BA (Honours) Philosophy and Psychological Studies
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Philosophy and psychology seek to answer profound questions about us, our minds, our behaviour, and our place in the social and physical universe. What makes us happy? Do humans display irrational biases? How can I, a mere physical being, have thoughts and emotions? How does science progress and can I trust it? By what moral authority does the state rule over me? Who should get what? Is there a god? By studying this degree course in philosophy and psychological studies you’ll learn to: read and understand scientific and historical texts; construct and analyse arguments; understand and use a range of research methods; and express your ideas clearly and logically. These skills are relevant to a broad range of career opportunities, including media, marketing, financial and social services, administration and management.
Note: completion of this degree course will
not make you eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) conferred by the British Psychological Society.
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 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 entry requirements to study this degree.
Career relevance and employability
The disciplines brought together in this degree in philosophy and psychology are highly regarded by employers, who prize graduates’ reasoning ability, clear thinking and specialist knowledge. Relevant careers include:
public administration, local government, the civil service, social services
advertising, journalism, publishing, creative industries, public relations
education and health
management and human resources
police and the law
business, banking and retail
charities, campaigning and policy development.
This degree course develops skills vital to effective decision-making in complex organisations:
selecting, interpreting, evaluating and presenting data
identifying and using relevant information in constructing an argument
appreciating different ways to conceptualise and address a question
seeing different sides in a debate while being able to reason in favour of one
thinking coherently about both abstract and practical matters.
You’ll also sharpen your writing and IT skills. All these attributes are 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.
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) Philosophy and Psychological Studies degree.
Your honours degree will be classified as first-class honours, upper second-class honours, lower second-class honours or third-class honours.
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.