Degrees and courses for international students
You are viewing information for England.  Change country.
Women holding a baby

Diploma of Higher Education in Health and Social Care

In today's fast-changing care sector, professionals at all levels need to be proactive and flexible to succeed. This diploma develops your critical understanding of health and social care policy, theory and practice, and the skills you need for effective practice in a diverse, multidisciplinary environment. You’ll also develop your understanding of how ethical, legal, social, economic and political factors influence the provision and development of services.

Key features of the course

  • Applies new ideas to real life issues and situations that affect us all
  • Helps you to develop as an independent and reflective learner
  • Explores the context and processes of change and new ways of working across agency and professional boundaries

A nationally recognised qualification in its own right, the diploma of higher education is also equivalent to the first two thirds of the BA (Honours) Health and Social Care (R26).

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
W69
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 – 8 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This diploma of higher education has two stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • At each stage you will study one 60-credit compulsory module focusing on current issues across the health and social care sector.
  • For the remaining 60 credits of each stage, you will choose between option modules exploring particular issues or client groups in more depth, for example, mental health, older adults, children and young people or health and wellbeing.

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

Stage 1 (120 credits)

At Stage 1, everyone begins with a broad introduction to the experience of giving and receiving care in hospitals, clinics or GP surgeries; within the family and community; and in residential settings. You will also have the opportunity to develop your study skills to enable you to achieve your study goals. For your second module at Stage 1, you can choose between several options, depending on your particular interests.

Stage 2 (120 credits)

At Stage 2, you will explore in more depth some critical issues in health and social care. You will further develop your study skills and the skills that help you in employment, if that is one of your study goals. To complete Stage 2, you can choose between modules focusing on more specific areas of health and social care practice, depending on your interests, aspirations and experience.

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 Health and Social Care 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
  • using and producing diagrams and screenshots
  • finding external/third party material online.

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; elearning 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 Health and Social Care.

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.


Skills for career development

The Diploma of Higher Education in Health and Social Care emphasises crossing professional boundaries and the service user’s perspective, and is closely attuned to care sector priorities. You’ll acquire a strong set of highly valued transferable skills, including skills in written communication; finding and using research and other sources of information; problem-solving; and time management. You’ll learn to work independently and as part of a team, and gain a good understanding of the role of information technology in care.

Career relevance

This diploma is applicable to a wide range of health and social care careers in the statutory, voluntary or private sectors.

Other careers

The wide range of transferable skills you’ll develop during your studies will be applicable to many roles outside health and social care.

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 – 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 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 (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience):

  • Care home advocate
  • Grants officer
  • Health educator
  • Substance abuse outreach worker
  • Volunteer co-ordinator
  • Youth worker.

Register for this course

Start dates
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