Postgraduate Diploma in Software Development
Please note that this qualification is only available until 31 December 2015.
In order to claim this qualification you must have completed the required 120 credits by this time. This qualification is not available to new students.
If you have any questions about your eligibility for this qualification please contact the Centre for Qualifications and Ceremonies on +44 (0)1908 653003 or by email.
The increased complexity of software systems and the dependence of many organisations on reliable computing systems stress the need for skilled software developers equipped with the knowledge and techniques to become the professionals at the leading edge of their field. The modules in this postgraduate diploma course will equip you with a sound understanding of the software development process, the ability to meet the needs of the latest trends in the software industry and a broad range of skills for effective participation in a software development team.
Planning your studies
There are no entry requirements for the diploma modules, but you must be suitably prepared for study at professional level. You are expected to have studied to at least HNC/HND level, or to have had equivalent practical experience. Individual module descriptions will tell you more about the requirements.
Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 6 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.
You can take your modules in any order. It is often helpful to begin with a module that is related to your current area of work or to your own interests or experience, so that you can build on your strengths while getting used to Open University supported open learning. We recommend that you start with only one module in the first six-month study period. After this you will have a clearer understanding of the demands that study will make on you, and can decide whether you wish to take more than one module at a time.
Your study of the diploma must be completed within four years from the start of the first module to sitting the examination of the last. If you find you have time to study 30 credits worth of modules in every study period, you can obtain the diploma in two years.
This diploma is only available until 31 December 2015 and in order to claim it you must have completed the required 120 credits by this time.
If you begin studying on this diploma, but later find that you cannot complete it within four years, you may be able to switch to the Postgraduate Diploma in Computing for Commerce and Industry (C02) (available until 31 December 2016), or the Postgraduate Diploma in Management of Software Projects (E19) (available until 31 December 2014), depending on the modules you have studied.
We are currently reviewing our postgraduate computing programme which will include making changes to the selection of modules available. If there are specific modules that you are keen to study we recommend that you take these as early as possible in your study programme.
You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 40 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.
All the modules listed below are available with electronic submission and marking of assignments and so can be studied anywhere in the world.
Career relevance and employability
The modules are designed for professional software developers and their managers, who need to update or extend their skills and knowledge in software development, allowing them to gain recognised qualifications to develop their careers.
BCS - The Chartered Institute for IT offers exemption from some of its membership requirements for holders of an appropriate MSc in computing from The Open University. For more details view or download our Recognition leaflet 3.7 Computing. BCS regulations are on their website.
There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
For this 120-credit postgraduate diploma you require:
60 credits from these compulsory modules:
Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules M873, M882, M887
And 60 credits from the following optional modules:
Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules M865, M877, M879, M881, M882, M886, M887, M889, M891
If you are not studying the modules M882, M883 and M887 as part of the compulsory element of this qualification these modules can instead be included in the 60 credits of optional study.
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes
- Knowledge and understanding
- Cognitive skills
- Practical and professional skills
- Key skills
, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.
Credit for previous study elsewhere
If you have already completed some successful study at postgraduate level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this Open University qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible as it may affect your choice of OU modules. If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete your qualification with us.
Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.
On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Software Development entitling you to use the letters PGD Soft Dev (Open) after your name. If you obtain 60 credits or more at distinction grade, you will qualify for the award of the diploma with Distinction.
Once you have completed the postgraduate diploma, you can gain the MSc in Software Development (F26) by taking a 60-credit research project module. For this your project topic will need to be in the area of software development. If you choose a topic that is in a more general area of computing, you may instead be awarded the MSc in Computing for Commerce and Industry (F05).
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.
How to register
If you want to study for this qualification, read the description and check you meet any specific requirements (for example, some of
our qualifications, require you to be working in a particular environment, or be sponsored by your employer). Then select the
module you wish to study first and ensure it is suitable for you before following the registration procedure for that module.
During the registration procedure you will be asked to declare which qualification you are studying towards.
See a full list of modules available for this qualification