay monthly, annually or in full – whatever you choose, the total cost is the same, without interest on instalments. If you choose to pay in full at the start of your studies, you'll receive a tuition fee reduction of up to 10% depending on your study level and duration. We also offer postgraduate scholarships for our UK students.

The Open University: tuition fee loans or pay per module

Students at The Open University can apply for a tuition fee loan, or they can apply for an 'OU Budget Account Loan' that can be repaid in full or in monthly instalments plus interest. They also accept employee sponsorship, and students can apply for bursaries, grants and scholarships.

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Degrees focused on the future

LIBF: future-focused subjects

At LIBF, our focus is on providing quality business, technology and data degrees that develop skills employers are looking for. 75% of our undergraduate courses and 70% of our postgraduate courses include an AI-based module – either as a core module or as an elective.

We also offer an online master's degree in artificial intelligence that provides deeper study into areas of machine learning and natural language processing.

The Open University: broad subject catalogue

The Open University offers courses in subjects including arts and humanities, business, computing, health sciences, psychology, law, languages and more. Alongside more traditional university subjects, The OU also offers degrees in environmental science, STEM, and modules in subjects such as renewable energy and programming languages.

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Online learning support

LIBF: academic and learning support

At LIBF, you'll get a personal tutor who will answer your questions within 48 hours and provide supervision for your thesis. You can also book consultation hours with your tutor and with study coaches, who can advise you on study methods, time management, and motivation.

The Open University: academic and peer support

Your tutor at The Open University is available for academic advice or guidance. Your specific tutor will let you know when and how you can contact them. The OU also has subject-specific Student Support Teams who can answer questions you might have about your studies.

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Career-focused internships

LIBF: elective self-arranged internship modules

At LIBF, we offer elective internship modules (subject to eligibility) on all of our undergraduate courses and 75% of our postgraduate courses. The elective internship modules offer you the opportunity secure and complete an internship of your choice, that can be recognised and credited towards your course requirements.

The Open University: searchable internship database

The Open University provides a searchable database of internships organised by their Careers and Employability Services, as well as a guide on how to approach a company you're interested in to propose an internship.

Take your next step with LIBF

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Don't let any obstacles stand in your way. With our flexible approach to education, relevant courses, 100% online teaching, and access to a global professional network, LIBF is your gateway to creating a successful life. We are committed to teaching industry-relevant skills and ideas, equipping you with the expertise and knowledge that that employers around the world expect and value.

Our website has all the information you need – from course details to student services – and our online application process is quick and easy, allowing you to start your journey with us in just a few clicks.

Request an LIBF prospectus

Get your online degree digital prospectus

You’ll find everything you need to know about studying an online degree with us in our digital prospectus. To receive your personalised prospectus, please fill out the form below with a valid email address.

Once you've submitted the form, keep an eye on your inbox for your prospectus to arrive via email.