This diploma has two stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- At Stage 1 you’ll study two compulsory modules that will introduce you to arts and humanities and the study of psychology.
- In Stage 2 you’ll study two further compulsory modules, one in each of philosophy and psychology.
Optional Access module – visit Entry requirements to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.
At Stage 1, you’ll develop essential study skills while engaging with a wide range of topics in the arts and humanities before you are introduced to some of the key topics in psychology. Together, these subject areas provide sound preparation for your Stage 2 philosophy and psychology modules.
At Stage 2 you’ll focus on your specialist subjects in depth as you explore:
- philosophical debates about justice, the human mind and the limits of knowledge; investigate the ideas of philosophers past and present and learn to tackle the big questions of philosophy for yourself.
- a broad range of psychological approaches to areas such as identity, language and meaning, personality and the social world; while exploring contemporary psychology and its historical roots.
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 20 March 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 Philosophy and Psychological Studies 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 with specialist reading material such as works of art and musical manuscripts
- working in a group with other students
- undertaking practical work
- using specialist software (for example the Sibelius music writing package or Design/Engineering Studio)
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
If you’ve already completed some study at another university, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – reducing the number of modules you need to study.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. Just tell us what you studied, where and when, and we’ll compare this against the learning outcomes for your chosen course.
For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
On completion of this undergraduate course, we'll award you the Diploma of Higher Education in Philosophy and Psychological Studies.
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 disciplines of philosophy and psychology are highly regarded by employers, who prize graduates’ reasoning ability, clear thinking and specialist knowledge. You’ll also sharpen your writing and IT skills.
Please note that this qualification will not make you eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) by the British Psychological Society (BPS).
This qualification is relevant to a broad range of careers, including:
- public administration, local government, the civil service, social services
- advertising, journalism, publishing, creative industries, public relations
- education and health
- management and human resources
- police and the law
- business, banking and retail
- charities, campaigning and policy development.
In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.
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):
- civil servant
- marketing officer
- advertising account manager
- charity campaigner
- human resources manager
- social worker
- local government and NHS management
- advice worker
- social care roles e.g. drugs worker
- prison manager
- probation officer
- youth worker
- business manager