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Running the economy

This module responds to the need to understand the problems of running national and global economies in the wake of a major economic crisis. It starts with macroeconomics, looking at how economies work from global and integrated perspectives. It then moves to microeconomics, drilling down into the behaviour of people, firms and governments. This combined analysis allows you to start exploring how policy affects, and is affected by, the economy and its constituent members. Using a simulator, you will apply what you have learned, taking on the role of an economic analyst to make or advise on policy choices.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate 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
DD209
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
60
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.
OU SCQF FHEQ
2 9 5
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Entry requirements

Student Reviews

I enjoyed studying this module more than i thought i would. I did not particularly choose to study DD209, but...
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I really enjoyed this course it is well structured. It's split quite obviously into macroeconomics and microeconomics. When it first...
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What you will study

This module will be of interest to anyone who wants to, at an introductory level:

  • learn how to think as an economist
  • understand the tools used by economists
  • construct and understand informed opinions about policy choices and the state of economies.

You will begin by developing an understanding of the sources and nature of the economic crisis in 2008 and the economic theories and policy vehicles for dealing with it. Your journey through the module will tackle key issues including:

  • the economic debates about the role of demand stimulus vs. fiscal constraint as the routes to recovery, monetary policy and the scope for supply side restructuring and growth
  • the challenge of international competition for policy makers in different parts of the globe, including low cost Asian suppliers, problems of European export competitiveness and the sources and location of innovation
  • the problems engendered by global imbalances in balance of payments (deficits and surpluses), credit and debt, rising inequality and the need for ‘rebalancing’ economies.

In the latter part of the module you’ll cover the microeconomic tools open to governments in trying to tackle some of these issues; regulation and privatisation/nationalisation; trade restriction and promotion; welfare state policies including health and education; international collaborations and harmonisation of policies.

Throughout the module you will make extensive use of simulators, interviews, case studies and data to provoke reflection, analysis and deeper learning.

You will learn

You will emerge with a good grasp of some fundamentals of economic theory – both macro- and microeconomic – including the Keynesian aggregate demand model, the theory behind central bank inflation targeting and the application of basic game theory. In addition, you will gain an understanding of some key theoretical and policy debates in economics, as well as confidence in applying these theories and concepts to major economic policy challenges.

This module has a student-centred approach in developing and applying economic theories and debates to serious worldwide economic problems and the critical assessment of proposed solutions. The transferable and vocational skills you’ll gain include the ability to:

  • interpret, manipulate and critique economic evidence, including interpreting numerical data and basic statistical skills
  • compare and contrast the most prominent economic traditions and theories from the 1930s to the present day, widely used in public debate
  • build and support arguments in discussion and written forms
  • use and present modelling and simulation as methods of analysis of economic problems, including simulating the macroeconomy under different policy scenarios
  • engage in debates with other students, substantiating your arguments with economic theory and evidence.

Outside the UK

The module takes an international approach throughout, including the challenges of managing national economies within integrated international markets. It will be suitable to be studied internationally, though there will also be significant use of UK case material. A core theme that runs through the whole module is inequalities, and the way in which patterns of global and national inequality interact with economic crisis and recovery.

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.

Contact us 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 must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Future availability

Running the economy starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2022.

Regulations

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

    Course work includes:

    5 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    4 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
    Examination
    No residential school


    Entry requirements

    This is an OU level 2 module and you need to have a good knowledge of the subject area, obtained either through OU level 1 study with the OU, or by doing equivalent work at another university.

    We recommend that you start with our key introductory module Introducing the social sciences (DD102). This interdisciplinary OU level 1 module, with its integrated teaching of key study skills, provides a firm foundation for OU level 2 study.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

    Register

    Start End Fee
    - - -

    No current presentation - see Future availability

    This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2022.

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

    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 monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

    Joint loan applications

    If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

    As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

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

    Employer sponsorship

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

    More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module 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 module.  

    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. 

    Mixed payments

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


    For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or book a call back at a time convenient to you.


    Please 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 valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 17/12/2018.

    What's included

    Module books, website, ICT tutorials and interactive online activities.

    You will need

    As part of this module you will need to watch short online videos and listen to audio files. For this reason we recommend broadband access to the internet (a 512kbps service is adequate). However you can study this module if you use dial-up (56kbps) but you will need to be patient when watching video or listening to audio.

    Some of the web activities in this module use the HTML 5 system. In order to display this you will need Internet Explorer 9 (or later), the latest version of Firefox or Chrome or other modern HTML 5 compliant browser. If you have a computer with a Windows XP operating system, you will need to install Firefox or Chrome or other modern HTML5 compliant browser for these activities, as you can't use Internet Explorer 8.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module.  Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • macOS 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones. 

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students. 

    If you have a disability

    The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying DD209 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

    To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our Disability support website.