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House prices falling? Don’t bet the bank on it

House prices falling? Don’t bet the bank on it Creative commons image Credit: Gary Edwards
Updated 20 Oct 2014
Even if prices are falling, it looks like generation rent will likely be around for some time to come.

Capitalism: Beyond repair or awaiting a fix?

Capitalism: Beyond repair or awaiting a fix? Creative commons image Credit: Dominic Alves under CC-BY licence
Duration 15 mins Updated 03 Oct 2014
The 2008 financial crisis still thrums underneath political debate six years on - have we missed a chance to rework capitalism? Does it even need...

Why Russia’s flak jackets beat the NATO safety-suit

Why Russia’s flak jackets beat the NATO safety-suit Creative commons image Credit: Gary Edwards
Updated 18 Sep 2014
Putin’s sins will go unpunished abroad because of greater resilience to their financial aftershocks at home, writes Alan Shipman.   

Is it time we had a maximum wage?

Is it time we had a maximum wage? Creative commons image Credit: Catherine Pain
Updated 08 Sep 2014
With executive pay spiraling, should government introduce a maximum wage? writes Dick Skellington.

The energy dilemma

The energy dilemma Creative commons image Credit: Lee Haywood under CC BY-SA 2.0 license
Intermediate level Duration 5 mins Updated 26 Aug 2014
How can the Government balance voter and industry expectations of the energy market in the lead up to the next election? 

Did the Chancellor outwit his critics - or out borrow them?

Did the Chancellor outwit his critics - or out borrow them? Creative commons image Credit: Catherine Pain
Updated 18 Aug 2014
Despite a fragile recovery, with earnings stagnating, Alan Shipman warns we may be facing an indefinite period of austerity.

Small Data: Summer petrol prices

Small Data: Summer petrol prices Creative commons image Credit: Albert Bridge under CC-BY-SA licence
Updated 01 Aug 2014
It's August - and many families will be heading off soon on summer holidays. But how has the cost of petrol changed over the last ten years?

G-rate expectations

G-rate expectations Creative commons image Credit: Gary Edwards
Updated 29 Jul 2014
A pre-election rise in interest rates would confirm Britain’s economic recovery. And might also sink it, writes Alan Shipman.

What happens when you try to put a value on everything?

What happens when you try to put a value on everything? Copyrighted image Credit: King Ho Yim | Dreamstime.com
Duration 10 mins Updated 02 Jul 2014
Should we downgrade statistics' triple-a rating? Has the rush to put a figure on everything had a negative impact on how we do politics?

Small Data: Changes in the basket of items measuring inflation, 2004-2014

Small Data: Changes in the basket of items measuring inflation, 2004-2014 Creative commons image Credit: Andrew Eadie under CC-BY-NC-SA licence
Updated 17 Jun 2014
Each year, the Office of National Statistics tweaks the contents of the baskets used to track inflation. What gets added or dropped tells how our...

Social value must be a priority for those who spend public money

Social value must be a priority for those who spend public money Creative commons image Credit: Catherine Pain
Updated 12 Jun 2014
Commissioners of public services should be using legislation to ensure contractors meet social aims from paying decent wages to tackling...

How was the recession for you?

How was the recession for you? Copyrighted image Credit: Catherine Pain
Updated 06 Jun 2014
Bankers, lawyers, accountants and estate agents did OK, so did those reliant on the state pension, but most of the rest of us didn’t, reports ...

Can we rescue an economy without waving flags?

Can we rescue an economy without waving flags? Copyrighted image Credit: Catherine Pain
Updated 02 Jun 2014
Recent elections, in Europe and elsewhere, suggest nationalism is going global again, writes Alan Shipman.

Ukiponomics – the unexpected paradise?

Ukiponomics – the unexpected paradise? Creative commons image Credit: Catherine Pain
Updated 07 May 2014
With the European elections looming, Alan Shipman takes a timely look at the viability of UKIP's economic strategy.

You've got your Scottish pound - why don't you use it?

You've got your Scottish pound - why don't you use it? Creative commons image Credit: Gary Edwards
Updated 07 Apr 2014
Campaigners, upset at being excluded from the UK pound, should think of what they might gain by creating their own, argues Alan Shipman in the...

The Crimea adventure exposes Russia's wobbly economy

The Crimea adventure exposes Russia's wobbly economy Copyrighted image Credit: Andreykr | Dreamstime.com
Updated 04 Apr 2014
Although Crimea might look like a victory for Vladimir Putin's Russia, a closer look shows an economically exposed nation, says Alan Shipman.

Fiscal responsibility and monetary policy

Featuring: VideoVideo
Fiscal responsibility and monetary policy Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University
Introductory level Duration 25 mins Updated 28 Mar 2014
Why do economies go into recession, and what should policymakers do? How do governments use money to influence the economy?...

How equal is your equality?

How equal is your equality? Creative commons image Credit: Catherine Pain
Updated 21 Mar 2014
Equality is possible but only if the West gets used to living on less, writes Steven Primrose-Smith.

