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The booming baby business: Commercial surrogacy in India and beyond

The booming baby business: Commercial surrogacy in India and beyond Copyright free image Credit: via Wikimedia New content
Duration 15 mins Updated 30 Jul 2015
It's still stigmatised, but it's a commercial relationship growing in popularity - and not just in India. Thinking Allowed explores the business of...

Jeremy Corbyn: Not a totally fantastic economist

Jeremy Corbyn: Not a totally fantastic economist Creative commons image Credit: See Li under CC-BY licence New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 24 Jul 2015
Jeremy Corbyn is fighting for the Labour leadership with an economic programme tempered by realism, says Alan Shipman

What Greece can learn from Africa about the effects of austerity after a debt crisis

What Greece can learn from Africa about the effects of austerity after a debt crisis Creative commons image Credit: Sinn Fein under CC-BY licence New content
Duration 5 mins Updated 17 Jul 2015
Greece - and other nations whose debt problems are not so far less extreme - could do well to understand the African experience, argues Ian Scoones.

Does an invisible hand guide the economy?

Featuring: VideoVideo
Does an invisible hand guide the economy? Copyrighted image Credit: BBC New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 16 Jul 2015
This short animation, narrated by Aidan Turner, looks at the metaphor of the 'invisible hand' engineers the economy. 

Budget 2015: How welfare cuts softened the blow to public services

Budget 2015: How welfare cuts softened the blow to public services Copyright free image Credit: National Archives
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 09 Jul 2015
Alan Shipman shares his thoughts on the Budget 2015 and the chancellor's promise of a "higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare economy".

Budget 2015: The Experts Respond

Budget 2015: The Experts Respond Creative commons image Credit: markhillary under CC-BY
Duration 15 mins Updated 09 Jul 2015
A range of reactions to George Osborne's Summer 2015 budget, ranging from the impact on adoption, through defence, to questions of work, tax and...

Cuts to make the Mail wince - but not yet

Cuts to make the Mail wince - but not yet Creative commons image Credit: markhillary under CC-BY
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 08 Jul 2015
Looking forward to this morning's budget, Michael Kitson suggests core Tory voters won't feel much pain. Not yet, anyway.

The Power of No: No, sweet no

The Power of No: No, sweet no Creative commons image Credit: Fee Plumley under CC-BY licence
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 06 Jul 2015
The astounding No vote that swept every part of Greece will take time to digest and understand and its meaning also depends on how the Europeans...

The Power of No: The real crisis starts now

The Power of No: The real crisis starts now Creative commons image Credit: Fee Plumley under CC-BY licence
Intermediate level Duration 10 mins Updated 06 Jul 2015
Victory for politics of defiance in Greece means the real crisis starts now, says Professor Anton Muscatelli.

The Power Of No: Greece still has options - if nobody panics

The Power Of No: Greece still has options - if nobody panics Creative commons image Credit: Fee Plumley under CC-BY licence
Duration 5 mins Updated 06 Jul 2015
Greece could default and refuse to leave the eurozone - it all comes down to what the European Central Bank does next.

The Power Of No: the Eurozone isn't safe from contagion

The Power Of No: the Eurozone isn't safe from contagion Creative commons image Credit: Fee Plumley under CC-BY licence
Duration 5 mins Updated 06 Jul 2015
European leaders have consistently claimed that their anti-contagion measures would protect the rest of the eurozone from a Greek exit. But is this...

The Power Of No: now Syriza must clarify what no really means

The Power Of No: now Syriza must clarify what no really means Creative commons image Credit: Fee Plumley under CC-BY licence
Duration 5 mins Updated 06 Jul 2015
As Greece returns a resounding no vote in the referendum, it's time for the Greek Government to clarify its position, says Sofia Vasilopoulou.

The permanently upturned economy

The permanently upturned economy Creative commons image Credit: Gary Edwards
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 22 Jun 2015
The Chancellor’s confidence that he can outlaw budget deficits reflects improbably widespread belief in the length and strength of recovery, writes...

The European Union Referendum Bill - A law giving us a say

The European Union Referendum Bill - A law giving us a say Copyrighted image Credit: Vepar5 | iStockphoto.com
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 12 Jun 2015
As we settle in to our new Conservative Government, Anne Wesemann discusses the EU Referendum and David Cameron's promise of a referendum...

