You can tailor an Open degree to suit your changing needs or circumstances. Choosing from a wide range of rewarding and enjoyable modules you can steer your studies to focus on, or combine, personal interests and career needs. The programme aims to provide you with:
the flexibility to study modules in one or more subjects
the opportunity to develop your skills, knowledge and capabilities through the three levels of university study
an appreciation of the development of knowledge and its application in your chosen subjects
the skills to learn independently, organise information and communicate effectively, whether for academic study, employment, or your own pleasure and satisfaction.
An Open degree allows you to select modules from across the curriculum so that the learning outcomes of your degree will depend on a combination of outcomes from the modules you have studied. These will be described retrospectively in an academic transcript. As a student gaining an Open degree, you will have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate generic outcomes, including knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas.
Knowledge and understanding
acquire systematic knowledge of key aspects of the relevant discipline(s), some of it in specialist areas and informed by current thinking and developments
appreciate the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge.
On completion of this degree, you will be able to:
use established ideas and techniques of analysis and enquiry appropriate to your studies
critically evaluate information, arguments and assumptions, being aware of the limitations of techniques and the limits of your knowledge
frame and address problems, questions and issues, being aware of the environment and context in which the problem exists.
Practical and/or professional skills
On completion of the degree, you will be able to demonstrate the following key skills:
communicate clearly and accurately, being aware of the requirements, knowledge and perspectives of others
use information technology and information literacy skills, where appropriate, to search for, exchange, process and evaluate information
plan, monitor and evaluate your own learning and performance, being aware of your own learning styles, strengths and needs.
develop a high degree of autonomy as a learner, integrating study and personal development planning with an active awareness of skills development and a reflective approach to learning
use and develop further your knowledge, understanding and skills to contribute effectively in the workplace and the wider community.
Teaching, learning and assessment methods
You will acquire your knowledge and understanding through a mix of published distance-learning materials, study guides, a range of multimedia material, online tuition and feedback on your assignments. The precise nature of this mix will depend on your choice of modules. As you progress through the degree you will find that you are cumulatively increasing your level of knowledge and understanding and you can expect a significant portion of your progress to be assessed at third level.
Cognitive skills are taught cumulatively and in ways that will vary according to which modules you choose to study. They will include the use of written study materials, in-text questions, audio, visual and/or interactive material, carefully monitored feedback on assignments, as well as online tutorials and online forums.
The teaching, learning and assessment of key skills are also specific to the subjects you choose to include as part of your Open degree and in many modules are likely to be assessed indirectly.
Classification of your degree
To achieve an Honours degree, you will need to complete 360 credits of study. Whether you qualify for a BA (Honours) Open degree or a BSc (Honours) Open degree will be determined by the number of credits you have from modules suitable for a BA or for a BSc. Your honours degree will be classified either as first-class honours, upper second-class honours, lower second-class honours or third-class honours. The class of degree is determined by the best grades you achieve in a minimum of 120 and up to 240 credits from modules at Levels 2 and 3, 120 of which must come from modules at Level 3.
You can claim a BSc or BA Open degree without honours after completing 300 credits although you should be aware that this may limit some graduate career options or access to postgraduate study.
Of these 300 credits 120 will be at Level 1, 120 will be at Level 2 and 60 will be at Level 3. You must also include at least 120 credits that are unique to your Open degree and have not already been counted in any other OU qualification awarded to you.
On successful completion of 360 credits you will be awarded either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science honours degree.
Whether you qualify for a BA (Hons) Open degree or a BSc (Hons) Open degree will be determined by the number of credits you have from modules suitable for a BA or for a BSc.
For a BA, at least 180 credits must come from modules suitable for a BA (that is with module codes starting with A, B, D, E, K, L, M, U or W).
For a BSc, at least 180 credits must come from modules suitable for a BSc (that is, with module codes starting with B, D, E, K, M, S, T, U or W).
Of these 180 credits, 60 must be at Level 2 and 60 must be at Level 3.