BA in Business Studies (Honours)

The Open University

Program Description

BA in Business Studies (Honours)

The Open University

BA in Business Studies (Honours)

How do businesses develop strategies, handle risk and take decisions? What’s involved in functions such as marketing, accounting and finance? This innovative course is firmly rooted in your own experience. You’ll investigate how organisations think and work, how they’re managed, and the external world in which they operate. You can focus entirely on business studies, or combine it with accounting, economics, environment, international development, law, French or Spanish.

Key features of the course

  • Develops your understanding of business organisations and their key elements
  • Explores wider considerations such as environments, markets and processes; and how all these work together
  • Helps you relate your studies to your own experience
  • Equips you for a wide range of employment opportunities across all sectors.

Educational aims

This is a broad-based business studies degree which aims to provide you with:

  • an introduction to the world of business, including an understanding of markets and market economies
  • an understanding of the structures, cultures and functioning of business organisations and the complex nature of key business functions and processes
  • a recognition of the processes and outcomes of organisational decision-making, how organisational strategies both develop and diversify and the nature and role of policies which impact on business
  • a range of important business graduate skills, which you can bring to your employment in businesses or organisations
  • support and guidance to develop as independent learners.


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 upfront.
  • If like most OU students studying part time, you study an average of 60 credits a year – you’ll study for six years to complete a degree. Our typical fee for 60 credits is £2,632.
  • Our current fee is £5,264 – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your chosen qualification starts from £15,792 based on our current fees.

How long does it take?

  • Part time – 6-8 years
  • Full time – 3 years
  • Time limit – 16 years

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

The key teaching vehicles are distance learning materials which comprise a range of compulsory readings as well as other materials such as audio/visual materials, and specially prepared study guides directing your reading and illustrating key teaching points. These vehicles are presented partly in paper format, partly electronically (web) and partly in other formats (such as DVDs). The programme has a significant practice-based learning focus, which allows you to deepen your knowledge and understanding through application to your own practice. Your learning of the materials is supported by a locally-based tutor who maintains contact with you individually, conducts periodic group tutorials and facilitates online learning for his/her group of around 20 students. This tutor is your first and main point of contact, answering your queries, grading and commenting on your work and facilitating group learning.

To support the development of your group-working and ICT skills, you are required to participate in tutor group forums. This also provides you with an additional environment in which to share learning and resolve module-related problems.

Assessment of the knowledge and understanding of the components of the programme is achieved through a combination of continuous assessment and exams. The continuous assessment element consists of a series of tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) – usually 6 or 7 for each 60-credit module, with each assignment of around 2000 words. These are also central to the teaching of the module since they enable tutors to identify and comment on your knowledge and understanding. Assessment of practice-based learning in several TMAs allows you to relate module concepts to your own experience and reflect on your learning and practice.

All compulsory modules at OU level 2 and 3 and at least 66 per cent of the optional modules at OU level 2 and 3 include a written examination.

In all three compulsory modules you are encouraged to develop the skills specified. First, in each module the specified skills – or specific components of the skills – are identified, mapping out where each skill will be developed and practised. Then as the module progresses the specified skills are sign-posted and you are offered an opportunity to practise them in association with your work on the study materials. Initially the module guides offer you advice and guidance with these activities, offering sample answers for example. As you progress through each module and through from OU level 1 to OU level 3 the extent of this guidance decreases in order to encourage independent learning.

In the compulsory and optional OU level 2 modules, TMAs require you to reflect on your learning and demonstrate progress in skills development as well as your knowledge and understanding. Different TMAs across these modules assess different combinations of skills and knowledge and understanding, including collaborative learning, so that all skills are assessed at some point. This process encourages you to be systematic and self-conscious about your skill development and it also allows the tutor to provide supportive interventions in your skills development.

At OU level 3 you are expected to apply skills developed at OU level 2 in addition to developing independent research and online collaborative skills. You are required to work with fellow students in a virtual group using tutor group forums and wikis analysing data from a case study, using a variety of strategic frameworks in order to complete a double-weighted TMA.

Career relevance

The skills and knowledge you’ll develop by studying this degree will equip you to follow a number of career paths, and are recognised by employers as having great value for work in management and business. A qualification in business studies can lead to opportunities in a wide range of areas such as:

  • middle and senior management positions across all sectors
  • advertising and marketing
  • accountancy
  • human resources
  • banking, including investment banking
  • sales and retail
  • management consultancy
  • business journalism
  • transport and logistics.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this degree. You will however need to be proficient in English, to an IELTS standard of 6.0. If you are unsure you will be able to take a free English test as part of the registration process.

Read more about this programme on the Open University website here

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University

Last updated October 23, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
3 - 16 years
Part time
Full time
Contact school
Contact school
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school
Aug. 2018
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school