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BA/BSc Open degree

Over 40 per cent of OU students who graduate do so with an Open degree. It's a statistic we're proud of - the BA/BSc Open is one of the most flexible undergraduate programmes in the UK, and exemplifies our distinctive and often life-changing approach to learning more than any other qualification. With this degree you have the freedom an opportunity to achieve a uniquely tailored qualification. You can study any subjects you like, in any combination, enabling you to:

  • tailor your degree around your interests and career
  • enjoy the intellectual challenge of a wide variety of disciplines
  • let your mind take you where it leads
  • try something completely new
  • focus on one main subject, but have the freedom to mix in modules from other areas
  • use successfully completed credit from previous university-level studies elsewhere
  • change direction as yourinterests develop and your horizons expand.

Highly regarded by employers for its breadth and valued by students for its flexibility, an Open degree equips you with a wide range of expertise, skills and capabilities that are much sought after in today's highly competitive job market. It's also fascinating, mind broadening and completely relevant - because it's unique to you.

Study Mode

Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available

Key facts

Code: QD Made up of: 300 or 360 credits

There are no formal entry requirements to study this degree.

Fees: Our fees depend on where you are ordinarily resident. We have a range of funding options to help you with payment. When you apply to study we will tell you the fee and funding options that are available to you. Before you apply you can read What you can expect to pay.

Career relevance and employability

The flexibility of the Open degree makes them relevant to a wide range of careers and industries. Many graduates choose to enter careers that are not directly related to the subject(s) they studied and this is reflected in the fact that around 70 per cent of graduate jobs are open to graduates of any discipline. What makes Open degree students stand out is the rich view of the world they develop, the perspectives they encounter and the range of skills they develop from having studied a diverse range of subjects.

Whatever your choice of modules, the Open degree will help you develop key transferable skills including:

  • adaptability and flexibility
  • problem solving
  • communication and literacy
  • numeracy
  • information technology (IT)
  • analysis and reporting
  • critical analysis.

There's more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU's Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.

Educational aims

In the Open Programme you can mould 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.

Learning outcomes

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

You will:

  • 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.

Cognitive skills

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.

Key skills

You will:

  • 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.

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