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Diploma of Higher Education in Design and Innovation

This general design diploma focuses on developing creative design thinking to address problems in every aspect of life. The design modules feature online design studios, social networking and inspiring study materials alongside a practical component. As well as design, you’ll study modules in complementary subjects to gain skills and knowledge in an area that fits your needs and interests.

Key features of the course

  • Teaches you about different design specialisms
  • Focuses on the process and application design and innovation in real-world contexts
  • Puts your learning into practice, building a portfolio of design work to show your ideas and skills

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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
W73
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.

  • 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.

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’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.

Stage 2 (120 credits)

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.

Themes

We’ve created nine routes to guide you through the qualification and help you with your module choices.

  • Culture and aesthetics
  • Energy
  • Engineering
  • Environment
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Interfaces and interaction
  • Management
  • Society
  • Sustainability

Society

ModulesCredits
Stage 1
You'll study both of the following:
Design thinking: creativity for the 21st century (U101)60
Investigating the social world (DD103)60
Stage 2
You'll study the following:
Design essentials (T217)60
You'll choose one from:
Environment and society (DD213)60
Understanding digital societies (DD218) – planned for October 202060
The uses of social science (DD206)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 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 our Disability support website 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; 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 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.

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 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.

Career relevance

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
  • researcher.

Register for this course

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

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