BA in Philosophy and Psychological Studies (Honours)

The Open University

Program Description

BA in Philosophy and Psychological Studies (Honours)

The Open University

BA in Philosophy and Psychological Studies (Honours)

What makes us happy? Do humans display irrational biases? How can I, a mere physical being, have thoughts and emotions? How does science progress and can I trust it? By what moral authority does the state rule over me? Who should get what? Is there a God? This fascinating course explores how we seek the answers to profound questions about ourselves, our minds, our behaviour, and our place in the social and physical universe.

Key features of the course

  • Develop clear, logical thinking and communication skills
  • Learn to construct and analyse informed, reasoned arguments
  • Understand and use a range of research methods
  • Relevant to a broad range of careers, including media, marketing, financial and social services, administration and management.

Educational aims

The Philosophy strand of this degree aims to:

  • provide you with an understanding of key concepts, theories, and debates in selected areas of philosophy, achieved via critical reading of primary source texts, and investigated by the methods of the contemporary Western tradition of philosophy
  • develop critical judgement in your understanding and interpretation of philosophical texts and arguments
  • develop your capacities in critical reasoning and argument to enhance your ability to argue and to write philosophical essays.

The Psychology strand of this degree aims to provide you with:

  • an understanding of key concepts, theories, methods and debates in psychology
  • an appreciation of different perspectives within psychology and the ability to evaluate them critically
  • experience of designing, carrying out, analysing and reporting psychological research using a range of research methods.

Both strands of this degree aim to provide you with support and guidance to improve your own learning and performance and to develop as an independent learner.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will acquire your knowledge and understanding through a mix of published distance-learning materials, study guides, a range of multimedia material, face-to-face tutorials, electronic tuition, working on primary and secondary sources, and feedback on your assignments. Some modules also include residential schools. The assessment of your knowledge and understanding will be through a mix of essay questions, short-answer questions and formal examinations. In some instances, particularly at OU level 3, you may also be assessed through project work and extended assignments, allowing you to develop your skills in independent study. The precise nature of this mix will depend on your choice of modules. As you progress through the degree you will find that you are cumulatively increasing your level of knowledge and understanding and you can expect a significant portion of your progress to be assessed at OU level 3.

Cognitive skills are taught cumulatively and in ways that will vary according to the modules you study. They will include the use of written study materials, in-text questions, audio, visual and/or interactive material, carefully monitored feedback on assignments, as well as face-to-face or virtual tutorials and conferencing. The essay is a principal form of assessment and you may also work on short-answer questions. You will also be developing your skills as you engage in independent study at OU level 3 through project work or an extended essay.


We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost. Fees for study commencing in academic year 2014/2015 are:

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification upfront.
  • If like most OU students studying part time, you study an average of 60 credits a year – you’ll study for six years to complete a degree. Our typical fee for 60 credits is £2,632.
  • Our current fee is £5,264 – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your chosen qualification currently starts from £15,792 based on our current fees.

NB: Prices are subject to change.

How long does it take?

Part time – 6-8 years Full time – 3 years Time limit – 16 years

Career relevance

This degree is relevant to a broad range of careers, including:

  • public administration, local government, the civil service, social services
  • advertising, journalism, publishing, creative industries, public relations
  • education and health
  • management and human resources
  • police and the law
  • business, banking and retail
  • charities, campaigning and policy development


The Arts Faculty was rated by a Times Higher Education survey as one of the best 100 institutions in the world for the study of the arts. Noted for the strength of our interdisciplinary approaches, our scholars of international standing also teach and research a very wide range of topics and themes in specific subject areas. These include art history; classical studies; creative writing; English; history; music; philosophy; and religious studies. The Faculty also has validated partnerships with several important institutions in the UK and other parts of the world. The head of the Faculty is the Dean, Professor David Rowland.

Read more about this programme on the Open University website here

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University

Last updated October 23, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
3 - 16 years
Part time
Full time
Contact school
Contact school
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school
Aug. 2018
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school