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Diploma of Higher Education in English - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

This is an intermediate programme that aims to provide you with:

  • a thorough grounding in the humanities alongside the development of discipline specific perspectives at OU level 2
  • the development and consolidation of skills of analysis, argument and expression
  • the ability to write well-argued essays and other specified written tasks, including work in formal examinations, and reflect on tutor feedback, and use this feedback to improve on future performance
  • the opportunity to enhance your personal development, both in terms of progressing towards a degree in a named subject through OU level 3 study, and awareness of the transferrable skills you have gained in the process of studying English in conjunction with arts and humanities to diploma level

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this diploma, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • texts in English (or translated into English) from a wide range of different genres
  • the central and complex role of language in the creation of meaning
  • key critical and theoretical approaches to the study of English, including an awareness of how language and texts negotiate cultural change and difference
  • the character and conventions of the principal literary genres – poetry, fiction and drama – and of other kinds of writing and communication
  • the history and contemporary position of English and its role as a global language
  • writing fiction, poetry, biography and autobiography with technical skill, individual style and editorial awareness

Cognitive skills

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

  • analyse a wide range of contemporary and historical texts from a variety of cultural contexts in an appropriate critical vocabulary
  • evaluate different interpretations of texts and language
  • relate ideas drawn from a variety of sources, including abstract concepts, to specific texts
  • diagnose and solve problems arising in your work, both critical and creative, and be able to respond to beneficial advice to enhance your writing
  • develop critical skills in the close reading and analysis of diverse texts and learn to use appropriate linguistic and literary terminology to describe and analyse texts
  • give objective and informed evaluations of your own and others’ work through constructive criticism

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

  • organise time and workload in the planning and writing of assignments and longer projects, following the conventions of scholarship in the subject, and acknowledging the work of others
  • edit and present a range of assignments to a professional standard
  • participate constructively in critical discussion about creative and scholarly work, collaborating orally and in writing with peers in developing your own work and the work of your fellow students; contributing to a supportive writing and literary community
  • identify relevant material for a particular task from a variety of sources
  • identify and evaluate conflicting arguments, including recognizing the significance of different value positions in these arguments

Key skills

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

  • communicate complex ideas and arguments clearly and in ways that are appropriate to your subject, purpose and audience
  • use ICT tools competently, using information literacy skills in finding, evaluating and using online data
  • gather, sift, interpret and organize substantial quantities of diverse information in structured ways and reference sources appropriately
  • monitor and reflect on personal progress and make use of feedback from a tutor to improve performance

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will 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; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups; and community forums.

In the programme a range of types of assessment is used, in accordance with the recommendations of the national music benchmarking statement. Most modules include continuous assessment and an examinable component (not an exam). The tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) that make up the continuous assessment component may take the form of essays, reflective writing, and reports, depending on the module and the level.