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Diploma of Higher Education in Philosophy and Psychological Studies

Philosophy and psychology seek to answer profound questions about ourselves and our place in the social and physical universe. This diploma explores a range of philosophical debates about ethics, justice, scientific knowledge, religion and the self. It introduces core approaches in social, cognitive and developmental psychology, and some applied aspects of professional practice. You’ll learn to read and understand scientific and philosophical texts; to use different research methods; and to communicate clearly and logically. 

Key features of the course

  • Discover how both psychologists and philosophers address real-life issues
  • Learn how to think critically and logically and to collect and evaluate evidence
  • Learn to construct well-informed arguments and present your conclusions in a convincing manner
  • Develop valuable transferable skills that are highly prized in the workplace, including skills in problem-solving and self-management. 

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) Philosophy and Psychological Studies (Q43).

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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
W63
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 diploma has two stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • At Stage 1 you’ll study two compulsory modules that will introduce you to arts and humanities and the study of psychology.
  • In Stage 2 you’ll study two further compulsory modules, one in each of philosophy and psychology.

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 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.
ModulesCredits
You'll study both of the following:
The arts past and present (AA100)60
Investigating psychology 1 (DE100)60

Stage 2 (120 credits)

At Stage 2 you’ll focus on your specialist subjects in depth as you explore:

  • philosophical debates about justice, the human mind and the limits of knowledge; investigate the ideas of philosophers past and present and learn to tackle the big questions of philosophy for yourself.
  • a broad range of psychological approaches to areas such as identity, language and meaning, personality and the social world; while exploring contemporary psychology and its historical roots.

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 Diploma of Higher Education in Philosophy and Psychological Studies 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 such as works of art and musical manuscripts
  • working in a group with other students
  • undertaking practical work 
  • using specialist software (for example the Sibelius music writing package or Design/Engineering Studio)

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. 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 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 Philosophy and Psychological Studies.

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. 


Compare this course

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

Counting previous study

You could save time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study towards this qualification if you have:

  • already studied at university level (even if you didn't finish your studies)
  • other professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

Find out more about credit transfer

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:

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 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 childhood and youth studies, social science, psychology, health, management and law.

View full details of People, work and society 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 £11,712*.
  • .

*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 diploma of higher education will help you practise and refine the skills of argument and analysis, which are valued very highly by employers. As you progress through your studies, you’ll build steadily on your skills; developing greater perception in understanding and analysing information, and constructing more sophisticated arguments in response to assignments. You’ll also learn to study independently and develop your information literacy. These are all essential transferable skills which are in great demand in the modern workplace.

Career relevance

The disciplines of philosophy and psychology are highly regarded by employers, who prize graduates’ reasoning ability, clear thinking and specialist knowledge. You’ll also sharpen your writing and IT skills.

Please note that this qualification will not make you eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

This qualification 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

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 beyond your diploma of higher education):

  • civil servant
  • marketing officer
  • advertising account manager
  • journalist
  • charity campaigner
  • human resources manager
  • social worker
  • local government and NHS management
  • advice worker
  • social care roles e.g. drugs worker
  • prison manager
  • probation officer
  • youth worker
  • business manager

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, Prospects and Plan IT


Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 16/08/2018
Credit transfer: apply by 06/12/2018

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