Course type
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.
Credits
360  

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.
How long it takes
Part-time study – 6 years
Full-time study – 3 years
Time limit – 16 years
Study method
Distance learning
Entry requirements
Find out more about
Entry requirements

BSc (Honours) Combined STEM

Course code: R28

This flexible degree combines science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Build your degree from a variety of STEM modules and study routes to create a unique qualification. Our BSc (Hons) Combined STEM allows you to study more than just one STEM subject – to fit your personal and professional needs, interests and aspirations. The flexibility of this degree makes it relevant to a wide range of jobs and industries – many of which require proficiency in a range of STEM-based skills. It can help you develop your existing career or start a new one.

  • Choose modules from across STEM subjects or focus on one or two areas
  • Switch direction if your needs or interests change
  • Count university-level credits you’ve gained from elsewhere
Course type
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.
Credits
360  

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.
How long it takes
Part-time study – 6 years
Full-time study – 3 years
Time limit – 16 years
Study method
Distance learning
Entry requirements

Find out more about Entry requirements

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits:

  • In Stage 1, you’ll choose 60 credits of STEM modules and 60 credits from any OU level 1 modules.
  • In Stage 2, you’ll choose 60 credits of STEM modules and 60 credits from any OU level 2 modules.
  • In Stage 3, you’ll choose 120 credits of STEM modules.
  • We’ve created suggested routes to guide you and help you choose your modules.

Prepare for OU study with an Access module

We offer two starting points depending on how confident you are or how long it’s been since you last studied. Choose to dive straight in at Stage 1, or if you’d prefer some extra preparation, you can get started with an optional Access module. See Entry requirements for more details.

You’ll choose 60 credits of key introductory STEM modules and 60 credits from any OU level 1 modules.

Stage 1 modules
ModulesCredits
You’ll choose 60 credits from:
A variety of introductory STEM modules60
You’ll choose 60 credits from:
A variety of OU level 1 modules60

You’ll choose 60 credits of OU level 2 STEM modules and 60 credits from any OU level 2 modules.

Stage 2 modules
ModulesCredits
You'll choose 60 credits from:
A variety of OU level 2 STEM modules60
You'll choose 60 credits from:
A variety of OU level 2 modules60

You’ll choose 120 credits of STEM modules.

Stage 3 modules
ModulesCredits
You'll choose 120 credits from:
A variety of OU level 3 STEM modules120

If you’re interested in exploring some suggested routes, expand the Routes through the degree section below.

We’ve created 180-credit suggested routes to help you choose your modules. You could combine 180 credits from one route with 180 credits from another to gain the 360 credits you need.

Suggested routes include:

  • Astronomy and planetary science
  • Applied mathematics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Communications and networking
  • Computer science
  • Design
  • Earth sciences
  • Engineering
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Environmental science
  • Health science
  • Mathematics education
  • Mathematics and statistics
  • Mathematics and statistics education
  • Pure mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Statistics
  • Software development
  • Sport and fitness
  • Web development



Environmental science

Environmental science
ModulesCredits
Stage 1
Environment: journeys through a changing world (U116)60
Stage 2
Environmental science (S206)60
Stage 3
Environment: responding to change (SDT306)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 March 2023.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BSc (Honours) Combined STEM degree uses a variety of study materials and may have the following elements, depending on the modules you choose:

  • studying online – some modules have a mixture of printed and online material, and others are entirely online. Online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • online tutorials
  • using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
  • working in a group with other students
  • using and/or producing diagrams and/or screenshots
  • practical work
  • finding external/third party material online
  • using technology for research purposes involving access to catalogues and databases online
  • working with specialist reading material such as works of art and musical manuscripts
  • continuous and end-of-module assessment in the form of essays, short answer questions, and in some cases an examination
  • using feedback: continuous assessment involves receiving detailed feedback on your work from your tutor and using this feedback to improve your performance
  • engagement with learning and assessment within a pre-determined schedule or timetable – time management will be needed during your studies and the University will help you to develop these skills throughout your degree
  • some modules may require you to use specialist software
  • using an online laboratory or design/engineering studio.

All qualifications require you to complete learning and assessment activities within a required timescale and according to pre-determined deadlines. You will therefore need to manage your time effectively during your studies and the University will help you to develop this skill throughout your degree. Information on assessment will be available to you at the start of each module.

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.


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.
Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

If you've already completed some university-level study somewhere else, you may be able to count it towards this qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.

It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. For more details and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


Classification of your degree

On successfully completing this course, we’ll award you our BSc (Honours) Combined STEM.

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

You’ll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

International recognition

If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Find out more about international recognition of Open University qualifications.

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

There are no formal entry requirements to study this degree; however, having some basic skills before you begin can help you get the best from your studies. For example, if you choose one of our science, maths or engineering modules you might want to check if your IT and mathematical skills are up to scratch. For some subject areas, we offer online diagnostic tools to help you to decide if you’re ready, or if you could do with some extra preparation:

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

Preparing for study with an Access module

Students who start their study with an Access module are more likely to be successful when they advance to Stage 1 of their qualification. They’re specially designed to give you a gentle introduction to OU study, boost confidence in your study skills, and help you gain a broad overview of your chosen subject area.

You’ll also benefit from:

  • feedback from your tutor through regular one-to-one phone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback on your work.

