Diploma of Higher Education in Humanities

The Open University

Program Description

Diploma of Higher Education in Humanities

The Open University

Diploma of Higher Education in Humanities

This diploma of higher education encompasses a wide range of fascinating disciplines including art history, classical studies, creative writing, English language, French, German, history, literature, music, philosophy, religious studies and Spanish. As you work through the course, you’ll develop your cultural literacy and deepen your understanding of the past – while sharpening your critical awareness refining the skills of debate and analysis that are highly valued by employers.

Key features of the course

  • A great diversity of topics from across different periods and civilisations
  • Options to focus on a particular subject area as you progress
  • Builds a solid foundation for further study.

Educational aims

This is an intermediate programme covering a wide range of disciplines and possible modules that aims to provide you with:

  • a thorough grounding in the humanities alongside the development of discipline specific perspectives at OU level 2
  • an introduction to different ways of approaching your chosen subject specialism 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 the arts and humanities to diploma level.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Your learning will be through exposure to and discussion of texts, reproductions of works of art (including works of music), and reproductions of different sorts of historical evidence. The study materials may be in a variety of media, but will incorporate questions to encourage you to interact with the topics under discussion, practise argument and establish your understanding of the material. Additionally, there will be opportunities for discussion (face to face, online or via telephone) with your tutor and fellow students, to help you to test out approaches to the various kinds of subject matter.

Your knowledge and understanding will be assessed principally through tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) that require written work ranging from short pieces of analysis to full-length essays. For some optional modules there may also be an examination.

The teaching and learning of cognitive skills in the humanities is closely integrated with the teaching of subject matter. There are opportunities to practise your acquisition of cognitive skills as you work through the study materials, with their embedded questions, and through your assessed work. Written assignments provide numerous opportunities to test out and refine your cognitive skills, and tutors, in their feedback on your assignments, have a key role to play in fostering this kind of learning.

The key skills in learning how to learn and communication are, again, integral parts of the teaching and assessment in humanities modules. Study materials include guidance on the use of appropriate academic conventions, and you can practise these in written assignments, with feedback from your tutor to help you to consolidate good scholarly habits.

The use of reflection as a tool for learning is built into the assessment pattern of the OU level 1 compulsory module, and the Virtual Learning Environment provides opportunity for formative assessment that reinforces various kinds of learning, including familiarisation with ICT. Reflective elements are also present in several OU level 2 modules.

Guidance on the acquisition of these skills is cumulative, and personalised support and feedback from your tutor and other OU staff will enhance your learning in these areas. TMAs and exams test the ability to absorb and synthesise information. Organisational skills are not explicitly tested, but, like the presentational skills, lie behind successful completion of assessment tasks throughout the modules constituting this diploma.


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 for study commencing in academic year 2014/2015 are:

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification upfront.
  • If like most OU students studying part time, you study an average of 60 credits a year – you’ll study for six years to complete a degree. Our typical fee for 60 credits is £2,632.
  • Our current fee is £5,264 – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your chosen qualification currently starts from £10,528 based on our current fees.

NB: Prices are subject to change.

How long does it take?

  • Part time – 4 years
  • Full time – 2 years
  • Time limit – 12 years

Career relevance

The breadth of study and the range of cultural texts and objects analysed, combined with clear thinking and communication, make this diploma of higher education course relevant to a wide variety of careers, including:

  • public administration, local government, the civil service, art institutions, and social services
  • advertising, journalism, publishing, creative industries and public relations
  • education
  • legal work
  • business, banking and retail
  • human resources
  • charities and campaigning.


The Arts Faculty was rated by a Times Higher Education survey as one of the best 100 institutions in the world for the study of the arts. Noted for the strength of our interdisciplinary approaches, our scholars of international standing also teach and research a very wide range of topics and themes in specific subject areas. These include art history; classical studies; creative writing; English; history; music; philosophy; and religious studies. The Faculty also has validated partnerships with several important institutions in the UK and other parts of the world. The head of the Faculty is the Dean, Professor David Rowland.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification. You will however need to be proficient in English, to an IELTS standard of 7.0. If you are unsure you will be able to take a free English test as part of the registration process.

Read more about this programme on the Open University website here

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
2 - 12 years
Part time
Full time
Contact school
Contact school
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school
Aug. 2018
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school