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MSc in Law, Economics and Governance

This programme is taught entirely in English, with the first year being delivered face-to-face at the University of Bologna in Italy and the second year by distance learning at The Open University.

This collaborative qualification between The Open University and the University of Bologna will equip you with knowledge and skills in the interdisciplinary areas of finance and law required to work in legal, financial, banking, governmental or research institutions.

The scope of the knowledge, skills and practical tools covered aim to enable professional development and practice in a wide range of managerial and legal roles such as business economics, corporate finance, consultancy, investment and portfolio management, company law, market regulation and financial transaction law.

The qualification requires an aptitude for analytical methods and a critical approach to engage with relevant theories and frameworks in business and law as well as their applications. You’ll also have the opportunity to acquire and develop relevant research skills and techniques.

Key features of the course

  • Acquire knowledge of European and international business law, digital market regulation, corporate governance, innovation economics, finance, and business ethics.
  • Gain a double qualification recognised in the UK and the European Union.
  • Experience an interdisciplinary approach connecting legal studies, economics, and finance.
  • Take advantage of a mix of innovative learning methods during your studies.

Masters degree

Course code


  • 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.
240 CATS (equal to 120 ECTS)
How long it takes
2 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Course cost
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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Course details


To gain this qualification, you need 240 credits (120 ECTS) as follows:
The next start dates are provided where known at this time. 

48 credits from the following University of Bologna modules Credits Next start
Statistics (U01)
12 (6 ECTS) 20 Sept 2021
Comparative company law (U02)
12 (6 ECTS) 14 Feb 2022
Law and economics of corporate governance (U03) 
12 (6 ECTS)  08 Nov 2021
Organizational sociology (U04)
12 (6 ECTS) 20 Apr 2022
plus 24 credits from the following University of Bologna modules Credits Next start
Law and practice of financial transactions (U05)
12 (6 ECTS) 20 Apr 2022
Regulation of digital markets (U06)
12 (6 ECTS) 20 Sept 2021
Law and markets (U07) 
12 (6 ECTS) 08 Nov 2021
European SME’s law (U08)
12 (6 ECTS) 14 Feb 2022
Transport regulation law (U09)
12 (6 ECTS) 20 Apr 2022
plus 24 credits from the following University of Bologna modules Credits Next start
The economics of entrepreneurship (U10)
12 (6 ECTS) 20 Apr 2022
Economics of ratings and rankings (U11)
12 (6 ECTS) 14 Feb 2022
Behavioural law and finance (U12)
12 (6 ECTS) 08 Nov 2021
Law and economics of social insurance (U13)
12 (6 ECTS) 20 Sept 2021
Applied economics (U14)
12 (6 ECTS)  
plus 18 credits from the following University of Bologna modules Credits Next start
Internship (U15)
12 or 18 (6 or 9 ECTS)  
Laboratory (U16)
12 (6 ECTS)  
Seminars (U17)
6 (3 ECTS)  
Introduction to Italian (U18)
6 (3 ECTS)  
plus 120 credits from the following Open University modules Credits Next start
Introduction to corporate finance (BXUB815) – planned for November 2022
30 (15 ECTS)  
Financial strategy: valuation, governance and ethics (BXUB816) – planned for May 2023
30 (15 ECTS)  
1Dissertation (BXUB805) – planned for November 2022
60 (15 ECTS)  
plus 6 credits from the following University of Bologna module Credits Next start
Examination (U19)
6 (3 ECTS)  

1The Dissertation will be split into the following three sub-modules: Reviewing the literature and adopting a critical approach (6 CATS), Methods in law and economics research (12 CATS) and Dissertation (42 CATS).

You can see more information in the course structure diagram on the University of Bologna website.

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes.

Credit transfer

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards the 120 credits (60 ECTS) you will study through the University of Bologna within this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible before you register for your first module. You can find more details on Shortening of the degree programme on the University of Bologna website.

You cannot count credit for study done elsewhere towards the 120 credits (60 ECTS) you will study with The Open University.

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules, you can be awarded a Master of Science in Law, Economics and Governance from The Open University entitling you to use the letters MSc LEG (Open) after your name. You will also receive a Laurea Magistrale in Law, Economics and Governance from the University of Bologna with separate certification from each institution.

You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony held by either the University of Bologna or The Open University. 

Recognition in your country

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. Read recognition in my country.


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. 

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 17 March 2021.

Entry requirements

You must hold a bachelors degree awarded by a recognised UK or Italian university or equivalent. We recommend that your degree is in subjects such as business, economics, international relations, law, political sciences or statistics. A full list of accepted Italian qualifications is defined within the Application Guidance (see Appendix B).

Non-standard applications will be considered on a case by case basis. A minimum score of 6.5 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or an equivalent qualification is required for entry where applicable. Further information regarding the English language skills requirements can be found within the Application Guidance (see Appendix C).

It is strongly recommended that you are comfortable with the use of numerical methods and spreadsheets and that you familiarise yourself with these skills prior to studying the first module.

How long will it take?

The minimum time to complete this qualification is two years. This can be achieved by studying 120 credits (60 ECTS) in each year, which is the equivalent of full-time study. The maximum time to complete is seven years. Please note, any additional years of study beyond the two years will incur additional costs as listed in the section below.

How much will it cost?

The qualification is designed to be completed in two years, but it may take longer. Fees will be charged annually for each year of study of the MSc. Fees displayed here are valid for the academic year 2021-2022 but are subject to an annual increase in line with inflation and changes to exchange rates. The fees displayed here do not cover any accommodation, meal or travel costs incurred either in Italy or the UK.

For students starting the MSc programme in 2021 the fee will be £4,450 for the first year of study. We anticipate fees for the second year of study to be £4,450, subject to review in line with inflation and exchange rates.

For each additional year of study the student needs to complete the qualification, we anticipate the fee to be £2,760, subject to review in line with inflation and exchange rates. Students will not be required to pay an additional yearly fee if they are not studying in that academic year or they are able to complete the qualification within the first two years.

The displayed fees are shown at the current rate for students starting the programme between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022. Fees are reviewed on an annual basis and may increase from year to year based on inflation, changes to exchange rates, and the University's strategic approach to fees. Fees for subsequent years of study may change.

How to apply

You will need to register your interest by completing an application form and providing evidence that you meet the entry requirements to apply and be accepted onto the programme by the Degree Admissions Board, which will comprise of academics and admissions staff from both The Open University and University of Bologna.

The final application date is 23 August 2021. Applying early allows sufficient time for your application to be processed.

The Application Guidance will give you further information about the application process, the fees before you complete the application form.

Career relevance

This postgraduate qualification allows you to develop your integration capabilities and address decisions from an interdisciplinary stance. You will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to address decision making at the higher levels of organisations.

The dissertation offers the chance to explore topics of interest in greater depth and enhance your career prospects in a career specialism.

Both early-career and experienced professionals aspiring to enter global consultancy or take on managerial roles and legal services positions will find our MSc in Law, Economics and Governance programme a professionally rewarding and intellectually challenging experience.