The Access module we’d recommend studying in preparation for this qualification is our:

Science, technology and maths Access module

What you will study

This multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the sciences, technology and mathematics. It’ll help develop your study skills in advance of your OU qualification, and you get to explore a number of STEM subjects including science, engineering and design, environment, mathematics, and computing and IT.

View full details of Science, technology and maths Access module

Psychology, social science and wellbeing Access module

What you will study

This multidisciplinary module provides an excellent introduction to studying with The Open University; you'll get to cover a wide range of subject areas, including psychology, childhood and youth studies, health and social wellbeing, sport, education and social sciences.

View full details of Psychology, social science and wellbeing Access module

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 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.
  • Most OU students study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year.
  • Our typical fee for 60 credits is £3,462*.
  • Our typical fee for 120 credits, which is equivalent to a year's full-time study, is £6,924*.
  • This means, at current prices, the typical total cost of your qualification would be £20,772*.
  • This qualification also includes one or more option modules with a lower than typical cost. If you choose to study one of these modules, the total cost of your qualification will be lower.

*The fee and funding information provided here is valid for courses starting before 31 July 2024. Fees normally increase annually. For further information about the University's fee policy, visit our Fee Rules.

Additional costs

Study costs

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

If your income is not more than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.

Field schools

This qualification has modules (S206/SXF206, S209 and/or S295) with optional field schools. For each school, you must pay an additional charge. You must also pay for your travel to and from the venue.


How will I study this course?

With our unique approach to distance learning, you can study from home, work or on the move.

You’ll have some assessment deadlines to meet, but otherwise, you’ll be free to study at the times that suit you, fitting your learning around work, family, and social life.

For each of your modules, you’ll use either just online resources or a mix of online and printed materials.

Each module you study will have a module website with

  • a week-by-week study planner, giving you a step-by-step guide through your studies
  • course materials such as reading, videos, recordings, and self-assessed activities
  • module forums for discussions and collaborative activities with other students
  • details of each assignment and their due dates
  • a tutorial booking system, online tutorial rooms, and your tutor’s contact details
  • online versions of some printed module materials and resources.

If you have additional needs, we can also provide most module materials in alternative formats. Find out more about materials on our accessibility webpage.


Tutor support

You’ll have a tutor for each module, who will introduce themselves before the module begins.

Throughout the module, they will:

  • mark your assignments and give feedback to help you improve
  • guide you to learning resources
  • support you, whether with general study skills or help with a specific topic.

Tutorials

Tutorials usually take place online, and they’re always optional.

Online tutorials are live presentations with module tutors in dedicated online tutorial rooms and are sometimes recorded.


Assessment

Our assessments are all designed to reinforce your learning and help you show your understanding of the topics. The mix of assessment methods will vary between modules.

Computer-Marked Assignments

  • Usually, a series of online, multiple-choice questions.

Tutor-Marked Assignments

  • You’ll have a number of these throughout each module, each with a submission deadline.
  • They can be made up of essays, questions, experiments or something else to test your understanding of what you have learned.
  • Your tutor will mark and return them to you with detailed feedback.

End-of-Module Assessments

  • The final, marked piece of work on most modules.
  • Modules with an end-of-module assessment won’t usually have an exam.

Exams

  • Some modules end with an exam. You’ll be given time to revise and prepare.
  • You’ll be given your exam date at least 5 months in advance.
  • Most exams take place remotely, and you will complete them at home or at an alternative location.
  • If a module requires you to take a face-to-face exam, this will be made clear in the module description, and you will be required to take your exam in person at one of our exam centres.

Progressing to a point where I felt more comfortable writing my assignments, and having my scores reflecting that, made me quite happy because it showed the hard work was being rewarded.

Patrick ‘Ricky’ Skene, BSc (Hons) Sport, Fitness and Coaching

Other support and resources

Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to our subject-specific Student Support Teams.

They’ll help you with any general questions about your study and updates to your OU account.

To help with your studies, you’ll also have access to:

  • our online library, with high-quality online resources to support your study
  • other university libraries in the UK and Ireland
  • the online Help Centre, which has general information about OU study and support, along with study skills advice
  • free Microsoft Office 365 software
  • IT and computing support from our Computing Helpdesk.

Find out more about student support and being a part of the OU community.

Skills for career development

In today’s highly competitive job market, our Combined STEM degree will equip you with a wide range of expertise, skills and capabilities much sought after by employers. A Combined STEM degree on your CV will show more than your level of knowledge; employers will know that you’re flexible and adaptable, having studied across subjects. It will also demonstrate that you have gained valuable transferable skills, which could include:

  • self-management
  • team working
  • problem solving
  • communication and literacy
  • numeracy
  • application of information technology

Career relevance

The flexibility of our Combined STEM degree makes it relevant to a wide range of careers and industries – many of which require proficiency in a range of STEM-based skills. It can help you to develop in your existing employment, or be a passport to a whole new career. Its flexibility particularly suits people with multi-faceted work roles; and anyone needing to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding to manage changes in their current job or future career path.

A degree is always valuable, no matter what you study. Around 70% of graduate jobs are open to graduates of any discipline – particularly roles in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. 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 and 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 where this qualification might take you, visit the graduate careers website Prospects for hundreds of job ideas.


Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 08/02/2024

Request your Open Qualifications prospectus

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

Request prospectus