Think how things have changed in the last fifty years. Societies are more multicultural, family structures are more fluid, employment is more mobile and transient. And while the gap between the rich and the poor may have widened, the great divide between generations seems to have narrowed.
Sociology’s broad scope and a strong perspective on our world make it a highly popular subject with OU students. You’ll understand more about how societies develop and the compelling forces that shape our behaviour, values and identity. And, in making more sense of the world we live in, you’ll come to know yourself better.
Our courses and qualifications promise a rich learning experience. As well as enabling you to contribute to debates on many different topics, you’ll develop career skills that are useful in areas such as central and local government, charity, commerce, education, human resources, the voluntary sector and welfare services.
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 Sociology.
If you already have a degree, you may want to see postgraduate courses and qualifications in Social Sciences.
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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