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The Open University works with various organisations in many ways, sharing our expertise.

Often, we work with employers to develop their talent. To give just a few examples:

  • We’re the UK’s largest provider of law graduates.
  • More than 1,200 serving members of the British armed forces and the Merchant Navy are studying with us across the world.
  • We’re the UK’s largest provider of health and social care education; this includes training nurses for the NHS.

Our longest and probably best-known partner is the BBC. For nearly half a century, The Open University has produced programmes with the broadcaster. The BBC televised our earliest programmes, and our partnership with them continues to evolve to include digital channels and platforms, as well as up to 30 television and radio co-productions annually.

The Open University has been in partnership with the BBC for nearly 50 years, and has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s, to the co-production of award-winning factual content across BBC channels and platforms.

Our range of programmes includes Blue Planet II, Civilisations, Hospital and radio series such as Thinking Allowed and All in the Mind.

Over the years, the emphasis has shifted away from broadcasting programmes related to single Open University courses – which are now supplied more effectively online and directly via our study materials – towards a range of TV, radio and digital content to inspire lifelong learning. The OU/BBC partnership creates a wide variety of unique assets which we use in our teaching and learning.

In addition, the TV and Radio pages on OpenLearn – the online home of free learning from The Open University – include a wide range of activities and information linked to our BBC co-productions.

There are an average of 250 million views of Open University programmes via the BBC every year.

Find out about forthcoming OU/BBC partnership programmes and how they link to our formal curriculum on the TV and Radio pages on OpenLearn.