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Disabled? Open up to free study

Disabled? Open up to free study


10 May, 2018

The Open University (OU) recently launched the Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund, offering 50 disabled Veterans, injured in, or due to, military service, access to free OU education. In addition to free study, applicants will be offered further specialist careers and disability support. If this is something that could benefit you, read on …

The Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund (DVSF) will seek to fund 100 full fee-waiver scholarships (or equivalent), alongside a wraparound disability and careers support service. The Open University is offering 100 scholarships in total split over two years, so 50 places are available in each academic year 2018/19 and 2019/20. To be eligible to apply for the fund, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • be starting OU study in the 2018/19 academic year
  • be eligible for a UK fee
  • be disabled as a result of, or in, military service.

Full details of the terms and conditions can be found here:

The DVSF will provide full fee waivers up to a maximum of 120 credits per academic year, 360 credits in total and not exceeding £18,000 for the total duration of the successful applicant’s qualification. Awards will be strictly limited to a single qualification.

Successful applicants who are offered funding via the DVSF will not be entitled to claim concurrently for Enhanced Learning Credits ((ELC) – JSP 822 Part 1 Section 6.5 refers) or Publicly Funded Further Education-Higher Education (PF FE-HE) Funding (JSP 822 Part 1 Section 6.6 refers). However, those individuals who subsequently successfully complete the entire course with the OU or withdraw from the DVSF may still have an entitlement to any of their remaining ELC to undertake other courses at level 3 or above.

Additionally, those successful DVSF applicants who do not achieve a level 4 qualification at 120 credits or more via the OU DVSF initiative may still be entitled to use the PF FE-HE scheme to do so. In these circumstances, each instance will be carefully considered, on a case-by-case basis, to ensure the individual fully meets the PF FE-HE scheme eligibility criteria and is still within their scheme membership period.



Careers support

All eligible applicants (whether successful in gaining a scholarship or not) will be entitled to pre-entry careers information, advice and guidance. All successful applicants may also be entitled to receive:

specialist resources such as workbooks, webinars and forums
ongoing career coaching/mentoring support for the duration of study
additional support will be provided subject to the requirements and career goals of each student.

Disability support

Successful applicants will be able to request specialist equipment and disability support. This will be in addition to any support provided via the Disabled Student’s Allowance.

Any additional support will be looked at on a case-by-case basis, depending on your requirements.


How to apply

Before you apply for the scholarship you will need to reserve a place on the first module(s) you would like to study this year. You can then download an application form, and complete and return this, along with your supporting evidence, by the deadline. You can find the application form here:


Applications for the DVSF are to be made to the OU by midnight on 1 August 2018. Applicants will be selected at random on 6 August, with successful applicants notified by email and letter on or before 10 August.



Full details can be found at

Need more information?

Call an OU adviser on 0300 303 5303