This qualification has two stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- You’ll start Stage 1 with an introduction to the arts and humanities and the history relating to revolutions.
- Next, in Stage 2, you'll study two compulsory modules as you begin to explore philosophy and religion in more detail.
In Stage 1 you’ll be introduced to religious studies and philosophy in the context of a wider interdisciplinary study of the arts and humanities. You’ll discover some of the basic approaches of each discipline by engaging with fascinating and accessible topics.
At Stage 2 you'll move from interdisciplinary study to a more focussed engagement with religious studies, philosophy and ethics. In these modules, you'll encounter expressions of Christianity, Islam and Hinduism in a variety of contexts, and be introduced to the core issues in philosophy and ethics which will raise some thought-provoking questions such as what makes me ‘me’ and why should I act ethically.
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 17 March 2021.
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 Religion, Philosophy and Ethics 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 and images
- working in a group with other students
- finding external/third party material online
If you feel you may need additional support with any of the elements above, visit our disability page 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
If you’ve already completed some university-level study somewhere else, you may be able to count it towards this qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.
It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. For more details and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
On completion of this undergraduate course, we'll award you the Diploma of Higher Education in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics.
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 qualification will develop your skills in critical thinking, communicating successfully to a wide range of audiences, empathy and understanding the views and practices of others, IT, as well as working independently and collaboratively.
Employers are known to value highly the kinds of key critical thinking, empathy and communication skills which a Religion, Philosophy and Ethics diploma offers. Because of this, a qualification of this type has the potential to open up many different careers. Holders of this diploma will find it relevant to a wide range of careers in both the private and public sector, including: teaching, civil service, financial services, law, local government, journalism and NGO/charity work.
Please note, this diploma does not guarantee entry to the careers listed, which may require a degree and/or other specialist qualifications. However, it may help you gain those qualifications and enhance your prospects for progression once you are employed.
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 beyond your degree.
- civil servant
- charity worker
- local government officer
- social/youth community worker
- school teacher
- higher education worker
- financial services executive
- human resources officer