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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

• Gives you 60 credits towards a masters degree if you wish to study further.

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.

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

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.

Recognition in your country
If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.

Credit transfer
For this qualification, we do not allow you to count credit for study you have already done elsewhere.

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.

You will be able to complete this qualification within one year.

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.

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 certificate, we recommend that you read the following qualification descriptions before choosing your 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
MA Art History part 1 (A843) 60
MA Classical Studies part 1 (A863) 60
MA Creative Writing part 1 (A802) 60
MA Music part 1 (A873) 60
MA Philosophy part 1 (A853) 60

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules A840, A850, A860, A870, A873, 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.

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!