This qualification has two stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- In each stage, you’ll study a 60-credit design module and 60 credits from a choice of modules in complementary subjects.
- We’ve created themes for the complementary subjects to guide you and help you choose your modules.
In Stage 1, you’ll study your first 60-credit design module and 60 credits in a complementary subject. You may study any of the complementary modules; however, we’ve created themes to help you with your module choice – you’ll find these further down the page, after Stage 2.
In Stage 2, you’ll study your second 60-credit design module and 60 credits from the complementary module. As in Stage 1, you may study any one of the modules (as long as you complete any pre-requisite study); however, we recommend you continue with a route – you can find these further down the page, after Stage 2.
We’ve created nine routes to guide you through the qualification and help you with your module choices.
- Culture and aesthetics
- Health and wellbeing
- Interfaces and interaction
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 27 April 2020.
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 Design and Innovation 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
- using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques or working with specialist reading material such as works of art and musical manuscripts
- working in a group with other students
- using and producing drawings and screenshots
- undertaking practical work
- finding external/third-party material online
- using specialist software and interfaces
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. 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
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 Design and Innovation.
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
The aim of this diploma is to broaden your design thinking and develop design skills around your own particular interests. You’ll develop your understanding of the processes, principles and issues involved in designing and producing new products, and the issues and challenges associated with designing. You’ll gain skills in applying and managing design processes and generate design ideas, concepts, proposals or solutions in response to set briefs to develop a small portfolio of work.
The skills gained through this diploma are relevant to a wide range of careers. The ability to use design thinking in a range of context is particularly valued by employers and you’ll also develop skills in representing your ideas to communicate them.
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):
- design engineer
- product designer
- web designer
- design consultant
- industrial designer
- research and development (R&D) manager
- graphic designer
- information architect
- technical journalist
- visual designer
- sustainability designer
- product developer
- management consultant
- freelance entrepreneur/innovator