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Postgraduate Certificate in Computing

The Postgraduate Certificate in Computing is an intensive programme of study designed for graduates and professionals with appropriate industrial experience. It will develop your knowledge and skills in computing, support a professional approach to the application of those skills, and demonstrate your capability for advanced-level study. A wide choice of modules enables you to meet your immediate career needs or extend your understanding of this broad subject.

Key features of the course

  • A valuable qualification recognised by industry and frequently attracting students sponsored by their employers.
  • Designed to support your continuing professional development.
  • Provides evidence of your ability to study at postgraduate level.

This certificate is the first stage of a study programme that progresses to a postgraduate diploma and finally a masters degree. You can step off at any point, or study the whole programme.

Certificate

Course code
K22
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.
60
How long it takes
1–2 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Course cost
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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Course details

Modules

You can study the modules in any order, although we recommend that you begin with a module from List A that is related to your area of interest or experience.

If you intend to continue studying towards our Postgraduate Diploma in Computing (E81) or MSc in Computing (F66) and want to consider a specialist pathway, you should ensure that the modules you choose for this certificate are appropriate for that specialism.

To gain this qualification, you need 60 credits as follows:

30 credits from List A:

List A: optional modules Credits Next start
Data management (M816)

Discover the data management principles, practices and technologies required to develop policies, procedures and systems that control, protect, deliver and enhance the value of an organisation’s data asset.

See full description

Register
30 01 Nov 2018
Information security (M811)

Explore the professional and technical skills necessary to understand, document, manage and implement strategic and operational aspects of your organisation's information security.

See full description

Register
30 01 Nov 2018
Project management (M815)

In this online module you’ll explore the whole life cycle of projects, from initiation, through to planning, scheduling, execution, handover and review.

See full description

Register
30 01 May 2019 FINAL
Software development (M813)

Gain the fundamental knowledge and understanding, and analysis and synthesis skills that you will need to develop software artefacts fit for a real-world organisational context.

See full description

Register
30 01 May 2019 FINAL

Plus

A further 30 credits from the list A or from List B:

List B: optional modules Credits Next start
Advanced routing CCNP 1 (T824)

This module provides the knowledge, understanding and skills to deploy and manage internal and external routing protocols for large scale inter-networks using Cisco equipment.

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Register
30 01 May 2019 FINAL
Continuing professional development in practice (U810)

This module allows you to evaluate and assess 150 hours prior learning and identify and progress appropriate development opportunities for future continuing professional development. 

See full description

Register
30 03 Nov 2018
Digital forensics (M812)

This module will help you understand how to conduct investigations to correctly gather, analyse and present digital evidence to both business and legal audiences.

See full description

Register
30 01 May 2019 FINAL
Managing systemic change: inquiry, action and interaction (TU812)

Develop your understanding of systemic inquiry, systemic action research and social learning in order to extend your skills of project, programme and change management.

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Register
30 01 Nov 2018
Managing technological innovation (T848)

This module explores the processes that underpin technological innovation an understanding of which is crucial whether you are a user or producer of technological innovation.

See full description

Register
30 01 Nov 2018
Network security (T828)

This module will give you the knowledge, understanding and practical experience of managing a secure communication across a large-scale inter-network using Cisco equipment.

See full description

Register
30 01 Nov 2018
Software engineering (M814)

Explore the advanced concepts and techniques used throughout the software life cycle, for the effective production and management of large, complex, and long-lived software systems.

See full description

Register
30 01 Nov 2018
Strategic capabilities for technological innovation (T849)

This module draws on a range of theoretical perspectives from both strategic and innovation management to produce a multi-layered, practical, approach to strategic management of technological innovation.

See full description

Register
30 01 Nov 2018
Thinking strategically: systems tools for managing change (TU811)

Improve your management skills by exploring different approaches to engaging with complex situations and by developing your understanding of how cognitive processing shapes practice.

See full description

Register
30 01 May 2019

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module T846 or T889

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 20 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.


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 8th June 2018.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes.

Credit transfer

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 completion

On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Computing entitling you to use PG Cert Computing (Open) after your name.

You may continue your studies by adding a further 60 credits to your postgraduate certificate to gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Computing (E81) then an additional 60 credits to gain an MSc in Computing (F66).

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 Essential Documents website. 

Entry requirements

You will need a UK bachelors degree (or equivalent) in computing or a related discipline, or relevant industrial experience. If you do not hold a bachelors degree, irrespective of your industrial experience, you will need to study a module from the Postgraduate Certificate in Computing (K22) to demonstrate your ability to study successfully at postgraduate level. On successful completion, you can link your study to this qualification at a later date.

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 overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.

Our badged open course, Succeeding in postgraduate study, will introduce you to the nature of Master's level study. It offers essential preparation for pursuing your learning at this level – and is free.

How long it takes

Most students complete this qualification over one year, which is the minimum time needed, completing 30 credits over two consecutive 6-month periods. The maximum time to complete is two years.

Career relevance

The modules in the postgraduate computing programme are for professional computer specialists, engineers, technical managers and scientists who need to update their skills and knowledge in specific areas, and gain recognised qualifications to develop their careers.

The modules have been developed to combine theoretical and practical aspects of computing, to enable you to become an effective professional in the computing industry. In addition, they encourage you, through the provision of appropriate educational activities, to develop study and transferable skills applicable to your employment and your continuing professional development.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.