Change your life through education and training

Your opportunity with Glastonbury

To change your life through education and training

Your opportunity with Glastonbury

To change your life through education and training

If you are living in Glastonbury, then this is an opportunity for you

As part of the Town Deal, we have partnered with The Open University (OU) to offer a wide range of free skills training, and learning. This includes not only the free courses available through OpenLearn, but also the opportunity to study more formally at the OU through more focused short courses, microcredentials, or even by applying to study a foundation or access course towards an undergraduate degree, with the tuition fees being covered by the Town.

Other i

Good things don’t come along that often, but this is a special offer for the town, and an opportunity for you to change your life through education and training.

The Open University is for everyone

There is no typical OU student. People of all ages and backgrounds study with us, for all sorts of reasons. Our open admissions policy means you can study with us even if your previous education experience or qualifications may have been poor.

Gain confidence studying free on OpenLearn

Still not convinced? Our courses are designed to build your confidence as well as teach you the subject. Maybe start with a free short online course of a few hours, and see if you enjoy learning in a different way.

Release your potential

Want to study for something more substantial? This programme offers a range of free formal education for you. Gain a microcredential in Sustainability, build your business skills or develop wider skills for work, and more.

Dr Lynne Sedgmore CBE
The Glastonbury Town Deal Board has initiated this unique and exciting partnership with The Open University to offer a wide range of learning opportunities for the people of Glastonbury.

Dr Lynne Sedgmore CBE

Chair of Glastonbury Town Deal

Start today. Flexible free study is here, so dip in

Find your learning

Our OpenLearn site offers over 10,000 hours of free content, from short one-hour courses to something a little more substantial.

Enrol and start studying

Click and start. Explore and see what you would like to study. Try courses without risk to see if they work for you.

Earn badges and certificates

Complete the course, and earn certificates and badges in recognition of your new skills. Share these with your family, friends and employers.

Study free courses

Gain confidence, start with free courses on OpenLearn

Interested in a new subject and want to dig deeper? Or maybe you’re passionate about a subject? Whether it’s a five-minute exploration or a 24-hour expedition into learning that you’re after, you can find it on OpenLearn for free.

OpenLearn is our free learning platform providing free education to all as part of our social remit. We are proud to say it reaches over 10 million users each year. Whether you need help with basic maths or English, understanding business a little better or understanding more about mental health, then we can help. Start small, and grow your knowledge.

Earning a localised digital badge

Gain an Upskill Award endorsed by Glastonbury Town Deal Board

Complete three courses on OpenLearn to gain the award.

Digital badges are a great way to showcase your skills. By completing OpenLearn courses, you can gain recognition for your existing and new skill sets. In addition to the OpenLearn badges, we have created a Glastonbury Town digital badge in recognition of those who are working on their skills through this programme.

Glastonbury Upskill Award Badge

Taking learning further

Is this learning right for me?

Yes. The main reason we are called The Open University is that we are open to everyone. There are no formal academic entry requirements; we are open to all. Our students are diverse: 30% are 25, yet our oldest are still studying into their 90s. Every year we help thousands of people achieve extraordinary things. Where you are in life shouldn’t limit where you can go.

If you’re determined to succeed and prepared to work hard, then we can get you started. This is not just about formal higher education, but rather gaining skills at every level to enhance your life and work.

Your questions answered

What is the nature of the partnership with The Open University?

As part of the Glastonbury Town Deal, we have partnered with The Open University to offer education and learning opportunities for the people of Glastonbury.

This offer utilises the free Open Education Resources provided by the OU, and we have curated courses that we think may be of most interest to you. However, the partnership also offers the opportunity to study more formally with short courses, microcredentials and access (foundation) courses.  These are normally chargeable, but through the Town Deal can be offered to applicants free of charge.

Who is this opportunity open to?

This opportunity is designed for the people of Glastonbury.  Anyone can access the free courses provided on the OU’s OpenLearn platform.

If you currently meet one of the following criteria, then you can apply to start more formal paid courses offered. The course fees will be paid directly to the OU for you by the Town Deal.

