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.
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.
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.
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, visit Disability support 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
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 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.
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
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.
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
- 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):
- museum curator
- civil servant
- advertising account manager
- public relations manager
- charity campaigner
- retail manager
- human resources manager
- information archivist
- further education lecturer
- local government and NHS management
- arts administration
- advice worker
- tourist officer
- business management.