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BSc (Honours) Economics and Mathematical Sciences

Graduates who understand the commercial and economic environment and who are also highly numerate are in short supply. If you enjoy solving problems and you're interested in the practical application of economics and mathematics, this degree course could be what you're looking for. The BSc (Honours) Economics and Mathematical Sciences gives you a thorough grounding in a broad range of mathematical, statistical and computational skills, and a sound knowledge of economic theory - together with a good understanding of economic issues. You'll develop analytical and model building skills that can be applied in a variety of contexts, engage in economic debate, and assess different kinds of evidence and their usefulness in relation to economic theories. You'll also learn how to apply the knowledge and skills learned by carrying out your own project work. By the end of your studies, you'll be able to answer fundamental questions about our physical and economic world, and use a wide range of essential skills to solve real problems and make sound judgments - from everyday choices relating to your personal finances, to high-level strategic decisions in employment.

Study Mode

Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available

Key facts

Code: Q15 Made up of: 360 credits
Entry
Requirements:

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

This degree course will equip you with the mathematical, statistical and economics skills and knowledge required for a range of jobs in government, business, accountancy, banking, economics, data analysis, investment analysis, insurance, risk analysis, management and administration, market research, the voluntary sector and teaching. It may also help you to gain recognition from a professional body. You can view or download our Recognition leaflet 3.6 Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and Recognition leaflet 3.11 Other Professional Bodies for further information.

The BSc (Honours) Economics and Mathematical Sciences develops a wide variety of skills that are highly valued by employers. You'll be able to construct economic, statistical and mathematical arguments with appropriate and critical use of concepts, theories, models and evidence. You'll also learn to use modern mathematical and statistical software, and how to carry out a research project using appropriate research methods.

Many of the skills you'll learn are highly transferrable and therefore applicable to a variety of situations - whether you're already working, volunteering or changing career.

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

This programme aims to provide you with:

  • the mathematical and economics skills and knowledge required for a range of jobs in government, business, accountancy, banking, management and administration, the voluntary sector and teaching
  • a good grounding in a broad range of mathematical, statistical and computational skills
  • a good basic knowledge of economic theory together with an understanding of economic issues
  • the skills and knowledge to engage in economic debate and to assess different kinds of evidence and their usefulness in relation to economic theories.

Learning outcomes

The programme leading to this degree provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following four areas.

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this degree, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • debates concerning the economic, social and cultural processes that have produced modern economies and societies and are transforming them now
  • a range of economic theories and the ability to apply them to economic issues and problems; an ability to engage in economic debate, including a capacity for critical reading of the specialist economic and business press and the results of economic research
  • relevant aspects of current research and scholarship within economics
  • ideas and techniques of statistical data analysis, of discrete mathematics (including matrices), of calculus and of mathematical and statistical modelling
  • arguments based on mathematical and statistical reasoning and a general appreciation of the setting and breadth of application of statistics, and to a lesser extent mathematics, in today's world
  • the role of statistical and mathematical software in the modelling process.

Cognitive skills

On completion of the degree, you will be able to:

  • define and use key terms within economics, mathematics and statistics
  • construct economic, statistical and mathematical arguments with appropriate and critical use of concepts, theories and evidence
  • recognise the importance of modelling in economics, statistics and mathematics, and create and reason with appropriate economic, mathematical and statistical theories and models
  • apply skill in mathematical manipulation and calculation, and in the appropriate use of modern mathematical and statistical software
  • apply judgement in the selection and application of statistical, mathematical and economic tools and techniques
  • plan and undertake a piece of personal research in the area of economics, making use of appropriate documentary, statistical or field-based sources and utilising appropriate methodologies.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of the degree, you will be able to:

  • apply core economic, statistical and mathematical theory, as well as analytic and modelling techniques, to a variety of applied topics and practical problems
  • communicate economic, statistical and mathematical ideas in a clear and logical manner to non-specialists
  • exercise informed independent and critical judgement in thinking about economic issues
  • understand, and be capable of critical reasoning about, random variation in real-world contexts.

Key skills

On completion of the degree, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

Communication

  • select, read, summarise and synthesise information material, including information in the form of text, numerical data and diagrams, in an appropriate way and identify what is relevant
  • use and communicate economic, mathematical and statistical ideas, solutions and results clearly and coherently, using appropriate technical and non-technical language, and using a form, structure and style that suits the purpose
  • integrate diagrammatic, quantitative and verbal analysis of economic issues
  • reference sources in an appropriate way.

Application of number

  • perform basic and more complex numerical operations
  • interpret economic and statistical data presented in tabular, chart and graphic form
  • undertake descriptive data analysis and interpret the results
  • select appropriate data analysis tools and methods to address an economic or statistical problem or issue and be aware of their limitations
  • understand the limitations of data analysis in assessment and forecasting in economic and similar contexts.

Information technology

  • access information from multimedia sources
  • use statistical and mathematical software packages
  • process and prepare information using computers.

Improving your own learning and performance

  • analyse tasks and make plans for tackling them
  • plan and manage time, including meeting deadlines over an extended period of time
  • identify and use sources of support
  • learn from feedback
  • study and learn independently
  • monitor and reflect on personal progress, identifying own strengths and weaknesses, and use skills to improve own learning and performance.

Problem solving

  • explore and solve extended problems, in the context of statistical modelling and of a piece of personal research in economics.

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