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Doing economics: people, markets and policy

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This course teaches economic theories that explain the behaviour of people in households, firms, markets and governments. It presents alternative economic explanations that will enable you to make your own critical judgements of which theory serves which purpose best. The course also equips you with the research skills that you’ll need to conduct your own project on a topic you want to know more about. At the end of the course, you should have developed a more critical view of the socio-economic world in which you live.

Modules at Level 3 assume that you are suitably prepared for study at this level. If you want to take a single module to satisfy your career development needs or pursue particular interests, you don’t need to start at Level 1 but you do need to have adequately prepared yourself for OU study in some other way. Check with our Student Registration & Enquiry Service to make sure that you are sufficiently prepared.

Register for the course


Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
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Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2019.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2019.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1625.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2019.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2019.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2019.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1465.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2019.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2019.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2019.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2019.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

See below for information about part time tuition fee loans available for study towards a qualification.

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2019.

*Fees may vary by country.

What you will study

The course will equip you with the theoretical tools necessary to investigate recent developments in the global economy. A pluralist view of economic theory is adopted, enabling you to appreciate the debates between different approaches.

The first part of the course teaches intermediate microeconomics with an emphasis on both economic theory and its applications. The second part of the course is project-based; you will be able to specialise in an area of your choice and carry out your own research project.

Each part of the course is divided into three blocks. Part 1 is made up of Blocks 1, 2 and 3 plus two weeks of work that introduce methods used by economists to test the relevance of their models using data. 

Block 1, People and Households, teaches economic theories that apply to decisions taken in various contexts, such as consumption, labour market participation, savings, investment in education and training. This block also looks at how households, as well as individuals, can make decisions.

Block 2, Firms and Industries, is about efficiency and productivity in the production of goods and services. It covers issues about choice of technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, employment relations, outsourcing and competition policy.

Block 3, Markets and Governments, covers the overall organisation of the economy. It investigates the strengths and weaknesses of markets and governments in the organisation of economic activities, explores issues concerning the environment and ethics, and looks at economic theory that underpins government behaviour.

Part 2 of the course is divided into Blocks 4, 5 and 6.

Block 4, Optional strands, teaches further economic theory and its applications to various areas. You have to choose one of three available theoretical strands:environmental economics, business and finance or economics and society.

In Block 5, Research Methods, you will learn how to carry out a literature review and then choose which research methods you plan to use for your project. You can choose between qualitative methods – which include interviewing and case studies – and quantitative methods, which involve analysis of economic data.

In Block 6, Project Work, you will work towards your end-of-module assessment, completing a project of your choice.

Entry

This is a Level 3 course. Level 3 courses build on study skills and subject knowledge acquired from studies at Levels 1 and 2. They are intended only for students who have recent experience of higher education in a related subject, preferably with the OU. We strongly recommend that students take Running the economy (DD209) or an alternative introductory economics course before studying DD309.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader and mathematical, scientific or diagrammatic materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. Other alternative formats of the course materials may be available in the future. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.

A considerable portion of this course is delivered online through a website and includes the use of online activities, synchronous forums and audio-visual resources.  If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet and have concerns about accessing this type of material you are advised to talk to the Student Registration & Enquiry Service about support which can be given to meet your needs.

As the course contains complex and interactive online tutorials featuring detailed diagrams, the use of an assistant may be helpful to some students with visual and/or motor impairments.

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:

  • help to determine your study requirements and how to request the support that you need  
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
  • using a computer for OU study
  • equipment and other support services that we offer
  • examination arrangements
  • how to contact us for advice and support both before you register and while you are studying.

Study materials

What's included

Course books, website, online study guide, ICT tutorials and interactive online activities.

You will need

A printer would be useful.

As part of this course you will need to watch short online videos and listen to audio files. For this reason we recommend broadband access to the internet (a 512kbps service is adequate). However, you can study this course if you use dial-up (56kbps), but you will need to be patient when watching video or listening to audio.

You will need a headset with a microphone and earphones if you wish to talk to your tutor and other students online during some of the course activities.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this course as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2007 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.6 or later.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and who you can ask for advice and guidance. There are three face-to-face tutorials in addition to online tutorials throughout the module.

Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

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

You can choose whether to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) on paper or online through the eTMA system. You may want to use the eTMA system for some of your assignments but submit on paper for others. This is entirely your choice.

The end-of-module assessment (EMA) is a project.

Future availability

The details given here are for the course that starts in October 2014. We expect it to be available once a year.

How to register

To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.

Student Reviews

“I agonised long and hard about this course. I undertook the OU primarily to study Philosophy. Unfortunately, the course I ...”
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“Great course and great course structure, no final exam but your very own economic project! So not only you won't ...”
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Distance learning

The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information read Distance learning explained.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.
Course facts
About this course:
Course code DD309
Credits 60
OU Level 3
SCQF level 10
FHEQ level 6
Course work includes:
6 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Course satisfaction survey

See the satisfaction survey results for this course.

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