Certificate of Higher Education in Humanities
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Why study the arts? Apart from sheer enjoyment, these subjects give you an enormous breadth of cultural literacy while training you to think and argue clearly. The Certificate of Higher Education in Humanities offers you a broad introduction to the arts and humanities across a range of subjects, including history, art history, philosophy, classical studies, religious studies, music and English. You’ll gain essential knowledge and perspectives about human culture, studying a range of issues which encompass understanding of the past, reading and studying the arts, and the analysis of different points of view. Your work will help you practise and refine the skills of argument and analysis, which are highly valued by employers. Through this CertHE course, you’ll acquire the necessary skills and vocabulary to discuss the arts at university level.
Fees and facts
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Flexible, part-time study through
Certificate of Higher Education
Certificate of Higher Education
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:
gain confidence to study successfully at university level change careers or progress your current career build on your existing experience and gain new skills gain a broad introduction to a subject you are interested in achieve a foundation degree, DipHE or full honours degree through additional study.
There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification.
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 CertHE 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 the retail sector
charities and campaigning organisations.
Employers greatly value the high-level skills acquired by studying a Certificate in humanities – such as the ability to read and review different kinds of information, and using it as evidence in arguing a point of view. In arguing your case, you’ll also develop a focused approach to writing. Study for this CertHE course involves developing information literacy skills, often in an online environment. All these are skills that are valued in modern society, both at work and in the voluntary sector.
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
You cannot count credit for study you have already completed elsewhere towards this qualification.
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.
On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Certificate of Higher Education in Humanities and will be entitled to use the letters Cert HE (Open) after your name.
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.