Diploma of Higher Education in Computing and IT
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In the twenty-first century technology dominates the way we live, work, socialise and play – and computing and IT skills are increasingly essential in today's workplace. This diploma course gives you an excellent foundation for a wide variety of information technology-related careers. Finance, government, business, commerce, public services such as health and education, and the voluntary or ‘Third Sector’ are all critically dependent on computing and IT systems. Whether you want to be a confident user and manager of information technologies, to grasp the opportunities that such technologies offer, or to develop software solutions, the Diploma of Higher Education in Computing and IT has a pathway to suit you.
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 diploma.
Career relevance and employability
This diploma course is an ideal starting point for a career in information technology, computing, communication technology and related fields. It’s particularly relevant if you work, or would like to work with computing and IT systems – in hardware-based, software-based or systems-based contexts – and are looking for a qualification that shows you have a sound grasp of the principles of these technologies; that you can apply these principles; and that you’re aware of the surrounding issues. Specialist options provide you with the opportunity to develop your expertise in particular areas such as software engineering communications, networks or web technologies.
Building and deploying information technology systems are not solitary activities: they require teamwork and people management skills. During this diploma course, you’ll gain experience of working in a team to tackle a small development task. You’ll also be well prepared for further study should you decide to complete a full honours degree.
Studying the Diploma of Higher Education in Computing and IT will also give you transferable skills in:
the use of IT facilities
retrieval of information
time management and organisation
analysing and solving problems.
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.
This flexible diploma enables you to focus your studies on aspects of computing and IT that are of particular interest to you, and to develop expertise in either software development or digital technologies or combine the two. If you study just one of these areas, you can combine it with networking, professional practice or solutions development. Alternatively you could opt to specialise purely in software development. Stage 1 of the degree is common to all pathways.
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 number and type of modules you will be awarded a Diploma of Higher Education in Computing and Information Technology and 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.