English is a first language for approximately 300 million people worldwide and, as the international language of science, communications and politics, it’s spoken by hundreds of millions more. Understanding how the English language is used, how texts are structured and how to make sense of them is not only satisfying in itself: it can open up a wide range of careers to you.
Studying the English language will help you appreciate how it evolved through history, in different cultural and geographical contexts to become a major global language. You will study spoken, written and visual, and literary and non-literary texts. You can choose to focus on the aspects that interest you most. You’ll learn to read and write with confidence about a variety of texts – from poetry to web pages, from graffiti to political speeches – and to debate and analyse sometimes controversial issues. These are skills that are relevant in teaching, publishing, the media, and ICT.
Undergraduate or bachelors degrees are nationally recognised qualifications consisting of academic study designed to help you gain a thorough understanding of a subject.
For a degree in a named subject, such as business studies or humanities, you'll study mainly in your chosen subject, although you may be able to include some modules from other subjects.
With The Open University you could also study an Open degree where you can combine a range of modules from similar or different subjects to suit either your particular career or personal interests.
You can use a degree to:
A Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) is equivalent to two thirds of an honours degree. They are nationally recognised qualifications focusing either on a particular job or profession, or academic study.
DipHEs are designed to increase the professional and technical skills of staff within a profession or extend your knowledge and understanding of a particular subject. A DipHE shows that you are capable of extended study at university level.
You can use a DipHE to:
The Diploma of Higher Education might be of particular interest to those living and working in Scotland.
A Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) is a nationally recognised qualification focusing on either a particular job or profession, or academic study. Equivalent to the first year of a full honours degree, they are the most basic level of qualification that can be gained in higher education and show that you are capable of studying successfully at university level.
You can use a CertHE to:
There are two ways to start a qualification. If you haven’t studied for a long time or need to build your confidence, beginning your studies with an Access module may be the right choice for you.
Choose a qualification to find out more.
You can study a single module on its own for personal interest or to improve your career prospects. See the list of all our individual courses in English Language.
If you already have a degree, you may want to see postgraduate courses and qualifications in Arts and Humanities.
If you live outside of the UK, Republic of Ireland and Europe, please visit our website for international students.
Try our frequently asked questions.
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