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Diploma of Higher Education in Arts and Humanities

This diploma of higher education encompasses a wide range of fascinating disciplines including art history, classical studies, creative writing, English language, English literature, French, German, history, music, philosophy, religious studies and Spanish. As you work through the course, you’ll develop your cultural literacy and deepen your understanding of the past – while sharpening your critical awareness and refining the skills of debate and analysis that are highly valued by employers.

Key features of the course

  • Develops your understanding of our rich cultural heritage from a great diversity of perspectives, periods and subjects 
  • Offers the opportunity to specialise in one or more subjects    
  • Practice and refine the skills of argument and analysis, enhancing your employability
  • Builds your study skills and knowledge giving a solid foundation for further study

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
W59
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.

  • You’ll start Stage 1 with a broad introduction to the arts and humanities followed by up to two modules chosen from a variety of subjects.
  • Next, at Stage 2, you will choose two modules from a broad range of arts and humanities options.

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

Stage 1 (120 credits)

You’ll begin with a stimulating introduction to the arts and humanities, studying a range of topics from across different periods and civilisations while developing essential study skills. Optional modules build on this firm foundation to develop your critical and analytical skills.  We recommend that you study this stage over two years to give yourself a solid grounding in the humanities and sound preparation for your chosen study route at Stage 2.
ModulesCredits
You'll start your diploma with:
Discovering the arts and humanities (A111)60
You'll complete Stage 1 with a choice of options, we recommend:
Voices, texts and material culture (A105)60
Alternatively, you can choose 60 credits from this list of modules.

If you plan to study French, German or Spanish as part of your diploma, you should choose appropriate language modules.

Stage 2 (120 credits)

As you work through the diploma, you’ll continue to develop your critical thinking, writing and analysis skills. You’ll also begin to work and think more independently in relation to a range of problems and questions posed by your course of study. You will take two modules from art history, classical studies, creative writing, English language, English literature, French, German, history, music, philosophy, religious studies or Spanish.

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 13 September 2019.


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 Arts and Humanities 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
  • working in a group with other students
  • working with specialist reading material such as works of art and musical manuscripts
  • using specialist software (for example the Sibelius music writing package).

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 Arts and Humanities.

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.

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 £12,048*.

*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.

Residential schools

This qualification includes optional language modules that include a residential school. For each residential school you must pay an additional charge of £293 (2019/20) to cover the cost of accommodation and meals. You’ll pay this charge when you book the residential school, after you’ve enrolled on the module. You must also pay for your travel to and from the venue. If you can’t attend the school for reasons beyond your control, there will be an online alternative (to which the additional charge doesn’t apply).

If this qualification also includes science modules, they could include or be associated with an optional residential/laboratory school. For each school you choose to attend, you must pay an additional charge to cover costs such as tuition, accommodation and meals (see individual module descriptions for more information). You must also pay for your travel to and from the venue.


Skills for career development

This diploma of higher education will help you practise and refine the skills of argument and analysis, which are valued very highly by employers. As you progress through your studies, you’ll build steadily on your skills; developing greater perception in understanding and analysing information, and constructing more sophisticated arguments in response to assignments. You’ll also learn to study independently and develop your information literacy. These are all essential transferable skills which are in great demand in the modern workplace.

Career relevance

The breadth of study and the range of cultural texts and objects analysed, combined with clear thinking and communication, make this diploma of higher education course relevant to a wide variety of careers, including:

  • public administration, local government, the civil service, art institutions, and social services
  • advertising, journalism, publishing, creative industries and public relations
  • education
  • legal work
  • business, banking and retail
  • human resources
  • charities and campaigning.

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 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. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your diploma of higher education):

  • teacher
  • museum curator
  • civil servant
  • advertising account manager
  • journalist
  • publisher
  • public relations manager
  • lawyer
  • charity campaigner
  • retail manager
  • human resources manager
  • politician
  • librarian
  • information archivist
  • accountant
  • further education lecturer
  • local government and NHS management
  • arts administration
  • advice worker
  • tourist officer
  • marketing
  • business management.

Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 05/12/2019

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