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Certificate of Higher Education in Social Sciences

This certificate provides a compelling introduction to the social sciences. You’ll gain fascinating insights into the everyday lives of people in communities, workplaces and many other social sites as you explore ideas from criminology, economics, geography, politics, psychology and sociology. You’ll also discover the ways in which social scientists understand and explain and how people, groups and institutions respond to change, exercise power and make decisions. 

Key features of the course

  • Incorporates ideas from criminology, economics, geography, politics, psychology, and sociology. 
  • Gives you the option of studying criminology, psychology or the social world in more detail 
  • Builds a solid foundation for further study
  • Develops a range of skills focusing on the effective use of analysis and written argument

A nationally recognised qualification in its own right, this certificate of higher education is also equivalent to the first third of the BA (Honours) Social Sciences (R23).

Course Summary

Certificate

Certificate

  • Widely-recognised qualification.
  • Equivalent to the first third of an honours degree.
  • Study for interest or career development.
  • Shows that you can study successfully at university level.
  • Count it towards further qualifications such as a foundation degree, DipHE or honours degree.
Course code
T06
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
120
How long it takes
Part time – 2 years
Full-time – 1 year
Time limit – 7 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This certificate of higher education has one stage comprising 120 credits. You’ll begin with a 60-credit introductory social sciences module and complete your certificate with a choice of one from three 60-credit modules.

Optional Access module – visit Entry requirements to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

You'll start with a broad introduction to the social sciences. You can then choose to study social science in more detail, including some of the important theories and methods that help social scientists understand how individuals and society interact, or explore key issues in either criminology or psychology in greater depth.

We recommend Investigating psychology 1 (DE100) if you're considering further studies in psychology as part of our diploma or degree in social sciences; Introduction to criminology (DD105) if you're considering further studies in criminology or sociology; and Investigating the social world (DD103) if you're considering further studies in sociology or any most other routes through these qualifications.


We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 20 March 2019.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The Certificate of Higher Education in Social Sciences uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • finding external/third party material online.

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support with any of the elements above, visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

On completion

On completion of this undergraduate course, we'll award you the Certificate of Higher Education in Social Sciences.

Recognition in your country

If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.

At The Open University we believe education should be open to all, so we provide a high-quality university education to anyone who wishes to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.

Preparing for study with an Access module

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! The OU offers Access modules designed to introduce the subject area, build your confidence and prepare you for further study, and you may be eligible to study an Access module for free! You'll get:
  • a personal tutor providing regular feedback with one to one telephone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback
For this qualification we recommend:

Your next step

Call us on +44 300 303 0266 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you.

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If, like most OU students, you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £3,012*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £6,024*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £6,024*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2020. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.


Skills for career development

Employers in all fields place a high value on people who can select from and analyse a large amount of complex information, and then make logical and concise use of it. Many of the transferable skills you will acquire by studying this certificate translate well into the workplace. These include:

  • clarity of written communication
  • critical thinking and analysis
  • concise presentation of arguments
  • understanding the connection between theories and evidence
  • problem solving; time management
  • self-motivation
  • use of critical feedback to improve work
  • basic numerical skills.

Career relevance

This course opens up employment opportunities across a whole range of occupations in the public, private and voluntary sectors. These include national and local government, health and social welfare, police, education, charitable organisations, public relations, media, planning and environmental management, the criminal justice system, market research, law, business and commerce. The Certificate of Higher Education in Combined Social Sciences is equivalent to the first year of a full-time degree. It’s a valuable qualification in its own right, but if you’d like to continue studying, you’ll have a sound foundation on which to build. For example, you could progress to the Diploma of Higher Education in Social Sciences (W68) and then to the BA (Hons) Social Sciences (R23), or another of our social sciences degrees.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice. This includes online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience):

  • teacher
  • lecturer
  • social worker
  • advertising planner
  • marketing executive
  • human resources manager
  • researcher
  • counsellor
  • retail manager
  • occupational psychologist
  • television broadcaster
  • journalist
  • charity campaigner
  • lawyer
  • civil servant.
 

Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 15/08/2019
Credit transfer: apply by 12/12/2019

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