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Diploma of Higher Education in Combined Professional Studies - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

The Diploma of Higher Education in Combined Professional Studies aims to encourage you to develop:

  • an enthusiasm for your chosen subjects and a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development
  • an understanding of your subjects in a broad ethical, social, intellectual, academic and employment context
  • intellectual and critical abilities to analyse, synthesise, be creative and open to new possibilities – especially in the workplace
  • the skills required to learn and to continue learning in new situations, and from a variety of sources and experiences
  • a critical and reflective awareness of your own learning styles and preferences
  • a critical and reflective awareness of your own professional practice
  • a regard for the perspectives of others.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the principles, concepts and techniques used in your chosen subjects and in the workplace
  • organisational change, strategy and project working tools and techniques
  • the limits of knowledge, and how this influences analysis and interpretations based on that knowledge.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to:

  • apply your knowledge and understanding accurately to a range of issues, questions and problems relevant to your studies and your workplace
  • apply established techniques to critically evaluate and interpret your subject in a range of contexts.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to:

  • recognise and record your skills and knowledge to support your personal and career development
  • engage – as appropriate – with practical and professional skills demonstrating development of an awareness of relevant ethical issues.

Key skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to:

  • communicate clearly and accurately, being aware of the requirements, knowledge and perspectives of others
  • use information technology and information literacy skills to search for, exchange, process and evaluate information
  • plan, monitor and review your progress as an independent learner
  • develop a range of transferable skills that will enhance your employability
  • use a range of established techniques to initiate and undertake critical analysis of information and to propose solutions to problems arising from that analysis.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Knowledge and understanding are acquired, and all categories of skills are developed, through the teaching materials. These include specially prepared teaching texts supported by self-assessment and in-text questions, reference texts, computer-aided learning packages, directed reading, online forums, web-based resources, broadcast TV programmes, videos and audio tapes.

Local part-time tutors will support your learning through tutorials and day schools organised regionally.

Knowledge, understanding and skills are continuously assessed through tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and, on some modules, by computer-marked assignments (CMAs). All modules above OU level 1 have either a written examination or examinable component such as a project report.

Tutors mark your TMAs according to marking guides produced centrally by the relevant module teams and provide written feedback to you individually on your performance. Where CMAs are used, computer-generated feedback is available to students.

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