Design Competition | Oxford Open Learning

Inspiring Adult Learners: Design Competition

Inspiring Adult Learners: Design Competition

Creative designers – we need you! Help us to help others get back into education and you could win £500 or a WACOM Bamboo Pad Wireless Touchpad.

All you need to do is design a poster campaign to encourage adults (18+) with few, or no, formal academic qualifications to get back into learning. Interested? Read on!


Oxford Open Learning Trust is a not-for-profit trust dedicated to helping people reach their full potential through distance learning. We’ve been offering A-Levels, GCSEs and International GCSEs to students over 18 years of age for over 25 years and have the highest academic standards in the distance learning sector.

Almost 80% of our Maths GCSE graduates achieve a grade C or above compared to the 50% national average. And because we’re a trust, all profits are reinvested into our services, so we can offer more and help more people get the qualifications they need to succeed.

Design Challenge

Getting back into learning can be a big step for someone who has been out of the classroom for years, particularly if they struggled at school. Sometimes they need that extra bit of encouragement to take that step and put themselves out there.

This is why we need you to provide that motivation and produce a poster which shows the benefits of getting back into learning and achieving new qualifications; not just the financial benefits, but the confidence that comes with it and the new experiences it opens people up to.

We carried out research earlier this year which revealed 41% of people have not applied for a new job or a promotion because they lack confidence in their skills.

And research by the Office for National Statistics shows that employees with no formal educational qualifications earned 20% less than employees education to GCSE level in 2010, the last time the research was carried out.

We need a design that will inspire people to get back into learning and encourage them to take action, whether it’s using distance learning or another route. Think about what the most compelling arguments are for achieving qualifications and try to appeal to a wide range of people.

Target audience

All our learners are aged 18+ and many have few, or no, formal academic qualifications for a huge variety of reasons. Many of our learners take a qualification with us to continue to higher education or to facilitate a career change – particularly into teaching or nursing – so keep this in mind.

What’s in it for you?

An expert panel – including Greg Smith, Chief Operating Officer of Oxford Open Learning Trust and Director at ABCC, the trade association for the UK’s Distance Learning Providers, and members of an award-winning design team – will select the winning entry. The winning design will then be used as a key part of Oxford Open Learning’s online marketing, so think about how your design can extend into a full campaign. Additional exposure will be gained from sharing of the winning design with the education community.

The winning designer will receive £500 as a prize and all the shortlisted designers will receive a WACOM Bamboo Pad Wireless Touchpad with Stylus.


Please produce your poster in A3, 300dpi, CMYK and email as a JPEG or PDF Format to For files over 10MB, please use using the email address above. You can also enter via a blog post submitted to the above address.

We also need your full name, contact details (including your web address if you have one) plus a little background on you. Feel free to include a short rationale about your design, but this is not a requirement of entry.

Deadline & Key Dates

All entries for the competition should be submitted no later than Thursday January 1st 2015 either as an attachment or a link to a website to you choose to post your designs online. Any entries received after this date will not be counted.

The winner will be informed of their win no later than Friday January 9th 2015 and details of the winner will be placed on the Oxford Open Learning website and shared on Twitter no later than Monday January 12th 2015.

Download Creative Brief as a PDF

Download the OOL logo

Stay Connected