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BA (Honours) Philosophy and Psychological Studies

What makes us happy? Do humans display irrational biases? How can I, a mere physical being, have thoughts and emotions? How does science progress and can I trust it? By what moral authority does the state rule over me? Who should get what? Is there a God? This fascinating course explores how we seek the answers to profound questions about ourselves, our minds, our behaviour, and our place in the social and physical universe.

Key features of the course

  • Develop clear, logical thinking and communication skills
  • Learn to construct and analyse informed, reasoned arguments
  • Understand and use a range of research methods
  • Relevant to a broad range of careers, including media, marketing, financial and social services, administration and management.
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Degree

Course code
Q43
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.
360
How long it takes
Part time – 6–8 years
Full time – 3 years
Time limit – 16 years
Study method
Distance learning
Course cost
See Fees & funding
Entry requirements
None

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Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits (equivalent to one year's full-time university study). Stage 1 provides the underpinning knowledge and skills needed for more advanced study at Stages 2 and 3.

If you have little or no knowledge or experience of studying, you may prefer to start your studies with an Access module as an additional preparatory stage.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

At Stage 1, you’ll develop essential study skills while engaging with a wide range of topics in the arts and humanities before you are introduced to some of the key topics in psychology. Together, these subject areas provide sound preparation for your Stage 2 philosophy and psychology modules.


Compulsory modules (120 credits)

  • The arts past and present (AA100)

    Study a broad range of arts subject areas (art history, classical studies, English, history, music, philosophy and religious studies) across multiple cultures and historical periods in this university-level introduction.

  • Investigating psychology 1 (DE100)

    In this module you’ll explore the different ways in which psychologists investigate the human mind and behaviour, and find out how psychological research addresses real-life issues.

Stages 2 and 3 (240 credits)

At Stages 2 and 3 you’ll focus on your specialist subjects in depth:

  • Investigate the diverging ideas of philosophers past and present and learn to tackle the big questions of philosophy for yourself
  • Explore a broad range of psychological approaches to areas such as identity, language and meaning, personality and social world – while exploring contemporary psychology and its historical roots. At Stage 3, you’ll be able to concentrate on either social psychology or counselling and forensic psychology.


The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.


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 have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – reducing the number of modules you need to study. It’s not just study completed at a university that can be considered, you can transfer study from a wide range of professional qualifications as well. A full list of the qualifications and institutions we can consider for credit transfer can be found on our credit transfer website.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide original evidence of your previous study. We will compare this against the learning outcomes for your chosen qualification and inform you of any award.

For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


Classification of your degree

On successfully completing this undergraduate course, you'll be awarded the BA (Honours) Philosophy and Psychological Studies degree. You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

The class of degree (first, second or third class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.


Compare this course

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification.

General study skills

Anyone can study with The Open University, but if it's a while since you did any academic work it's worth checking that your time management, computing and English skills are up to speed. Visit Can I do it? to find out more.

Help! I'm not sure I'm ready!

Study for free

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don't worry! You can get started with an Access module – fascinating courses designed to introduce subject areas, build your confidence and prepare you for further study.

For this qualification, we recommend:

Arts and languages Access module

What you will study

This fascinating, multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the arts and languages, and would like to 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

People, work and society Access module

What you will study

This is a multidisciplinary module that allows you to develop your subject knowledge and your general study skills. It provides an excellent introduction to a wide range of subject areas, including children and young people, health, law, management, psychology and social sciences.

View full details of People, work and society Access module

Your next step

Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or request 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. Or come and meet us at an event near you.

How much will it cost?

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.

*The fee information provided here is valid for courses starting before 31 July 2015. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation. Fees information for courses starting between 1 August 2015 – 31 July 2016 will be available in March 2015.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification upfront.
  • If like most OU students studying part time, you study an average of 60 credits a year – you’ll study for six years to complete a degree. Our typical fee for 60 credits is £2,632*.
  • Our current fee is £5,264* – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your chosen qualification starts from £15,792* based on our current fees.

Additional costs

Additional costs

Study costs

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

Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how you can pay. That’s why we offer a wide range of flexible payment and funding options to help make study more affordable than you might think. Options include Tuition Fee Loans (also known as student loans), monthly payment plans and employer sponsorship. 

We’re confident we can help you find an option that’s right for you.

Just answer these simple questions to find out more about the options available to you for courses starting before 1 August 2015. Updated information for courses starting after this will be available in March 2015.




How many credits are you planning to study per year? You will need [xxx] credits to complete this qualification

Part time study

Full time study


Do you already hold a degree?

Are you employed?

British Forces

  • Only currently serving members of the British armed forces, who are temporarily and unavoidably working abroad and using BFPO addresses, are eligible to pay UK course fees for the total time spent outside the UK. Other students who are able to use BFPO addresses need to contact us on +44 (0)300 303 5303 for UK fee eligibility to be assessed.
* The fee and funding information provided here is valid for courses starting before 31 July 2015. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation. Fees for courses starting from 1 August 2015 will be available in March 2015.

An OU qualification will always help you stand out from the crowd, now and in the future – whether you’re just starting out, developing your career, or changing direction entirely.

Skills for career development

The disciplines of philosophy and psychology are highly regarded by employers, who prize graduates’ reasoning ability, clear thinking and specialist knowledge – and in particular, the skills vital to effective decision-making including:, selecting, interpreting, evaluating and presenting data, identifying and using relevant information to construct arguments, appreciating different ways to conceptualise and address a question, seeing different sides in a debate while being able to reason in favour of one and thinking coherently about both abstract and practical matters.

You’ll also sharpen your writing and IT skills. All these attributes are greatly in demand in the world beyond study, whether you’re already working, volunteering, or changing career.

Career relevance

This degree is relevant to a broad range of careers, including:

  • public administration, local government, the civil service, social services
  • advertising, journalism, publishing, creative industries, public relations
  • education and health
  • management and human resources
  • police and the law
  • business, banking and retail
  • charities, campaigning and policy development.

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

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):

  • teacher (not a national curriculum subject at secondary level)
  • civil servant
  • advertising account manager
  • journalist
  • publisher
  • public relations manager
  • lawyer
  • charity campaigner
  • retail manager
  • human resources manager
  • social worker
  • researcher
  • information archivist
  • accountant
  • further education lecturer
  • local government and NHS management
  • advice worker
  • social care roles e.g. drugs worker
  • prison manager
  • probation officer
  • youth worker
  • marketing officer
  • business manager

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, PlanIT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland.

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