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Diploma of Higher Education in Psychology

If you’re interested in psychology and would like to develop skills and knowledge relevant to a wide range of careers, this diploma is for you. You’ll explore how psychologists use evidence to contribute to debates on ageing, crime, education, employment, forensic science, mental health and relationships; and choose options to suit your particular interests.

Key features of the course

  • Explores different areas of psychology and how psychologists investigate the human mind and behaviour
  • Options include childhood studies, counselling, social sciences, or sport and exercise psychology
  • Develops analytical and communication skills and your ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • Builds a solid foundation for further study

A nationally recognised qualification in its own right, this diploma of higher education is also equivalent to the first two thirds of the BSc (Honours) Psychology (Q07).

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Course Summary

Diploma

Diploma

  • Widely-recognised qualification.
  • Equivalent to the first two thirds of an honours degree.
  • Enhance your professional and technical skills or extend your knowledge and understanding of a subject.
  • Study for interest or career development.
  • Top up to a full honours degree in just two years.

This type of course may be of particular interest if you’re living or working in Scotland.

Course code
W45
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.
240
How long it takes
Part time – 4 years
Full time – 2 years
Time limit – 12 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This qualification has two stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • At Stage 1 you can choose between an introduction to the social sciences or childhood studies. You’ll follow this with your first core psychology module.
  • At Stage 2, you’ll study one or two modules from a range of complimentary topics and will complete your diploma with a second core psychology module.

Optional Access module – visit Am I ready? to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

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 compulsory psychology module.

Stage 2 (120 credits)

You’ll explore the areas of psychology that most interest you – choosing from options such as child psychology, counselling, and sports psychology – and cover those specified by the British Psychological Society. You’ll consider how psychologists explain the way we think, feel and behave; and encounter a variety of studies, experiments, interviews and clinical investigations in different settings: including the laboratory, home and clinic. You’ll learn how psychological knowledge develops, and carry out short practical projects to develop your skills.

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 21 March 2018.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The Diploma 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 and producing diagrams or screenshots
  • undertaking practical work
  • finding external/third party material online
  • some modules may require you to use specialist software (for example SPSS software for statistical analysis).

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

Credit transfer

If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.

It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.

For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


On completion

On completion of this undergraduate course, we'll award you the Diploma 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.

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. 

Compare this course

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.

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 £2,928*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £5,856*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £11,712*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.


Skills for career development

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.

These include:

  • communication
  • numeracy
  • 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. 

Career relevance

Psychology students gain an impressive breadth of knowledge and skills that make them highly employable in a wide range of careers, such as:

  • advertising
  • marketing
  • career counselling
  • education
  • the health professions
  • human resources
  • management
  • 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 – 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):

  • clinical psychologist
  • counselling psychologist
  • educational psychologist
  • teacher
  • social worker
  • advertising planner
  • marketing executive
  • human resources manager
  • researcher
  • counselling
  • retail management
  • forensic psychologist
  • health psychologist
  • occupational psychologist
  • sports and exercise psychologist.


Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 06/12/2018

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