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This postgraduate diploma will suit anyone who has a passion for the arts and humanities and is looking for an intellectual challenge. At present our postgraduate diploma allows you to focus on either English or history. The English route explores a rich and varied range of literary texts from ancient times to the present. If you choose to study history, you'll cover local and regional history at an advanced level.

Key features of the course

•Deepens your insights into human development, history and culture

•Provides enhanced career opportunities, academic achievement and personal fulfilment

•Focus on English literature or local and regional history

•Good preparation for further study at masters and doctoral level.

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

Credit transfer

You cannot count credit for study you have already completed elsewhere towards this qualification.

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Humanities entitling you to use the letters PG Dip (Hum) (Open) after your name.

Entry requirements

You must hold an honours degree to study for this qualification. Although your degree need not be in humanities, you must have the basic skills expected of a graduate in that area. The first module brings you up to date with the latest ideas and approaches in humanities but does not offer remedial undergraduate training if your qualifications and/or experience are inadequate.

Before you enter the diploma you must be able to:

• write clear, concise, accurate prose

• read large quantities of text quickly, accurately and critically

• classify evidence precisely and assess its value and reliability

• argue logically, consistently and skeptically

• marshal various sorts of evidence to support a logical argument.

If you would like help to assess your preparedness you can contact us for advice.


18 months.

You will be able to complete this qualification within 18 months by studying the one module required in that time.

Number of credits

120 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance

Studying for a diploma course will provide you with an opportunity to build on skills acquired at undergraduate level. It will further develop your capability to read and analyse large amounts of written material and enable you to apply your skills through the production of a project. These transferable skills are in demand in many areas of the public and private sector, such as advertising, marketing and public relations; educational, charity and development; or government and public administration.

Completing the diploma will give you a worthwhile qualification in its own right, and you can also count the credit towards one of our MAs, providing you take account of the unique study rule.

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

Further enquiries

Tel: (01) 678 5399

Fax: (01) 678 5442


Subjects taught


If you plan to study humanities beyond this diploma, we recommend that you read the following qualification descriptions for the MA in English (F58), MA in History (F28) before choosing your module:

For this postgraduate diploma you require:

120 credits from this list:

Optional modules Credits

MA English part 1 (A815) 120

MA History part 1 (A825) 120

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations the discontinued module A880.

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.

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!