How our courses are delivered

Most of our courses are delivered on online, and depending on whether you choose an open or trimesterised course, they may have different start and end dates.

Open and trimesterised

Open courses 

You can enrol in and start open courses throughout the year, as they start on the first Monday of each month. You choose the month, and when your enrolment is confirmed we’ll give you the start and end dates that you need to complete your study within.

Trimesterised courses 

Trimesterised courses start and finish at set times during the year. There are three trimesters each year:

  • Trimester 1 starts in February
  • Trimester 2 in July
  • Trimester 3 in November.

Most of our trimesterised courses start on the same date each trimester, but some may have different start dates. Where this is the case, the dates are provided with the course information.

Not all courses are on offer every trimester, so remember this when you plan your studies. Our Student Advisors can help you plan to get the best out of your study time.

Mode of delivery


For online courses, all the course materials are delivered electronically and you use the internet to join in discussions with your tutor or lecturer and other students.

Most online courses are at degree or diploma level and have specific dates for enrolment.

There are also specific computer requirements for studying these courses.

Online assisted

Most of our courses are blended, or online assisted, which means you will be sent printed material that is supported online through our Online Campus.

Paper based

Paper based courses mean your materials are delivered by mail. You receive printed course materials and readings and post back your assignments.

Contact classes

Some courses may also require or offer a number of contact classes and workshops. You can check this in the course information before you enrol.

Additional support

All our courses come with support you can access online. For example, our library services, Online Campus, Study tips and techniques, and My Open Polytechnic – your Open Polytechnic home page and account area.