Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification.

General study skills

Anyone can study with The Open University, but if it's a while since you did any academic work it's worth checking that your time management, computing and English skills are up to speed. Visit Can I do it? to find out more.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will normally mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Read about how some of our students have fitted OU study into their lives, then find out if you have enough time to study by completing our time planner.

Help! I'm not sure I'm ready!

Study for free

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don't worry! You can get started with an Access module – fascinating courses designed to introduce subject areas, build your confidence and prepare you for further study.

For this qualification, we recommend:

People, work and society Access module

What you will study

This is a multidisciplinary module that allows you to develop your subject knowledge and your general study skills. It provides an excellent introduction to a wide range of subject areas, including children and young people, health, law, management, psychology and social sciences.

View full details of People, work and society Access module

Your next step

Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you. Or come and meet us at an event near you.

How much will it cost?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If (like most OU students) you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree. Our current fee for 60 credits is £2,700*.
  • Our current fee is £5,400* – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your chosen qualification starts from £16,200* based on our current fees.
  • This qualification includes modules with a higher than current cost. This will increase the overall cost of the qualification quoted. Please call us for further information.
  • This qualification includes modules with a higher than current cost. If you choose to study one of these modules the overall cost of the qualification may increase. Please call us for further information.

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2016. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

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 you register.

Residential schools

If you choose to study a residential school module as part of this qualification, you will be responsible for the cost of travel to the venue and an additional charge (£260 in 2015/16) to cover the cost of accommodation and meals. This charge is payable as part of your residential school booking and will be due after you have completed your registration onto the residential school module.

Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how you can pay. That’s why we offer a wide range of flexible payment and funding options to help make study more affordable. Options include Part-Time Tuition Fee Loans (also known as student loans), monthly payment plans and employer sponsorship. 

We’re confident we can help you find an option that’s right for you.

Just answer these simple questions to find out more about the options available to you for courses starting before 31 July 2016.

How many credits are you planning to study per year? You will need [xxx] credits to complete this qualification

Part time study

Full time study

Do you already hold a degree?

Are you employed?

British Forces

  • If you have a BFPO address, you are only eligible for UK course fees if you are a currently serving member of the British armed forces, and you're temporarily and unavoidably working abroad. Other students using BFPO addresses should contact us on +44 (0)300 303 5303 for UK fee eligibility to be assessed.
* The fee and funding information provided here is valid for courses starting before 31 July 2016. Fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University’s strategic approach to fees.

An OU qualification will always help you stand out from the crowd, now and in the future – whether you’re just starting out, developing your career, or changing direction entirely.

Skills for career development

Employers value the diversity of transferable skills that this degree course develops. You’ll be able to analyse problems relating to a range of international issues including: co-operation and conflict; cultural difference; development and international economic change. Key transferable skills include the abilities to:

  • use a range of communication technologies to independently research, select and present information
  • analyse and critically evaluate information and data
  • write and communicate concisely and clearly
  • assemble reasoned arguments for particular audiences
  • use a range of formats: essays, presentations, reports, collaborative working, online forums
  • use strategies to update your knowledge
  • value critical feedback to reflect on your progress and improve your work.

Career relevance

An international studies degree is applicable to a wide range of professions in the private and public sectors, including international agencies and government bodies (national and European), businesses and non-governmental organisations. Choosing one of the language options may add further to your professional opportunities.

Other careers

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.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills. 

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 – including 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 (note that most careers will require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):

  • government social research officer
  • diplomat
  • charity officer
  • politician's assistant
  • public relations account executive
  • social researcher
  • diplomatic services operational officer
  • market researcher
  • newspaper journalist
  • civil service administrator
  • risk analyst
  • investment banker
  • international trade researcher
  • TEFL teacher
  • terrorism analyst.

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, PlanIT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland.


When you register on an Open University course, you’ll get all sorts of ideas and materials to help you prepare for study.

But if you can’t wait until then, here are some tantalising and fascinating videos to give you an idea of the quality of our learning programmes and a flavour of the OU’s unique style of teaching.


Work, social change and politics in Africa

Young Africans are caught between youth and adulthood by failed neo-liberal economic policies, poor governance and political instability.

Ghana: Bringing all students together

The Multikids Academy is bringing kids with special or additional needs into mainstream education.

Bosnia: Two schools under one roof

As the Bosnian government seeks to reintegrate education after the war of the 1990s, Two Schools Under One Roof is a first step.

Back to top