This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits:
- In Stage 1, you'll choose 60 credits from a range of key introductory STEM modules, followed by 60 credits from a free choice of OU level 1 modules.
- Next, in Stage 2, you'll choose 60 credits from a broad range of STEM modules at OU level 2, followed by 60 credits from a free choice of OU level 2 modules.
- Finally, in Stage 3, you'll conclude your degree by choosing 120 credits from a broad range of OU level 3 STEM modules.
You’ll start Stage 1 with 60 credits from a wide and varied choice of introductory STEM modules – specially designed to develop your subject knowledge and study skills in preparation for further OU study. To complete this stage, you’ll choose a further 60 credits from any of our Stage 1 modules – you could expand your study of a particular subject beyond the key introductory modules, or choose modules from a different subject area,depending on your Stage 2 study plans. Consider your choice of modules carefully to get the most out of your studies in Stage 2.
Having completed Stage 1, you may have formed some ideas about the direction you want to follow. If so, you can start to focus on one or two particular subject areas and explore in more depth some of the STEM topics you'll have encountered at Stage 1. Equally, you can continue to be inspired by non-STEM subjects, especially if you have previous knowledge or experience. Either way, after you've completed the 120 credits required for Stage 2, you’ll have enhanced your critical thinking and analytical skills. Consider your choice of modules carefully, as to get the best from your studies in Stage 3, you'll build on your study from Stage 2. At least 60 credits must be from STEM modules and up to 60 credits can be from any Stage 2 modules.
Stage 3 is focused on the study of specialist topics and issues in STEM. During this stage you’ll develop significantly as an independent learner and acquire high-level thinking skills in preparation for graduate-level employment or postgraduate study. To complete the 120 credits of study required for Stage 3, we recommend that you build on your study from Stage 2. All 120 credits at Stage 3 must be from STEM modules.
If you’re interested in exploring some suggested subject-based routes through the qualification, expand the Routes through the degree section below.
We’ve provided some recommended subject-specific study routes through the BSc (Honours) Combined STEM. These currently include:
- Astronomy and planetary science
- Applied mathematics
- Communications and networking
- Computer science
- Earth sciences
- Environmental technology
- Environmental science
- Health science
- Mathematics education
- Mathematics and statistics
- Mathematics and statistics education
- Pure mathematics
- Software development
- Sport and fitness
- Web development
If you’d like to study two STEM subjects, you could choose to combine 180 credits of subject-specific study from one route with 180 credits of subject-specific study from another. Alternatively, you can choose to study 60 credits of non-STEM at Stages 1 and 2, but you must plan to study 120 credits of STEM at stage 3.
Following a suggested subject route or combining two can be particularly beneficial if you’re keen to specialise in a particular subject(s). However, please be aware that the subject(s) you study won’t be included on your degree certificate or in the name of your degree.
We’ve provided some example routes through the qualification below. These are optional and are only to give you a few ideas; other subjects and module choices are available:
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 15 March 2022.
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
- face-to-face tutorials/day schools/workshops and/or 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
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; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
Read the detailed learning outcomes here
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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:
- team working
- problem solving
- communication and literacy
- application of information technology
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.