This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits of compulsory modules.
- Stage 1 will give you the necessary grounding in economics, personal finance, statistics and mathematics.
- Next, in Stage 2, you'll cover the core economic theories and methods that have a variety of applications.
- Stage 3 completes your degree and you'll learn about economic theories and techniques in more depth before carrying out a small research project.
At Stage 1, you will be introduced to economic, mathematical and statistical methods and theories that will provide you with a solid grounding for study at Stage 2. Various approaches to economics will be taught in a historical context and with a specific focus on managing your personal finances.
At Stage 2, you'll explore contemporary economics issues using both microeconomic and macroeconomic theories, applying statistical concepts to a variety of situations using specialised software, and find out more about the application of economics to financial issues.
At Stage 3, you will study more core economic theory and techniques. You will also learn more about econometrics and the application of advanced statistical techniques to analysing economic data. You will be able to specialise in an area of economics of your own choice and carry out a small research project.
We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 17 February 2021.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Honours) Economics uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:
- studying a mixture of printed and online material. Online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes.
- using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
- working in a group with other students
- using and/or producing diagrams and/or screenshots
- using specialist software (for example to analyse economic data)
- finding external/third party material online
- using technology for research purposes involving access to catalogues and databases online
- continuous and end-of-module assessment in the form of essays, short answer questions, and in some cases an examination
- using feedback: continuous assessment involves receiving detailed feedback on your work from your tutor and using this feedback to improve your performance
- engagement with learning and assessment within a pre-determined schedule or timetable – time management will be needed during your studies and the University will help you to develop these skills throughout your degree
For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.
Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment
This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
- Knowledge and understanding
- Cognitive skills
- Practical and professional skills
- Key skills
The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
Read the detailed learning outcomes here
If you’ve already completed some study at another university, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – reducing the number of modules you need to study.
Due to the availability of the new modules in each stage, the study intensity may be affected if you are looking to count your prior learning. If you are unsure of the potential impact for you, we recommend that you contact us about credit transfer.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. Just tell us what you studied, where and when, and we’ll compare this against the learning outcomes for your chosen course.
For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
Classification of your degree
On successfully completing this undergraduate course, you'll be awarded the BA (Honours) Economics degree. The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third-class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.
You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.
There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.
It is important that you are well prepared to study mathematics at this level. So, before you register for this qualification, it is essential to check that you have the appropriate mathematical skills to study Discovering mathematics (MU123).
Take a look at our Maths Help study resources to brush up your mathematical skills in preparation for our self-assessed quiz. If you can answer most of the questions, or could do them with a quick reminder (because the topic is familiar to you but you can’t quite remember the details), then you are ready.
If you'd like some advice and guidance about your ability to study this qualification, please talk to an advisor.
How much time do I need?
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner
- Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
- This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Preparing for study with an Access module
Students who start their study with an Access module are more likely to be successful when they advance to Stage 1 of their qualification. They’re specially designed to give you a gentle introduction to OU study, boost confidence in your study skills, and help you gain a broad overview of your chosen subject area.
You’ll also benefit from:
- feedback from your tutor through regular one-to-one phone tutorials
- support from a dedicated team throughout your study
- detailed written feedback on your work.
The Access module we’d recommend studying in preparation for this qualification is our:
People, work and society Access module
What you will study
This multidisciplinary module provides an excellent introduction to studying with The Open University; you'll get to cover a wide range of subject areas, including childhood and youth studies, social science, psychology, health, business and law.
View full details of People, work and society Access module
Science, technology and maths Access module
What you will study
This multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the sciences, technology and mathematics. It'll help develop your study skills in advance of your OU qualification, and you get to explore a number of STEM subjects including science, engineering and design, environment, mathematics, and computing and IT.
View full details of Science, technology and maths Access module
Skills for career development
This degree will equip you with the knowledge and skills in economics and statistics needed for a range of jobs. You’ll learn how to use statistical methods and software to analyse economic data; how to construct economic arguments using concepts, theories, models and evidence; how to think analytically and critically; how to work collaboratively; and how to carry out independent research. These highly transferable skills are in great demand in the workplace, and are relevant to a great variety of situations – whether you’re already working, volunteering or changing career.
Economics graduates are in demand and usually work in well paid and attractive jobs. They successfully apply their knowledge and skills in many different jobs in government, business, accountancy, banking, economics, data analysis, financial analysis, insurance, management and administration, consultancy, the voluntary sector and teaching.
Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.
Exploring your options
Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice. This includes online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.
In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):
- data analyst
- financial analyst
- investment analyst
- marketing manager
- management consultant