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Business and employment law

This module will introduce you to business and employment law within the legal system of England and Wales. You'll explore the nature of business structures, with particular emphasis on corporate organisations and their internal and external regulations. The module will then explore employment relationships, both through the study of law, policy and practice and also through the practical application of legal principles in connection with simulated case scenarios. By the end of the module, you'll have an understanding of how business and employment law affect individuals and their impact upon society.

What you will study

The module aims to provide you with the opportunity to explore and develop your interest in business and employment law within the legal system of England and Wales. It will focus on business structures, including corporate organisations, and their internal and external regulation together with the nature of the employment relationship.

By the end of the module, you should have an understanding of what these aspects of business and employment law mean for individuals and society. You'll be able to explain what the law is in the areas studied and how it affects individuals connected to the organisation. You'll also be able to identify how these aspects of business and employment law affect others and recognise where the law is failing to protect the vulnerable or to enable social justice, fairness or equal opportunities in society.

Studying this module will provide you with the opportunity to:

  • gain knowledge of the nature of the employment relationship by exploring contracts of employment, their termination through wrongful and unfair dismissal, employment tribunals, and the effect of discrimination against workers based on their protected characteristics.
  • gain knowledge of, and assess how business and employment law affect and impact upon individuals and groups in society generally  
  • start becoming an independent learner, and to develop other associated and transferable skills and attributes
  • develop legal, cognitive and practical skills, and to apply those skills to specific simulated scenarios.

Entry requirements

If you are new to study at university level, or are returning after some time, we recommend that you first study an OU level 1 law module such as Criminal law and the courts (W111) or Civil justice and tort law (W112), unless you are a graduate entry student.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

Preparatory work

You might find the following resources are useful preparation for this module:

What's included

You’ll have access to a module website, which includes:

  • a week-by-week study planner
  • course-specific module materials
  • audio and video content
  • assignment details and submission section
  • online tutorial access and tutor support.

Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11), or macOS (11 'Big Sur' or higher).

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Throughout your module studies, you will get help and support from your assigned module tutor. They will help you by:

  • marking your assignments (TMAs) and providing detailed feedback for you to improve.
  • guiding you to additional learning resources.
  • providing individual guidance, whether that’s for general study skills or specific module content.
  • facilitating online discussions between your fellow students, in the dedicated module and tutor group forums.

Module tutors also run online tutorials throughout the module. Where possible, recordings of online tutorials will be made available to students. While these tutorials won’t be compulsory for you to complete the module, you’re strongly encouraged to take part.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying W240 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

Business and employment law starts once a year – in February. This page describes the module that will start in February 2024. We expect it to start for the last time in February 2030.

Course work includes:

2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
1 Interactive computer-marked assignment (iCMA)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school