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Diploma of Higher Education in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics

In this diploma you’ll investigate a variety of questions and themes in religious studies and philosophy from historical and contemporary perspectives. You’ll explore human systems of thought and practice, both ‘secular’ and ‘religious’. This will allow you to engage with wide-ranging and often controversial issues affecting different cultures and societies. As you engage with the core disciplines of religious studies and philosophy you’ll develop critical skills and expertise in a range of key methodologies and approaches.

Key features of the course

  • Consider a range of current questions and themes in both religious studies and philosophy.
  • Engage with key philosophical debates about ethical and other fundamental questions.
  • Learn about various religious practices and beliefs in relation to differing cultures and societies.
  • Approach these disciplines from both historical and present-day perspectives.
A nationally recognised qualification in its own right, this diploma of higher education is also equivalent to the first two thirds of the BA (Honours) Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (R45).

Course Summary

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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
W79
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 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.

Prepare for OU study with an Access module

We offer two starting points depending on how confident you are or how long it’s been since you last studied. Choose to dive straight in with an OU level 1 module, or if you’d prefer some extra preparation, you can get started with an optional Access module. See Entry requirements for more details.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

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.

ModulesCredits
You'll study both of the following:
Discovering the arts and humanities (A111)60
Revolutions (A113)60

Stage 2 (120 credits)

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 3 June 2020.


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 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; 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 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

On completion of this undergraduate course, we'll award you the Diploma of Higher Education in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics.

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.

Even though there are no entry requirements, there are some skills that you’ll need to succeed. If you’re not quite ready for OU study we can guide you to resources that prepare you, many of which are free.

Answer a few quick questions to check whether you’re ready for study success

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.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Preparing for study with an Access module

Students who start their study with an Access module are more likely to be successful when they advance to an OU level 1 module. They’re specially designed to give you a gentle introduction to OU study, boost confidence in your study skills, and help you gain a broad overview of your chosen subject area.

You'll also benefit from:

  • feedback from your tutor through regular one-to-one phone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback on your work.
The Access module we’d recommend studying in preparation for this qualification is our:

Arts and languages Access module

What you will study

This multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the arts, humanities and languages. It's perfect preparation for your study with The Open University as you'll develop both your subject knowledge and your study skills. It explores a range of subjects, including art history, English, English language studies, history, modern languages, and also touches on the areas of creative writing and religious studies.

View full details of Arts and languages Access module

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 £3,096*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £6,192*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £12,384*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2021. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a computer, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If your income is not more than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.


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, working independently and collaboration.

Career relevance

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
  • journalist
  • higher education worker
  • financial services executive
  • solicitor
  • human resources officer

Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 17/12/2020

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