  • We would like to see evidence of residing in Glastonbury (utility bill etc.)
  • For mobile communities, we would like to see a letter from a community group saying that they are known to them as currently residing in Glastonbury.
Sounds a great opportunity, but is there a catch?
This is a great opportunity for you.  There are no catches.  If you start an OU course, we hope you will enjoy it and successfully complete it. But if you drop out of the course, there is no penalty; you will not be charged for any fees.

To see if OU learning is right for you, maybe start with one or two free courses on OpenLearn, and then you can progress on to something a little more formal.

How long will my course take?

The OU offers a huge range of courses and other resources such as articles or videos.  Some take less than an hour to complete, but most are a little more substantial.  Most courses are self-paced, so you can take as long as you need to complete them.  They are designed so you can study around your other commitments such as family or work.

What qualifications do I need to start an OU course?

The OU is designed to be open to all people, independent of their previous qualifications or educational background.  Wherever you are today, we think we can find a course that works for you, from improving your basic skills in maths or English up to studying for a degree or postgraduate qualification.

The OU is designed for people who want to learn and this is reflected in how each course is designed. It aims to build your learning confidence alongside new skills and knowledge.

What equipment do I need to do an OU course?
The OU courses are online.  You will need regular access to a laptop or desktop computer to study.  Mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones are helpful, but it may be difficult to fully engage with the course using just these.  In Glastonbury, free desktop access can be found at the local library.
Where can I find information on other learning opportunities in Somerset?

Other information on employment and skills, apprenticeships, redundancy, self-employment and volunteering is available from the Strode College website and on the Somerset Council website.

Education for you and for Glastonbury

Somerset Council fully supports the growth and investment plan for Glastonbury – it provides the promise of more opportunity for the community to develop their skills and knowledge, and the collaboration with The Open University plays an important role in ensuring residents have access to exceptional learning resources.

Ros Wyke

Lead Member for Economy Planning and Assets

This is a programme for all the people of Glastonbury.  Whatever your ambitions, here is an opportunity to gain the skills in order to achieve your potential, get that new job, start a new business or manage your life a little better.  No fees, no catches, so time to invest in yourself.

Jon Cousins

Former Mayor of Glastonbury and Glastonbury Town Deal Community Board Member

I am so proud that we are able to provide this amazing learning opportunity as part of the Glastonbury Town Deal. As someone who left school with just ‘O’ Levels, I did my first degree with The Open University, and used their Pre-Degree study support – this was a real pivotal event in my life. I do believe that learning is the greatest gift we have – ‘to give and receive learning’ and this is therefore something we can cherish.
Julie Reader-Sullivan

Head of Service Planning and Growth

Things are happening in  Glastonbury

Here are four of the eleven projects that make up the Glastonbury Town Deal

Information on all projects can be found at

The Life Factory

The Life Factory

The Life Factory is an exciting new project, developing a space for innovation, enterprise and creativity. Formerly a thriving leather factory, this iconic building had fallen into disrepair since its closure in the 1980s. This project renovates and repurposes the building, to become a centre for business, learning and the community.

The Baily’s Building

The Baily’s Building

An ambitious project to restore two historical buildings as a reminder of Glastonbury’s past and a vision for its future.  Retaining the beautiful Victorian facades, The Baily’s Building will house offices, workshops and co-working areas for local businesses and provide space for start-up businesses to grow and thrive.
Glastonbury Clean Energy

Glastonbury Clean Energy

The Clean Energy project is a crucial element in Glastonbury’s aim to become a carbon neutral town by 2030. The project aims to generate low-cost green energy through a solar farm, and provide to the local community and businesses, aiming to save over 1,000 tonnes of carbon each year. In addition, local schoolchildren will be able to visit the farm, to learn about green energy and inspire the next generation

Glastonbury Abbey Piazza

Glastonbury Abbey Piazza

Located in the heart of the town, Glastonbury Abbey receives visitors from across the globe, yet its entrance is tucked away and underwhelming. This project enhances the main entrance and improves the visitor facilities, opening up the Abbey, improving its visibility, accessibility and physical connection to the town, and in turn boosting the town’s culture strengths for the future.