Degrees and courses for international students
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Employer sponsorship

Around one in ten Open University students are sponsored by their employer. If your study relates to work, your employer may be prepared to pay some or all of your fees.

Consider presenting your employer with a proposal, outlining the ways in which an Open University qualification will be advantageous to the company; how your intended subject area will improve your performance as an employee; how it will complement your career path within the company; and the tangible benefits for the workplace.

Take inspiration from Lauren, who received employer sponsorship for their studies:

Case study: Lauren Frater, MSc Human Resources Management

“I was actually offered the opportunity through work to apply for sponsorship to do an Open University Masters in Business Administration – but I was working in Human Resources at the time and so I took the opportunity to convert from the first year into a Masters of Science in Human Resources Management, rather than doing the MBA.

I actually started my degree in Jamaica, when I was working there, and so did the first year of the course while I was in Jamaica, then I moved back to London with work and was studying there for about a year-and-a-half before I moved to Tokyo – again with work – and finished my degree there – so it’s been a global experience!"

This degree really helps me with progressing my career. As a result I’ve got graduate membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and I’m developing a career path in human resources management.

Lauren Frater, MSc Human Resources Management

MBA Employer sponsorship

Forty percent of our MBA students receive sponsorship from their employer.

If you’re considering studying for an MBA, you can use our online interactive tool to produce a proposal document to give to your employer.

All you have to do to prepare your business case is complete three simple steps, outlining why you’ve chosen The Open University MBA, the likely benefits to your organisation and the cost of your employer’s contribution. Try our award-winning MBA Case Builder app.

View a sample business case and read our tips on presenting your case.

Case study: Gerard McGurk, MBA

"I joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1998. My diplomatic career has allowed me to work in bilateral and multilateral foreign policy environments ... I chose to do an MBA because it seemed a natural extension following on from my Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration. I had started to enjoy the intellectual rigour and mental stimulation that came from studying at this level. I needed a new, external challenge and The Open University certainly provided that ... I chose The Open University for my MBA because the Foreign and Commonwealth Office were at that time sponsoring employees … I have been fortunate to work in locations where I found the operating environment ripe for applying my MBA learning.

If there was a particular module that I enjoyed, I would have to say that the Innovation, Creativity and Change module had the most profound impact on me. The quality of the materials, the ideas and frameworks as well as the excellent residential school made the module a near life-changing experience.

I'd certainly encourage anyone to study with the OU – MBA or any other subject. There is already a large contingent of Foreign and Commonwealth Office personnel – at home and overseas – who have studied with the OU."

I was lucky that the local authority I work for funded me to do my degree but I would’ve done it anyway. It was great for my work but on a personal level it was great too, which is why I would’ve somehow found the money to pay for it if the employer I work for hadn’t. So even if you’re struggling I would still say to someone thinking about the OU that they should go for it, whether for personal or work reasons.

Jackie Carter, BA Open Degree

Once my employers realised how my studies have developed me as a manager and the value it brings to my role, they paid for my courses!

Lee Sterry, Business Manager, OU Economics Diploma
See also scholarships and financial support.