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Certificate of Higher Education in Economics and Personal Finance

By studying this certificate, you'll appreciate how economic theory helps understand real world important issues in areas such as government policy, international trade, business decisions, work and innovation. You’ll discover how economics and the economies have evolved over time. This will give you a building block towards acquiring a critical perspective on economics and economic choices for our daily lives. As you’re learning about income, expenditure, savings and investments, you'll gain practical tools and ideas on how to manage your own money effectively.

Key features of the course

  • Understand how economic theory relates to a variety of real-world topics in society. 
  • Introduces statistical methods and how to apply them to actual economic problems. 
  • Develop introductory skills in analytical thought, numeracy and data analysis that are valued by employers.
  • Learn practical skills enabling you to manage your money better. 
A nationally recognised qualification in its own right, this certificate of higher education is also equivalent to the first third of the BA (Honours) Economics (R30).

Course Summary

Certificate

Certificate

  • Widely recognised qualification.
  • Equivalent to the first third of an honours degree.
  • Study for interest or career development.
  • Shows that you can study successfully at university level.
  • Count it towards further qualifications such as a foundation degree, DipHE or honours degree.
Course code
T36
Credits

Credits

  • 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.
120
How long it takes
Part time – 2 years
Full time – 1 year
Time limit – 7 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This certificate of higher education has one stage comprising 120 credits.

Prepare for OU study with an Access module

We offer two starting points depending on how confident you are or how long it’s been since you last studied. Choose to dive straight in at Stage 1, or if you’d prefer some extra preparation, you can get started with an optional Access module. See Entry requirements for more details.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

You'll be introduced to economic, mathematical and statistical methods and theories. Various approaches to economics will be taught in a historical context and with a specific focus on managing your personal finances.

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.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The Certificate of Higher Education in Economics and Personal Finance 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
  • face-to-face tutorials/day schools/workshops and/or online tutorials
  • using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
  • using technology for research purposes involving access to catalogues and databases online
  • working in a group with other students
  • using and/or producing diagrams and/or screenshots
  • using specialist software (for example to analyse economic data)
  • finding external/third party material online
  • 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.

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

On completion

On successfully completing this course, we’ll award you our Certificate of Higher Education in Economics and Personal Finance.

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.

Regulations

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. 

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.

It is important that you are well prepared to study mathematics at this level. So, before you register for this qualification, it is essential to check that you have the appropriate mathematical skills to study Discovering mathematics (MU123).

Take a look at our Maths Help study resources to brush up your mathematical skills in preparation for our self-assessed quiz. If you can answer most of the questions, or could do them with a quick reminder (because the topic is familiar to you but you can’t quite remember the details), then you are ready.

If you're unsure about your ability to study this qualification, please contact an advisor.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • Most OU students study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £3,168*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits, which is equivalent to a year's full-time study, is £6,336*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £6,336*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2022. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.


Skills for career development

This certificate will equip you with introductory knowledge and skills in economics, statistics and personal finance that are useful for a range of jobs. You will learn how to construct economic arguments using concepts, theories, models and evidence; how to think analytically; and how to work collaboratively. These transferable skills are in demand in the workplace, and are relevant to a great variety of situations – whether you’re already working, volunteering or changing career.

Career relevance

Holders of a qualification in economics can successfully apply their knowledge and skills in various jobs in government, business, accountancy, banking, economics, data 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:

  • management consultant
  • banker
  • data analyst
  • marketing manager
  • manager
  • accountant
  • teacher.

Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 09/12/2021

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