This certificate of higher education has one stage comprising 120 credits.
You’ll begin by choosing between a 60-credit introduction to the social sciences or childhood studies, followed by a compulsory 60-credit core psychology module.
In Stage 1, you’ll be introduced to some of the big topics in psychology and the academic skills for successful study. You’ll start with one of two options – a core social science module covering criminology, sociology and other related areas; or a broad introduction to interdisciplinary childhood studies. Both will set the scene for your second, compulsory psychology module.
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 17 March 2021.
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 Psychology 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
- using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
- working in a group with other students
- using or producing diagrams and screenshots
- undertaking practical work
- 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, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.
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; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
Read the detailed learning outcomes here
On completion of this undergraduate course, we'll award you the Certificate of Higher Education in Psychology.
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.
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.
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.
Skills for career development
The Certificate of Higher Education in Psychology is the first stage of the Diploma of Higher Education in Psychology (W45) and the BSc (Hons) Psychology (Q07). Studying for this qualification introduces the fundamental conceptual issues in psychology and the different ways in which psychological knowledge can be constructed. You'll learn how to use, evaluate and present evidence and data, and appreciate how psychologists use evidence-based research to contribute to debates on ageing, crime, education, employment, forensic science, mental health and relationships. You'll also develop many transferable and work-related skills that are highly valued by employers.
- accessing and interpreting information
- constructing arguments
- presenting and communicating information.
- IT and data handling
- application of learning to real world problems and situations
- time management
- independent learning.
Psychology students gain an impressive breadth of knowledge and skills that make them highly employable in a wide range of careers, such as:
- career counselling
- the health professions
- human resources
- police and social services.
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 will require further study, training and/or work experience:
- clinical psychologist
- counselling psychologist
- educational psychologist
- social worker
- advertising planner
- marketing executive
- human resources manager
- retail management
- forensic psychologist
- health psychologist
- occupational psychologist
- sports and exercise psychologist.