Understanding the increasingly complex and interconnected world we live in often demands more than common sense. In everyday situations involving people, the environment and technology, where views and needs conflict and there’s a high degree of uncertainty, a systems approach can help you to find better strategies and opportunities. Systems thinking and practice – regarded by some as one of today’s basic literacies – gives you a set of ideas, tools and methodologies to help you understand and work with complex situations over time.
Combining theory and practice, OU courses teach you how to think and act systemically. Apart from helping you to analyse situations more clearly, these skills will improve your decision-making and project management capabilities.
Undergraduate or bachelors degrees are nationally recognised qualifications consisting of academic study designed to that 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 (Dip HE) 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.
Dip HEs 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 Dip HE 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 (Cert HE) 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 Systems.
If you already have a degree, you may want to see postgraduate courses and qualifications in Engineering, Technology and Design.
If you want to study for an undergraduate qualification and you are living outside the UK and Republic of Ireland, visit our international prospectus.
Try our frequently asked questions.
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