Degree Programs

BA and BSc degrees

For a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Sciences degree you need to accumulate a total of 120 points. All undergraduate foundation courses are currently rated as 20 points and your degree can be made up of any combination of courses. If you have successfully completed degree level work elsewhere, you can apply for this to be counted towards your COU degree. Credit transfer reduces the number of COU credit points which you need to gain for a degree. We need to see the details before we can decide the exact credit rating. This will be in 20 point steps.

When you have obtained 120 points you qualify for the award of a BA or a BSc degree. Which it is will depend on whether the majority of your credits are arts based or science based. Many of our courses can count for either award and if there is no clear bias to one or the other, you will be asked which designation you prefer. The official academic record, the transcript, is issued by the University upon graduation. This important and useful document is not only proof of graduation, it also records all credit points that were awarded to the student towards his or her COU degree. We also offer a BA degree in Social Sciences and a BSc degree in Business Administration for which there are mandatory foundation courses.

Throughout the courses you are expected to undertake assignments. These are usually marked by your tutor, who will comment constructively on your work. At the end of all undergraduate courses and before getting your degree you sit a two hour final examination administered by an approved proctor.


Undergraduate foundation courses

1100-00 History
1110-00 Art History
1120-00 English Literature
1130-00 History of Music
1140-00 Philosophy
1150-00 Jewish Studies

2100-00 Management
2110-00 Marketing
2120-00 Strategic Planning
2130-00 Human Resources
2140-00 Information Technology
2150-00 Tourism

3100-00 Psychology
3110-00 Economics
3120-00 Sociology
3130-00 Geography
3140-00 Anthropology
3150-00 Education
3160-00 International Relations

4100-00 Mathematics
4110-00 Physics
4120-00 Chemistry
4130-00 Biology
4140-00 Ecology
4150-00 Botany
4160-00 Zoology
4170-00 Geology
4180-00 Astronomy
4190-00 Diet and Nutrition
4380-00 Anatomy
4390-00 Physiology

All undergraduate foundation courses are currently rated as 20 points including subjects of levels one, two, and three.

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MA, MSc and MBA degrees

For a master's degree you need to accumulate a total of 40 points. A bachelor's degree is a prerequisite for COU acceptance, but applicants aged thirty and over who do not hold a bachelor's degree will be considered on merit on the basis of professional experience and prior training, private study, etc., if it is felt that the applicant may be capable of successfully completing a program.

At COU we believe in giving you all the credit you have earned, even when you have earned it outside of a classroom. That is why we will consider awarding you credit for life experience and past work success. We personally evaluate each individual's background and strive to give credit wherever we can. Through our application evaluation process, you can earn up to 20 credit points or 50 percent of your advanced degree.

Throughout the courses you are expected to undertake assignments. These are usually marked by your tutor, who will comment constructively on your work. All students will be required to present a final project in a pre-approved subject area.


Master's degrees

MA in Psychology
MA in Sociology
MA in Anthropology
MA in English Literature
MA in History
MA in Art History
MA in African History
MA in Education
MA in Philosophy
MA in Social Policy
MA in International Relations
MA in Criminology
MA in Jewish Studies
MA in History of Music

MSc in Management
MSc in Project Management
MSc in Marketing
MSc in Tourism Management
MSc in Economics
MSc in Mathematics
MSc in Environmental Sciences
MSc in Oceanography
MSc in Information Technology
MSc in Organizational Behavior
MSc in Sport Management
MSc in Healthcare Management
MSc in Corporate Finance
MSc in Security Studies
MSc in Public Relations
MSc in Genetics
MSc in Development Studies
MSc in Human Nutrition

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Master of Divinity

MSc in Medical Ultrasound (Affiliate Program)

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Doctor's degrees

The research doctoral degree is designed to prepare one for scholarship, systematic inquiry and research. These PhD degrees require 50 points beyond the master's. Send us copies of your transcripts and we will develop a customized degree plan stating exactly what is needed to complete your doctorate in the shortest time and least cost.

We offer PhD degrees in English Literature, Education, History, Art History, Philosophy, Sociology, Psychology, Criminology, Anthropology, International Relations, Social Policy, Jewish Studies, Environmental Sciences, Information Technology, Economics, Corporate Finance, Organizational Behavior, Marketing, Management, Project Management, Accounting and Finance, Public Relations, Tourism, Human Nutrition, and Interdisciplinary Studies. We also offer Doctor of Business Administration and Doctor of Divinity degree programs.


Honorary degrees

Commonwealth Open University has designated its honorary degrees as "Doctor of the University" (D.Univ.) and "Master of the University" (M.Univ.). The recipients receive them because of their success and major achievements in their chosen profession, or their service to their community or the world. Applications for potential candidates are always welcome.


Planning your time

Students are free to choose their own study pace. An estimate is that it is possible to complete 40 credit points in one year (12 months). MBA an PhD degrees require more time, being the estimate 30 credits per year. For this purpose, the time involved would be about 14 hours of study a week.

Students are given a maximum of one year for completion of each undergraduate foundation course. For Management and Strategic Planning Module is given only one year. All master's and doctor's degree programs are required to be finished within three years. If more time is needed, you may request an extension.

Students with more than 18 months without academic activity must pay a reactivation fee.


Grading system

COU awards letter grades as follows:

A Superior 4 grade points
B Average 3 grade points
C Passing 2 grade points
D Poor 1 grade point
F Failure 0 grade point

A grade point average of 3.0 is required for graduation. Learners who fail may retake examinations upon successful application to the Director of Education and payment of a re-exam fee.