BA/BSc Open degree (Honours)

The Open University

Program Description

BA/BSc Open degree (Honours)

The Open University

The BA/BSc (Honours) Open is the most flexible degree programme in the UK because you can study any subjects you like, in any combination. This means you can build a qualification that's unique to you.

Key features of the course

  • Design your own qualification to suit your personal and professional needs, interests and aspirations
  • Choose from a wide range of modules in any subject or focus your studies on one or two specific subjects
  • Enhance your employability
  • Easily change direction if your study interests change
  • Count credit from university-level studies you’ve already completed elsewhere

Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits. For your BA/BSc (Honours) Open degree you can:

  • study a broad range of subjects; or
  • specialise in one discipline for half of your degree and study a broad range of subjects for the other; or
  • specialise in two disciplines, dividing your time equally between both.


We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA/BSc (Honours) Open degree uses a variety of study materials and may have the following elements, depending on the modules you choose to study:

  • 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
  • using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
  • working with a specialist reading material such as works of art and musical manuscripts
  • working in a group with other students
  • using and/or producing diagrams and/or screenshots
  • undertaking practical work
  • finding external/third party material online
  • using specialist software (for example the Sibelius music writing package)
  • using an online Laboratory or Design/Engineering Studio.

All qualifications require you to complete learning and assessment activities within a required timescale and according to pre-determined deadlines. You will, therefore, need to manage your time effectively during your studies and the University will help you to develop this skill throughout your degree. Information on assessment will be available to you at the start of each module.

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 increase 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; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification. The only decision you need to make when you register is what to study first.

The BA/BSc (Honours) Open degree begins with one of a range of key introductory modules, which are all designed to build a solid foundation for further study. Although they’re introductory modules, having some basic skills before you begin can help you get the best from your studies.

For example, if you choose one of our science, maths or engineering modules you might want to check if your IT and mathematical skills are up to scratch. For the following subject areas, we offer online diagnostic tools to help you to decide if you’re ready, or if you could do with some extra preparation:

Skills for career development

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. An Open degree on your CV shows more than your level of knowledge about a subject; employers know that you are flexible and adaptable, having studied across a range of subjects. It also demonstrates that you have excellent transferable skills which may include:
  • self-management
  • team working
  • problem-solving
  • communication and literacy
  • numeracy
  • application of information technology
  • business and customer awareness

Research* shows that having the right attitudes and aptitudes is by far the most important consideration when businesses are recruiting graduates – nearly nine in ten employers (89%) value these above other factors such as degree subject (62%).

* Inspiring Growth CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey 2015.

Career relevance

The flexibility of our Open degree makes it relevant to a wide range of careers and industries – many of which do not require qualifications to be subject-specific. It can help you to develop your existing employment, or be a passport to a whole new career. Its flexibility particularly suits people with multi-faceted work roles; and anyone needing to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding to manage changes in their current job or future career path.
This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University

Last updated January 19, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
3 - 16 years
Part time
Full time