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Certificate of Higher Education in Computing and IT

This certificate will help you to understand some of the fundamental principles, concepts and techniques underlying computing and IT while integrating mathematical ideas into your everyday thinking. Technology dominates the way we live, work, socialise and play – and computing and IT skills are increasingly essential in today's workplace. This certificate will give you a starting point for a wide variety of IT-related careers.

Key features of the course

  • An ideal starting point for a career in information technology, computing, communication technology and related fields
  • Introduces the fast-changing world of computing and IT, and develops your mathematics skills
  • Sample tasters in computing and IT, networking, Linux and robotics
  • Builds a solid foundation for further study

A nationally recognised qualification in its own right, this certificate of higher education is also equivalent to the first third of the BSc (Honours) Computing and IT (Q62).

Course Summary

+Shortlist Course

Certificate

Certificate

  • Widely-recognised qualification.
  • Equivalent to the first third of an honours degree.
  • Study for interest or career development.
  • Shows that you can study successfully at university level.
  • Count it towards further qualifications such as a foundation degree, DipHE or honours degree.
Course code
T12
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.
120
How long it takes
Part time – 2 years
Full time – 1 year
(2 years is the recommended minimum)
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This certificate of higher education has one stage, comprising 120 credits.

  • In Stage 1, you'll study three 30-credit computing and IT modules and a 30-credit mathematics module.

Optional Access module – visit Am I ready? to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

At Stage 1, you’ll study two introductory computing and IT modules and sample some practical information technologies. You’ll also choose a mathematics module based on your confidence and experience.

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 21 March 2018.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The Certificate of Higher Education in Computing and IT 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
  • working in a group with other students
  • using and/or producing diagrams and/or screenshots
  • undertaking practical work
  • finding external/third party material online
  • using specialist software (for example the Design/Engineering Studio).

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit our disability page 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

On completion

On completion of this undergraduate course, we'll award you the Certificate of Higher Education in Computing and IT.

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 to study this qualification; however, you’ll need some basic knowledge of computing, and the ability to read and write to a good standard of English.

In mathematics, your choice of introductory module will depend on your confidence and experience. Visit our MathsChoices website to decide which is right for you.

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

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! The OU offers Access modules designed to introduce the subject area, build your confidence and prepare you for further study, and you may be eligible to study an Access module for free! You'll get:

  • a personal tutor providing regular feedback with one to one telephone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback.
For this qualification we recommend:

Science, technology and maths Access module

What you will study

This multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the sciences, technology and mathematics, and would like to develop both your subject knowledge and your study skills. The subjects included are science, engineering and design, environment, mathematics, and computing and IT.

View full details of Science, technology and maths Access module

Your next step

Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 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 £2,928*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £5,856*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £5,856*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. 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 laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.


Skills for career development

This certificate will equip you with the basic introductory skills and knowledge for a wide variety of careers relating to computing and IT. It will also develop your mathematics skills, which are particularly highly valued by employers – and you’ll be well prepared for further study should you decide to continue (for example, towards a diploma of higher education, a foundation degree or an honours degree).

Career relevance

Research by e-Skills UK has shown that IT and telecommunications now employs 1 in 20 of the UK workforce. It also suggests the digital sector will need nearly 300,000 new recruits by 2020 to meet the demand for skills in this area.

Finance, government, business, commerce, public services such as health and education, and the voluntary sector are all critically dependent on computing and IT systems. The Certificate of Higher Education in Computing and IT will enhance your employability whatever your current role, and is an ideal starting point for a career in information technology, computing, communication technology and related fields.

Other careers

The range of organisations employing people with computing and IT expertise is extensive. A qualification in computing and IT has many applications beyond pure technology roles, such as roles in corporate or management consultancy firms, technical writing or freelance work.

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 website are available to see at any time, 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):

  • applications programmer
  • information systems manager
  • database administrator
  • information technology consultant
  • multimedia programmer
  • software engineer
  • systems analyst
  • systems designer
  • computer support specialist
  • webmaster
  • applications developer
  • web designer
  • technical consultant
  • network engineer
  • technical sales.

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.


Register for this course

Start dates

Request your Computing and IT prospectus

Our prospectuses help you choose your course, understand what it's like to be an OU student and register for study.

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