This diploma has one stage comprising 120 credits.
You’ll be introduced to economics as a discipline and learn core economic theories and techniques. These will be applicable to studying the economy as a whole (macroeconomics) and for individual economic agents, such as firms and households (microeconomics). You’ll also learn the key concepts and techniques used in the analysis of economic data.
In the second module you’ll study economic theories and techniques in more depth. You’ll also be introduced to econometrics, the statistical analysis of economic data, and learn about various research methods that you can use in a small research project on a topic of your choice.
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.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. This qualification uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:
- studying a mixture of printed and online material. Online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes.
- using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
- working in a group with other students
- using and producing diagrams and/or screenshots
- using specialist software
- finding external/third party material online
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 some 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.
On completion of this undergraduate course, we'll award you the Diploma in Economics.
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.
The Diploma in Economics is made up of modules at OU levels 2 and 3 taken from our undergraduate programme. There are no entry requirements, but you must be suitably prepared for study at this level. For example, it is particularly suitable to graduates in other subjects who wish to learn economics. If you are not certain of your preparedness to start studying at OU level 2, we strongly recommend you contact us to discuss this with our educational advisers. We also have diagnostics materials for you to gauge the expectations of study at this level.
How much time do I need?
- This diploma can only be studied part time, completing 60 credits a year.
- This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Skills for career development
This qualification will equip you with knowledge and skills in economics and statistics useful for a range of jobs. You’ll learn how to analyse economic data using specialised software; how to construct economic arguments using concepts, theories, models and evidence; how to think analytically and critically; how to work collaboratively; and how to carry out independent research. These highly transferable skills are in great demand in the workplace, and are relevant to a great variety of situations – whether you’re already working, volunteering or changing career.
Whatever your prior higher education qualification, the skills and knowledge demonstrated by this diploma are highly valued in many workplaces. Economists successfully apply their knowledge and skills in many different jobs in government, business, accountancy, banking, economics, data analysis, financial analysis, insurance, management and administration, consultancy, the voluntary sector and teaching.
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. This includes online forums, website, interview simulation, 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 this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience:
- data analyst
- financial analyst
- investment analyst
- marketing manager
- management consultant