'We all look forward to it': The social value of a festival in the town

'We all look forward to it': The social value of a festival in the town Copyrighted image Credit: Paul Bishop | Dreamstime.com
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 14 May 2015
Does a festival have social value? Does it bring social bonding or does it cause social division? Dr Linda Wilks investigates. 

Liberals saw their chance to build on an abandoned middle ground

Liberals saw their chance to build on an abandoned middle ground Copyrighted image Credit: Davidwatmough | Dreamstime.com
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 14 Apr 2015
In the lead up to the 2015 General Election, Alan Shipman looks back at how the Liberals built on the abandoned middle ground. 

The Conservative Manifesto - Then and Now

The Conservative Manifesto - Then and Now Copyrighted image Credit: Newsfocus1 | Dreamstime.com
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 13 Apr 2015
Alan Shipman looks back at the 1979 Conservative Manifesto and compares it to their modern day manifesto. 

Labour paid the price for a decade of economic derailment

Labour paid the price for a decade of economic derailment Copyrighted image Credit: Highwaystarz | Dreamstime.com
Intermediate level Duration 15 mins Updated 07 Apr 2015
Alan Shipman discusses why convincing voters that 'Labour is the better way' was a tough job in 1979. 

OU on the BBC: Wastemen

OU on the BBC: Wastemen Copyrighted image Credit: BBC
Duration 5 mins Updated 07 Apr 2015
Join the people who work round the clock to cope with the vast swathes of waste produced by modern Britain, as we meet the Wastemen.

How much government funding do universities get?

How much government funding do universities get? Creative commons image Credit: Stephen McKay under CC-BY-SA licence
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 07 Apr 2015
John Brennan explains the latest statistics on state funding for universities.

How(e) 'Labour Isn't Working' did the job for the Conservatives

How(e) 'Labour Isn't Working' did the job for the Conservatives Copyrighted image Credit: Chris Ware / stringer
Introductory level Duration 15 mins Updated 31 Mar 2015
Alan Shipman discusses how Saatchi and Saatchi's 'Labour Isn't Working' campaign became the poster-child of political advertising.

Economic problems of 1979 were buried, not resolved

Economic problems of 1979 were buried, not resolved Copyrighted image Credit: Presiyan Panayotov | Dreamstime.com
Introductory level Duration 20 mins Updated 26 Mar 2015
In the lead up to the General Election, Alan Shipman discusses how the economic problems of 1979 were swept under the carpet, but they are not off...

Will pension reform give older people the freedom they seek?

Will pension reform give older people the freedom they seek? Creative commons image Credit: Catherine Pain
Duration 5 mins Updated 16 Mar 2015
As the Chancellor seeks to unlock more pension savings, are there risks alongside the benefits on offer?

Free OpenLearn courses.
OU course extracts and exclusive free courses

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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 15 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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Certificate of Higher Education in Social Sciences

CourseCourse
Certificate of Higher Education in Social Sciences Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker
Duration 1200 hours Updated 28 Jul 2015
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
Duration 1200 hours Updated 26 Jul 2015
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
Duration 3600 hours Updated 28 Jul 2015
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

CourseCourse
Foundation Degree in Financial Services Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime
Duration 2400 hours Updated 28 Jul 2015
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
Duration 2400 hours Updated 28 Jul 2015
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
Duration 3600 hours Updated 28 Jul 2015
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
Duration 2400 hours Updated 28 Jul 2015
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
Duration 2400 hours Updated 28 Jul 2015
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
Duration 3600 hours Updated 28 Jul 2015
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
Duration 3600 hours Updated 28 Jul 2015
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
Duration 3600 hours Updated 28 Jul 2015
What causes riots? Is commercialisation eroding childhood? Does poverty lead to crime? Social science explores such questions and helps inform...

The uses of social science

CourseCourse
The uses of social science Copyrighted image Credit: iStock
Intermediate level Duration 600 hours Updated 29 Jul 2015 Register by 10 Sep 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
Advanced level Duration 600 hours Updated 29 Jul 2015 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
Intermediate level Duration 300 hours Updated 29 Jul 2015 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
Intermediate level Duration 600 hours Updated 29 Jul 2015 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
Introductory level Duration 300 hours Updated 28 Jul 2015 Register by 10 Sep 2015
This practical course builds your financial knowledge and skills, improves your understanding of personal finance and develops your awareness of...

Introduction to financial services

CourseCourse
Introduction to financial services Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime
Introductory level Duration 100 hours Updated 28 Jul 2015 Register by 23 Oct 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
Advanced level Duration 600 hours Updated 28 Jul 2015 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.