Institution / Open University In Ireland
City scape


If you have a passion for the arts and are looking for an intellectual challenge, this certificate course provides you with an excellent opportunity to upgrade your qualifications. You will deepen your understanding of art history, classical studies, music or philosophy, while developing advanced research and analytical skills that will give you the edge in today’s competitive jobs market and prepare you for further academic study.

Key features of the course
• Extends knowledge and skills acquired at undergraduate level
• A choice of pathways enables you to focus your particular subject interest
• Develops critical thinking skills that are highly prized by employers.

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

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 certificate 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.


Minimum - 1 year. Modules on this certificate are studied during a fixed period each year from October to June.

Number of credits

60 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
Studying the Postgraduate Certificate in Humanities 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 improve on your ability to convert knowledge acquired during your studies into lucid written responses. 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 certificate will give you a worthwhile qualification in its own right, and you can also count the credits towards one of our MAs providing you take account of the unique study rule.

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.

Further enquiries

Tel: (01) 678 5399
Fax: (01) 678 5442

Subjects taught

If you plan to study humanities beyond this certificate, we recommend that you read the following qualification descriptions before choosing your first module:

• MA in Art History (F33), MA in Classical Studies (F27), MA in Creative Writing (F71), MA in Music (F32) or MA in Philosophy (F30)

To gain this qualification, you need 60 credits from this list:

Optional modules

Credits Next start
MA Art History part 1 (A843) 60 07 Oct 2017
MA Classical Studies part 1 (A863) 60 07 Oct 2017
MA Creative Writing part 1 (A802) 60 07 Oct 2017
MA Music part 1 (A873) 60 07 Oct 2017
MA Philosophy part 1 (A853) 60 07 Oct 2017

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules A840, A850, A860, A870, AA810, AA820, AA830 or 60 credits of specified modules from the MA in Humanities programme including at least one of the discontinued 30-credit modules A810, A820 or A830.


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

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!