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BA (Honours) Social Sciences (Economics)

This is one of several specialist routes available in our BA (Honours) Social Sciences (R23) degree. Half of your studies will be in interdisciplinary social science and sociology, giving you a firm grounding in the knowledge and ideas that are central to the social sciences. In the other half, you’ll explore contemporary economic issues and will learn the economic theory needed to engage in current debates, analyse and assess different types of evidence, including economic data, and have the opportunity to carry out your own economics project. On completion of your degree, you’ll be able to apply economic and social theories, data analysis and analytical techniques to a variety of applied topics that affect individuals and society, and you’ll acquire a wide range of transferable skills – opening up employment opportunities in private, public and voluntary sector organisations.

Key features of the course

  • Specialise in economics within a broad interdisciplinary social sciences degree
  • Develop an understanding of economic theory applicable to real world problems
  • Develop the skills to work independently and apply these to your own economics project
  • Develop statistical, analytical and communication skills that are highly valued by employers

Course Summary

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Degree

Degree

  • Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree.
  • Internationally respected, universally understood.
  • An essential requirement for many high-level jobs.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts.
  • Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
Course code
R23
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.
360
How long it takes
Part time – 6 years
Full time – 3 years
Time limit – 16 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • You’ll start Stage 1 with an introductory social sciences module and choose between exploring the issues facing contemporary society, or studying modules in mathematics and finance.  
  • Next, at Stages 2 and 3, half your studies will be in interdisciplinary social sciences. For the other half, you’ll learn the economic theory needed to engage in current debates; analyse and assess different kinds of evidence, including economic data; and carry out your own economics project.

Optional Access module – visit Am I ready? to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

At Stage 1 you will begin with a broad introductory module covering the key concepts and theories in the social sciences and addressing topics from criminology, economics, geography, politics and international studies, and psychology. You will also be introduced to core ideas and theoretical approaches to the study of crime, criminal justice, harm and victimisation.

You'll then choose between one 60-credit module that draws on the social sciences and takes an international perspective in exploring everyday topics such as money, home, rights and boundaries, or studying two 30-credit modules in mathematics and personal finance.
ModulesCredits
You'll start your degree with:
Introducing the social sciences (DD102)60
You’ll then choose 60 credits from:
Investigating the social world (DD103)60
Discovering mathematics (MU123)30
You and your money (DB125)30

Stage 2 (120 credits)

At Stage 2 you’ll consider how social scientists explain and understand the social world, investigating topics such as voting behaviour and the commercialisation of childhood. 

You’ll also investigate contemporary economics issues and theories, applying a range of models and techniques to real-world scenarios such as how markets work, managing the national economy, competition, international trade, unemployment and inflation.
ModulesCredits
You'll study both of the following:
Running the economy (DD209)60
The uses of social science (DD206)60

Stage 3 (120 credits)

At Stage 3 you’ll learn about the economic theories and techniques used to explain the behaviour of people in households, firms, markets and governments.

You’ll complete your degree by exploring how social experience is shaped by the material world, and made meaningful through material culture.
ModulesCredits
You'll study both of the following:
Doing economics: people, markets and policy (DD309)60
Making social worlds (DD308)60

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 14 September 2018.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Hons) Social Sciences 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
  • finding external/third party material online.

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support with any of the elements above, visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.


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; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

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.

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) Social Sciences degree. You’ll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony. If you have chosen a specialist route, your degree title will reflect it as follows:

  • BA (Honours) Social Sciences (Criminology)
  • BA (Honours) Social Sciences (Economics)
  • BA (Honours) Social Sciences (Geography)
  • BA (Honours) Social Sciences (Politics)
  • BA (Honours) Social Sciences (Psychology)
  • BA (Honours) Social Sciences (Religious Studies)
  • BA (Honours) Social Sciences (Sociology).

The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

Regulations

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. 


Compare this course

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.

At The Open University we believe education should be open to all, so we provide a high-quality university education to anyone who wishes to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.

Even though there are no entry requirements, there are some skills that you'll need to succeed. If you're not quite ready for OU study we can guide you to resources that prepare you, many of which are free.

Answer a few quick questions to check whether you're ready for study success

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Counting previous study

You could save time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study towards this qualification if you have:

  • already studied at university level (even if you didn't finish your studies)
  • other professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

Find out more about credit transfer

Preparing for study with an Access module

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! The OU offers Access modules designed to introduce the subject area, build your confidence and prepare you for further study, and you may be eligible to study an Access module for free! You'll get:

  • a personal tutor providing regular feedback with one to one telephone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback.
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 childhood and youth studies, social science, psychology, health, management and law.

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.

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

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 £2,928*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £5,856*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £17,568*.
  • .

*The fee 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.

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 start studying.


Skills for career development

Employers value the diverse skills of the social sciences very highly. The ability to work across different academic disciplines will provide you with a broad portfolio of transferable skills including the ability to:

  • interpret, analyse, and critically evaluate quantitative and qualitative evidence
  • apply learning to real world situations
  • communicate effectively to a variety of audiences using different media
  • employ a wide range of digital practices to find, use, and create data
  • learn autonomously and plan, conduct, and present independent work
  • work effectively with others to achieve joint outcomes

Career relevance

A degree in the social sciences can lead to employment across the public, private and voluntary sectors. Businesses, public sector organisations and educational institutions increasingly have to deal with social issues, and value the skills that social science graduates can provide, making this degree relevant to a wide range of professions including local government officer, civil servant, secondary school teacher, social worker, charities, journalism and trade union officials. You can also use your BA (Hons) Social Sciences for further study in the higher education sector.

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to social graduates, particularly in business, the voluntary sector and the public sector. Please note, however, that 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 – 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 some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):

  • secondary school teacher
  • journalist
  • social worker
  • civil servant
  • local government official
  • trades union official 
  • charity worker
  • business manager
  • university administrator

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, Prospects and Plan IT


Register for this course

This is the Economics route through our BA (Honours) Social Sciences. You will register on the BA (Honours) Social Sciences and enrol on the relevant modules for this route.

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 06/12/2018

Request your Social Sciences prospectus

Our prospectuses help you choose your course, understand what it's like to be an OU student and register for study.

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