Degrees and courses for international students
You are viewing information for England.  Change country.
Female listening to music with headphones

Diploma of Higher Education in Music

This diploma will broaden and deepen your understanding of music through study of a wide range of genres (including western art music, jazz, popular music, and non-western musics). You will develop the technical skills to analyse and create music in different styles, and examine the technologies that are used to produce, manipulate and transmit music.

Key features of the course

  • Study a wide range of musical repertoires and practices
  • Explore music through analysis, composition and contextual study
  • Create your own music with the help of specialist software 
  • Relevant to a wide range of careers including music performance, teaching, arts administration, community music leadership, and sound recordist

3 Weeks Left

DON’T MISS OUT
REGISTER BY 12 SEPTEMBER

Join over 59,000 students who’ve registered for courses starting this autumn.

Register now

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
W65
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.
  • At Stage 2 you’ll study two compulsory modules which will introduce you to the principles of music and using music technology.

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

Stage 1 (120 credits)

In Stage 1, you will encounter a variety of musicians and musical works and practices alongside fascinating insights from across the arts and humanities. This broad foundation will help you develop the academic skills and confidence necessary for studying music 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 degree, you should choose appropriate language modules.

Stage 2 (120 credits)

At Stage 2, you will engage closely with musical materials in audio and notated forms and use your study of these as the basis for creating your own music with the help of specialist computer software.
ModulesCredits
You'll study both of the following:
Inside music (A224)60
Music, sound and technology (A232)60

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.


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 Music 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
  • finding external/third party material online
  • working in a group with other students
  • working with specialist reading material such as musical manuscripts
  • undertaking practical work
  • using specialist software (for example the Sibelius music notation 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’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

On completion of this undergraduate course, we'll award you the Diploma of Higher Education in Music.

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.

Students at any level of practical musical skill can take this qualification. Before starting Stage 2 of this diploma you should have a knowledge of music theory equivalent to ABRSM Grade 3 level, as the modules begin at this level and progress to more advanced musical concepts and techniques. If you have not yet attained this level, you can reach it by studying the OU’s free online course, Introduction to music theory

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.


Skills for career development

Studying music will provide you with an adaptable set of skills that can lead in many directions and which are greatly valued by employers. Broadly summarised these are critical thinking, analysis, collaborative working, communication, and expertise in working with abstract structures and processes. You will sharpen your IT, writing, and independent thinking skills, and develop an ability to assimilate and evaluate relevant information when constructing an argument. These are key skills in complex organisations, and are highly sought after in the world beyond study – whether you’re already working, volunteering, or changing career.

Career relevance

Study of the arts and humanities requires an understanding of human activities in diverse cultural environments and historical contexts. The breadth of study and range of musical repertoire and practice explored, combined with clear thinking and communication, make the Diploma of Higher Education in Music relevant to a wide range of careers, including:

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

Other careers

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 careers service website are available for you to see now, 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:

  • musician
  • teacher - secondary/private
  • arts administrator
  • community music leader
  • music producer / sound designer 
  • sound recordist 
  • theatre stage manager
  • music therapist
  • event organiser 
  • journalist      
  • publisher      
  • public relations manager
  • media researcher
  • civil servant
  • marketing manager.

Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 15/08/2019
Credit transfer: apply by 12/12/2019

Download a prospectus

Our prospectuses are your essential guide to studying with us, covering courses, fees and funding, career prospects and more.

Download prospectus