Certificate in Higher Education in Social Sciences

The Open University

Program Description

Certificate in Higher Education in Social Sciences

The Open University

Certificate in Higher Education in Social Sciences

What shapes the lives we lead and the decisions we make? Why do people continue to smoke when they know the risks, and why do governments want to reorganise the NHS? Social scientists build theories and conduct research to understand why and how people, groups and institutions respond to change, exercise power and make decisions.

Key features of the course

  • Draws on ideas from sociology, economics, social policy, psychology, geography, criminology, and politics
  • Gives fascinating insight into everyday life in our communities, personal lives and workplaces
  • Develops a range of employability skills
  • Builds a solid foundation for further study.

Educational aims

This is a broad-based certificate that aims to provide you with an introduction to the social sciences and related subject areas. Your studies will:

  • introduce you to the typical approaches of a broad range of social science subjects and related subject areas
  • introduce you to sources of evidence in the social sciences and related subjects
  • introduce you to various forms of data presentation and the interpretation of data
  • enable you to write well-structured and well-argued essays
  • enable you to describe some of the ways in which societies are ordered and governed
  • give you the ability to reflect on feedback and use this to improve future performance
  • provide you with skills relevant to work in many occupational areas and occupations
  • give you an opportunity to enhance your personal development, in particular giving you confidence to move to OU level 2 study.

The learning outcomes are described in four areas. Within these areas we emphasise achievable outcomes for students from diverse backgrounds, who have chosen a broad-based certificate in social sciences and who are learning at a distance.


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 £5,264 based on our current fees.

NB: Prices are subject to change.

Career impact

This course opens up employment opportunities across a whole range of occupations in the public, private and voluntary sectors. These include national and local government, health and social welfare, police, education, charitable organisations, public relations, media, planning and environmental management, the criminal justice system, market research, law, business and commerce. The Certificate of Higher Education in Social Sciences is equivalent to the first year of a full-time degree. It’s a valuable qualification in its own right, but if you’d like to continue studying, you’ll have a sound foundation on which to build. For example, you could progress to the Diploma of Higher Education in Combined Social Sciences (W40) and then to the BA (Hons) Combined Social Sciences (Q69), or another of our social sciences degrees.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this degree. You will however need to be proficient in English, to an IELTS standard of 6.0. If you are unsure you will be able to take a free English test as part of the registration process.

Read more about this programme on the Open University website here

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
1 - 7 years
Part time
Full time
Contact school
Contact school
Start date Aug. 2017
United Kingdom
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school
Duration 1 - 7 years
Price Contact school