BA (Honours) Humanities
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This degree in humanities offers a broad-based grounding in the study and enjoyment of the arts and humanities – covering a fascinating variety of cultures, periods and subjects – while developing your critical and analytical skills. As you explore diverse perspectives on human culture, you’ll encounter a range of absorbing issues encompassing understanding of the past, reading and studying the arts, and analysis of different and conflicting points of view. Through independent and self-directed work, you’ll develop and hone the skills of argument and analysis which are highly valued by employers. This degree course also enables you to study specialist options in depth – including art history, classical studies, creative writing, English language, French, German, history, English literature, music, philosophy, religious studies, and Spanish. Whatever study pathway you choose, you’ll encounter stimulating and challenging topics from across different periods and civilisations.
Fees and facts
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Flexible, part-time study through
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:
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.
There are no formal qualifications required to study this degree.
Career relevance and employability
Study of the arts and humanities requires an understanding of human activities in diverse cultural environments and in very different historical circumstances. The breadth of study and range of cultural texts and objects analysed, combined with training in clear thinking and communication, make this degree course relevant to a wide variety of careers, including:
public administration, local government, the civil service, art institutions, and social services
advertising, journalism, publishing, creative industries and public relations
business, banking and retail
charities and campaigning.
Employers greatly value the high-level skills acquired by studying a humanities degree – which may be broadly summarised as critical thinking, analysis, and communication. You’ll sharpen your IT, writing, and independent thinking skills, and develop the ability to assimilate and evaluate relevant information in constructing an argument. These are key skills in complex organisations, greatly sought after in the world beyond study – whether you’re already working, volunteering or changing career.
There’s more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the
OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication and look at our OU study and your career subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
Choose a pathway and register
Pathways allow you to specialise or choose particular topics that interest you. You will need to choose a pathway before registering.
You can choose from a number of different pathways to your degree depending on your interests and the amount of time you wish to commit to studying. If you take the broad-based pathway, your degree title will be BA (Hons) Humanities. If you take one of the specialist pathways – for example, art history or music – your degree title will be BA (Hons) Humanities with Art History or BA (Hons) Humanities with Music.
(If you live in England and intend to apply for a student loan, please note that a small number of the history options in this degree are produced in collaboration with other universities and are therefore not eligible for student loan funding.)
Credit for previous study elsewhere
If you have already completed some successful study at higher education level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible, and before you register for this qualification.
If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete this qualification. This may also mean that the next start date and the maximum time limit for this qualification are different to those shown above.
Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Practical and professional skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.
Classification of your degree
On successful completion of the required number and type of modules you will be awarded a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Humanities degree.
Your honours degree will be classified either as first-class honours, upper second-class honours, lower second-class honours or third-class honours. The class of degree is determined by the best grades you achieve in a minimum of 120 and up to 240 credits from modules above Level 1 or those that are current and have an A in the code. At least 120 of those credits must come from modules at Level 3.
You will have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:
These regulations are also available on our
Essential Documents website.
If you have a disability
Choosing the qualification that’s right for you is very important. Depending on your disability, long-term health condition, mental health disability or specific learning difficulty, you may need to consider any challenges posed by:
the learning objectives: for example, to gain an honours degree in a language you must be physically able to speak the language
how the modules are taught: for example, some of our science qualifications require that you complete laboratory work
any work-based competency requirements.
Choosing the right qualification can be a complex mix of the subject requirements and the support you may need. To help you assess whether the qualification you are interested in will work for you, further advice is available from:
You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007),
Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you
will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you
register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.
The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities
we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move.
As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed
feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online
tutorials, or by phone.
For more information read
Distance learning explained.