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An introduction to business studies

This OU level 1 module is the first in our degree in business studies and is the recommended introductory module in business studies. It explores the question ‘What is a business?’ and investigates the business functions of human resource management, accounting and finance, and marketing. Different internal and external elements of a business are introduced, and the context in which a business operates explained. You’ll explore the common aims and characteristics of business – investigating what makes them different. Business structures, cultures and functions are identified and the political, social, economic, technological and ethical considerations affecting business are introduced.

There is a version of this module specifically relating to the business of sport and football, see BYFL120.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate-level module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

Browse qualifications in related subjects

Module

Module code
B120
Credits
30
Study level
OU SCQF FHEQ
1 7 4
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Am I ready?

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What you will study

This module introduces you to the different internal and external elements of a business, helping you to understand the context in which a business operates. It explores common aims and characteristics of business and what makes them different. Business structures, cultures and functions are identified and the political, social, economic, technological and ethical considerations affecting business are introduced.

The module explores the question ‘What is a business?’ and investigates the business functions of human resource management, marketing and accounting and finance. It consists of five study books: 

  • What is a business?
  • An introduction to human resource management  in business
  • An introduction to accounting and finance in business
  • An introduction to marketing in business
  • Different ways of looking at business.

Together with learning resources accessed through the website, these bring together all the various functional elements in an analysis of a business case study.

You will learn

In addition to improving your employability and awareness of business issues, the module will also help you to develop the necessary skills for studying at more advanced university levels.

Outside the UK

This module is relevant to business students in both a UK and non-UK context.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. If you are new to The Open University, you will find that your tutor is particularly concerned to help you with your study methods. We may also be able to offer group tutorials or day-schools that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where tutorials are held depends on the distribution of students taking each module.

Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in October 2014 and April 2015 when it will be available for the last time. A replacement module is planned for October 2015.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

Course work includes:

4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school


Entry

This is a key introductory OU level 1 module. OU level 1 modules provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, to help you progress to modules at OU level 2.

It is for anyone with an interest in business. You do not require any work or management experience, previous educational qualifications or technical knowledge, but you will be expected to participate in some online work.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Register

Start End England fee Register
11 Apr 2015 Sep 2015 £1316.00

Registration closes 05/03/15 (places subject to availability)

Register

You may need to apply for some payment or funding options earlier. Please check the Fees and Funding information or contact us for information.

April 2015 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

Ways to pay for this module

Open University Student Budget Account

The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

  • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
  • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your annual fees and spreads them out over up to a year, enabling you to pay your fees monthly and walk away with a qualification without any further debt. APR 5.1% representative.

Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

Employer sponsorship

Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU qualifications are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to achieve one. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

More than one in 10 OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the qualification you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

  • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
  • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your modules.  

Credit/debit card

You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

We accept American Express, Maestro (UK only), Mastercard, Visa/Delta and Visa Electron. 

Gift vouchers

You can pay for part or all of your tuition fees with OU gift vouchers. Vouchers are currently available in the following denominations, £10, £20, £50 and £100. 

Mixed payments

We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. You may, for example wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).

For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or request a call back.


Note: Your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is based upon current details for  year 1 August 2014 to 31 July 2015.
This information was provided on 31/10/2014.

What's included

Five core module books and a Study Companion to guide you through the module; website; supplementary online resources; online forums.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this module as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2008 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.7 or later.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information (including details of the support we provide).

If you have a disability

The module is taught using module texts, which are supported by a website and online discussion forums. You will be expected to submit your assignments electronically. If you think you may have difficulty handling text material or operating a computer, please talk to our Student Registration & Enquiry Service about support which can be given to meet your needs. The study materials are available in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader and musical notation and mathematical, scientific, and foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. The printed study materials are available in the DAISY Digital Talking Book format. The books are available in a comb-bound format. 

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Find out more about our services for disabled students.