Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification; however, to get the best from them you’ll need some basic knowledge of computing, and the ability to read and write to a good standard of English.

In mathematics, your choice of introductory module will depend on your confidence and experience. Visit our MathsChoices website to decide which is right for you.

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.

Counting previous study

You could save time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study towards this qualification if you have:

  • already studied at university level (even if you didn't finish your studies)
  • other professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

Find out more about credit transfer

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 £2,864*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £5,728*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £11,456*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2018. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.


An OU qualification will always help you stand out from the crowd, now and in the future – whether you’re just starting out, developing your career, or changing direction entirely.

Skills for career development

If you work, or would like to work, in information technology, computing, communication technology or related fields, this course is for you. It’s particularly relevant for hardware, software, or systems-based contexts. You’ll gain a sound grasp of these technologies and develop your expertise in particular areas of interest, choosing from options such as software engineering communications, networks or web technologies. You’ll also experience working in a team to tackle a small development task; and gain valuable transferable skills in communication, time management, numeracy, and analysing and solving problems. You’ll be well prepared for further study should you decide to complete a full honours degree.

Career relevance

Finance, government, business, commerce, public services such as health and education, and the voluntary sector are all critically dependent on computing and IT systems. This diploma course is an ideal starting point for a career in any of these sectors, focusing on information technology, computing, communication technology and related fields, or to enhance your existing career.

Research by e-Skills UK has shown that IT and telecommunications now employs 1 in 20 of the UK workforce. It also suggests the digital sector will need nearly 300,000 new recruits by 2020 to meet the demand for skills in this area.

Growth areas and areas of high demand include cyber security, mobile development, cloud computing and the management of Big Data.

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 – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the website are available to see at any time, 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 (note that most careers will require further study, training and/or work experience):

  • applications programmer
  • information systems manager
  • database administrator
  • information technology consultant
  • multimedia programmer
  • software engineer
  • systems analyst
  • systems designer
  • computer support specialist
  • webmaster
  • applications developer
  • web designer
  • technical consultant
  • network engineer
  • technical sales.

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, PlanIT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland.


Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 30/11/2017

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