Do the problems, challenges, and opportunities of our inter-connected world make you want to understand more about the contemporary international political, economic and cultural landscape?
Are you interested in a career where you engage directly with real-world issues in an international setting – perhaps working in the civil or diplomatic service, overseas development, journalism, the private sector or research? Do you want to be a ‘good global citizen’ with a well-rounded knowledge of the international agenda and the challenges that are increasingly important to our future?
Either way, taking an international studies course or qualification with the OU is an excellent place to start. You’ll gain a broad appreciation of key aspects of the global order, as well as the dynamics of the international system; cultural diversity; world poverty and inequality; and international institutions. You’ll also gain a critical understanding of what is being done to address these challenges.
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 International Studies.
If you already have a degree, you may want to see postgraduate courses and qualifications in Environment, Development and International Studies.
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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