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Diploma of Higher Education in Materials Fabrication and Engineering

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This Diploma of Higher Education in Materials Fabrication and Engineering brings together qualifications offered by The Welding Institute (TWI) – the world centre for materials joining technology – with engineering and mathematics modules from The Open University. If you’ve recently been awarded a TWI Diploma at Technologist level, or expect to complete one shortly, you can count it towards our diploma. You’ll be awarded 90 credits for your TWI qualification, and you’ll study an additional 150 credits from Open University modules to complete the diploma – giving you the intermediate technical and professional skills that are in demand from employers.

This diploma of higher education will be of particular interest to those living and working in Scotland.  The same programme of study is also offered as the Foundation Degree in Materials Fabrication and Engineering (X12).

Fees and facts

Where will you be resident whilst you study?

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Fee: Choose country above to see fee and ways to pay.
Study method: Flexible, part-time study through distance learning.
Type of qualification: Diploma of Higher Education
Diploma of Higher Education

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:

  • change careers or progress your current career
  • gain technical and professional skills
  • gain a greater knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in
  • gain professional recognition
  • achieve a full honours degree through additional study.

The Diploma of Higher Education might be of particular interest to those living and working in Scotland.

Code: W12

Entry requirements

This diploma is only for students who gain credit through The Welding Institute (TWI) Diploma at Technologist level and are currently working in engineering-related employment.

You may benefit from assessing your experience and confidence with mathematics before you register. To help determine your mathematical level, visit our Maths for Engineering website.

Career relevance and employability

If you’re working at a technical level in welding and joining, have certified expertise and want to climb further up the career ladder, the DipHE Materials Fabrication and Engineering is for you. It combines traditional academic skills with the needs of your workplace, and can be a route to gaining additional responsibilities or promotion at work.

The diploma includes two work-based modules which will guide you through activities and projects that are closely linked to your workplace. There’s a strong focus on professional development planning, and you’ll also be well prepared for further study at Level 3 should you wish to progress to a full honours degree with our Top-up Bachelor of Engineering with Honours (Q78). You’ll develop a wide range of transferable skills, with particular emphasis on:

  • information handling and numeracy
  • IT and communication
  • analysing and solving problems
  • team working
  • planning and organising.

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 OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.

Register your interest

For academic year 2014/15, registration opens on 30/04/2014. If you would like to be kept updated, you can register your interest now.

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.

Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules, you will be awarded a Diploma of Higher Education in Materials Fabrication and Engineering and will be entitled to use the letters Dip 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:

Computing requirements

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.

Distance learning

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.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.

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