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Free extracts from OU course materials

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Economics explains discrimination in the labour market

Free CourseFree Course
Economics explains discrimination in the labour market Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 8 hours Updated 14 Jul 2011
Discrimination in the labour market exists in many forms: the ‘glass ceiling’ ageism, racism, etc. This unit will help you look at this problem...

Wales: Culture and identity

Featuring: AudioAudio
Wales: Culture and identity Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University 2011
Introductory level Duration 1 hour 30 mins Updated 29 Mar 2011
Wales is a vibrant nation with its own language, musical heritage and strong cultural identity. Central to this identity and a source of national...

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Change your life with a qualification

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Certificate of Higher Education in Social Sciences

CourseCourse
Certificate of Higher Education in Social Sciences Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 1200 hours Updated 24 Nov 2014
Are you interested in what shapes the lives we lead and the decisions we make? Have you wondered why people continue to smoke when they know the...

Certificate of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Certificate of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Credit: Irochka | Dreamstime.com Updated content
Duration 1200 hours Updated 24 Nov 2014
If you’re keen to try university study and want to keep your options open, this certificate course is ideal. It’s part of our unique Open...

BA/BSc Open degree

CourseCourse
BA/BSc Open degree Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 3000 hours Updated 24 Nov 2014
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...

Foundation Degree in Financial Services

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Foundation Degree in Financial Services Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 24 Nov 2014
With global financial markets and personal finances making the headlines daily, there’s never been a more exciting time to study finance and...

Diploma of Higher Education in Financial Services

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education in Financial Services Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 24 Nov 2014
With global financial markets and personal finances making the headlines daily, there’s never been a more exciting time to study finance and...

BSc (Honours) Economics and Mathematical Sciences

CourseCourse
BSc (Honours) Economics and Mathematical Sciences Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 24 Nov 2014
Graduates who understand the commercial and economic environment and who are also highly numerate are in short supply. If you enjoy solving...

Diploma of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 24 Nov 2014
Studying at university level is not just about gaining a degree. We also offer a range of other qualifications, including Certificates and Diplomas...

Diploma of Higher Education in Combined Social Sciences

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education in Combined Social Sciences Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 24 Nov 2014
Does material consumption make us happier? Is parenting a social as well as an individual activity? What impact is the financial crisis having on...

BA (Honours) Politics, Philosophy and Economics

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) Politics, Philosophy and Economics Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 24 Nov 2014
Where do social order (and disorder) come from? How can we make ourselves richer, and does society always gain? What does justice mean, how do we...

BA (Honours) Business Studies

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) Business Studies Copyrighted image Credit: iStock Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 24 Nov 2014
How do businesses develop strategies, handle risk and take decisions? What’s involved in essential business functions such as marketing, accounting...

BA (Honours) Combined Social Sciences

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) Combined Social Sciences Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 24 Nov 2014
What causes riots? Is commercialisation eroding childhood? Does poverty lead to crime? Social science explores such questions and helps inform...

Introduction to financial services

CourseCourse
Introduction to financial services Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Introductory level Duration 100 hours Updated 25 Nov 2014 Register by 23 Jan 2015
Explore the historical development of financial services in the UK and examine how the sector is currently structured and regulated.

International relations: continuity and change in global politics

CourseCourse
International relations: continuity and change in global politics Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Advanced level Duration 600 hours Updated 25 Nov 2014 Register by 10 Sep 2015
Studying this module will help you to understand the key areas of change and the major problems in international relations today.

The uses of social science

CourseCourse
The uses of social science Copyrighted image Credit: iStock Updated content
Intermediate level Duration 600 hours Updated 24 Nov 2014 Register by 08 Jan 2015
What can social science tell us about the social world? How can it help us solve the troubles and dilemmas of private and public life?

Doing economics: people, markets and policy

CourseCourse
Doing economics: people, markets and policy Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Advanced level Duration 600 hours Updated 24 Nov 2014 Register by 10 Sep 2015
Examine the various economic theories that explain people’s behaviour in households, businesses and governments and make critical judgements of...

Personal investment in an uncertain world

CourseCourse
Personal investment in an uncertain world Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Intermediate level Duration 300 hours Updated 24 Nov 2014 Register by 10 Sep 2015
Explores some of the concepts that underpin investment planning and examines how investment planning decisions are affected by economic uncertainty.

Running the economy

CourseCourse
Running the economy Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker Updated content
Intermediate level Duration 600 hours Updated 24 Nov 2014 Register by 10 Sep 2015
Learn how to think like an economist and understand the problems of running the national and global economy after the outbreak of a major economic...

You and your money: personal finance in context

CourseCourse
You and your money: personal finance in context Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker Updated content
Introductory level Duration 300 hours Updated 24 Nov 2014 Register by 08 Jan 2015
This practical course builds your financial knowledge and skills, improves your understanding of personal finance and develops your awareness of...