Your feedback is important to us
Please take two minutes at the end of your visit to help us improve our information and services.
Skip to content The Open University

Philosophy

On this page

Image to illustrate studying Philosophy with the Open University

Everyone thinks about the meaning of life from time to time. But studying philosophy gives you the opportunity to ponder the big questions. What is reality? Do emotions conflict with reason? How do we reconcile different world views? The OU’s philosophy programme is based broadly on the Anglo-American tradition and gives you a choice of different study options including:

  • an introduction to the subject
  • specialist in-depth topics
  • a free-standing residential-school course, providing an insight for students from different backgrounds.

In each case you’ll learn to think clearly, reason logically and put forward and evaluate arguments. These are skills that are highly valued in every sector, including business, finance, ICT, the media, and advertising and sales.

Degrees ( More about Degrees
More about Degrees
undergraduate.qualification.philosophy,qualification,,degree,1

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:

  • change careers or progress your current career
  • gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in
  • gain professional recognition
  • go onto postgraduate study, such as a diploma or masters degree.
)

  • Humanities
    Combine different aspects of the arts – what people thought, made and practised – their meaning and values in the past and today in a highly-valued degree.
  • Humanities with Philosophy
    Combine different aspects of the arts – what people thought, made and practised – their meaning and values in the past and today in a highly-valued degree.
  • Philosophy and Psychological Studies
    Explore concepts, theories, methods and debates in philosophy and psychology, relevant to a broad range of careers, including advertising and marketing, social services, administration and management.
  • Politics, Philosophy and Economics
    An internationally recognised combination of subjects, providing you with skills and understanding particularly relevant to many areas of public service, including civil and diplomatic services and local government.
  • Open degree
    The BA/BSc Open Degree is a qualification that gives you a huge choice in terms of subjects and modules that you study to make up your degree.

Diplomas of Higher Education ( More about Diplomas of Higher Education
More about Diplomas of Higher Education
undergraduate.qualification.philosophy,qualification,,diploma-he,1

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:

  • change careers or progress your current career
  • gain technical and professional skills
  • gain a greater knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in
  • gain professional recognition
  • achieve a full honours degree through additional study.

The Diploma of Higher Education might be of particular interest to those living and working in Scotland.

)

Certificates of Higher Education ( More about Certificates of Higher Education
More about Certificates of Higher Education
undergraduate.qualification.philosophy,qualification,,certificate-he,1

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:

  • gain confidence to study successfully at university level
  • change careers or progress your current career
  • build on your existing experience and gain new skills
  • gain a broad introduction to a subject you are interested in
  • achieve a foundation degree, DipHE or full honours degree through additional study.
)

Getting started with an Access module

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.

Study a module as a standalone course

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 Philosophy.

Postgraduate options

If you already have a degree, you may want to see postgraduate courses and qualifications in Arts and Humanities.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.

Studying outside of UK and Europe?

If you live outside of the UK, Republic of Ireland and Europe, please visit our website for international students.

Your questions

Try our frequently asked questions.

Come and meet us at an event near you.

Or contact an adviser by Email or call +44(0) 845 300 60 90 +44(0) 845 366 60 35

Employers' questions

Contact Corporate Enquiries
Visit our website for employers or Email us

Get a prospectus

Download or
order