Diploma of Higher Education in Combined Professional Studies
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The Diploma of Higher Education in Combined Professional Studies is an extremely flexible qualification, enabling you to develop lifelong learning skills that will open doors to further study and career development. It lets you choose from a wide variety of fascinating modules in any subjects you like, depending on your personal and career aspirations. These include work-related modules to help you develop your current role and enhance your future employability. This diploma course will help you develop:
enthusiasm for your chosen subjects and a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development
understanding of your subjects in a broad ethical, social, intellectual, academic and employment context
intellectual and critical abilities to analyse, synthesise, be creative and open to new possibilities - especially in the workplace
the skills needed to learn and to continue learning in new situations, and from a variety of sources and experiences
critical and reflective awareness of your own learning styles and preferences and professional practice
regard for the perspectives of others.
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 Combined Professional Studies (X13).
Fees and facts
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Flexible, part-time study through
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.
There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification. However, you must be working in either a paid or voluntary capacity during the first and last work-based learning modules in order to use your work environment as a basis for your studies.
Career relevance and employability
A diploma course can help you to develop your existing career, or be a passport to a new one. Its flexibility particularly suits people with multi-faceted work roles, and anyone needing to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding to manage changes in their career path and/or work role. Unlike more traditional diploma courses, the Diploma of Higher Education in Combined Professional Studies enables you to design a personalised study programme – irrespective of the employment sector you currently work in or hope to enter in the future.
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.
There are no specified pathways through this flexible diploma – apart from the first and last work-based modules, you can choose freely from any of our undergraduate subject areas.
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.
On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Diploma of Higher Education in Combined Professional Studies and will be entitled to use the letters DipHE (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.