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Doing economics: people, markets and policy

This module teaches economic theories that explain the behaviour of people in households, firms, markets and governments. It presents alternative economic explanations that will enable you to make your own critical judgements of which theory serves which purpose best. The module also equips you with the research skills that you’ll need to conduct your own project on a topic you want to know more about. At the end of the module, you should have developed a more critical view of the socio-economic world in which you live.

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.

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Module

Module code
DD309
Credits
60
Study level
OU SCQF FHEQ
3 10 6
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Am I ready?

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What you will study

The module will equip you with the theoretical tools necessary to investigate recent developments in the global economy. A pluralist view of economic theory is adopted, enabling you to appreciate the debates between different approaches.

The first part of the module teaches intermediate microeconomics with an emphasis on both economic theory and its applications. The second part of the module is project-based; you will be able to specialise in an area of your choice and carry out your own research project.

Each part of the module is divided into three blocks. Part 1 is made up of Blocks 1, 2 and 3 plus two weeks of work that introduce methods used by economists to test the relevance of their models using data. 

Block 1, People and Households, teaches economic theories that apply to decisions taken in various contexts, such as consumption, labour market participation, savings, investment in education and training. This block also looks at how households, as well as individuals, can make decisions.

Block 2, Firms and Industries, is about efficiency and productivity in the production of goods and services. It covers issues about choice of technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, employment relations, outsourcing and competition policy.

Block 3, Markets and Governments, covers the overall organisation of the economy. It investigates the strengths and weaknesses of markets and governments in the organisation of economic activities, explores issues concerning the environment and ethics, and looks at economic theory that underpins government behaviour.

Part 2 is divided into Blocks 4, 5 and 6.

Block 4, Optional strands, teaches further economic theory and its applications to various areas. You have to choose one of three available theoretical strands:environmental economics, business and finance or economics and society.

In Block 5, Research Methods, you will learn how to carry out a literature review and then choose which research methods you plan to use for your project. You can choose between qualitative methods – which include interviewing and case studies – and quantitative methods, which involve analysis of economic data.

In Block 6, Project Work, you will work towards your end-of-module assessment, completing a project of your choice.

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 who you can ask for advice and guidance. There are three face-to-face tutorials in addition to online tutorials throughout the 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 can choose whether to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) on paper or online through the eTMA system. You may want to use the eTMA system for some of your assignments but submit on paper for others. This is entirely your choice.

The end-of-module assessment (EMA) is a project.

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in October 2014. We expect it to be available once a year.

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:

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

Course satisfaction survey

See the satisfaction survey results for this course.


Entry

This is an OU level 3 module. OU level 3 modules build on study skills and subject knowledge acquired from studies at Levels 1 and 2. They are intended only for students who have recent experience of higher education in a related subject, preferably with the OU.

We strongly recommend that you study Running the economy (DD209) (or an alternative introductory economics module) before studying this module.

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

Register

Start End England fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015 -

Registration now closed

The deadline for financial support applications has now passed

03 Oct 2015 Jun 2016 Not yet available

Registration opens on 12/03/15

This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2019.

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.


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 01/10/2014.

What's included

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

You will need

A printer would be useful.

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.

You will need a headset with a microphone and earphones if you wish to talk to your tutor and other students online during some of the module activities.

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

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader and mathematical, scientific or diagrammatic materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future.

A considerable portion of this module is delivered online through a website and includes the use of online activities, synchronous forums and audio-visual resources.  If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet and have concerns about accessing this type of material you are advised to talk to the Student Registration & Enquiry Service about support which can be given to meet your needs.

As the module contains complex and interactive online tutorials featuring detailed diagrams, the use of an assistant may be helpful to some students with visual and/or motor impairments.

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.