You will use a computer throughout your Open University studies, so you'll need a laptop or PC with reliable internet access. You can use it to:
You don't need to be an IT genius to study with us – and you'll develop your computer skills as you study. But to make the best possible start on your course, you should be able to write and edit documents and spreadsheets, send and receive email, find your way around online, download files and use online forums. You should also be aware of the essentials of computer security to keep your data and personal information safe.
If you are an IT genius there's lots of scope for you to tap into exciting new technology to enhance your learning – and you can even study on a smartphone or tablet.
If you're not sure if your computer skills are at the right level, try this short activity.
Look through the following statements about computing tasks. For each statement, use the buttons to indicate your level of agreement. When you've shown your rating against each statement, we'll give you some advice about what to do next.
You'll probably need to improve your computing skills before you start studying for a qualification. You could do this by going to a local college or adult education class. Try Learn Direct, or ask at your local library for a list of local courses. When you start a qualification with the OU, Stage 1 modules will help you develop your IT skills so that you're ready to study at degree level. For example, you'll start using forums, or submitting work online for assessment.
Your computing skills are probably good enough to start studying for a basic qualification with the OU. At Stage 1 of a qualification you'll need basic computing skills, and you're ready to study at degree level. For example, you'll start using forums, or submitting work online for assessment. If you live in the UK and you prefer to be more confident, you could think about taking one of our Access modules. They're designed to introduce you to studying at university level and get you ready to study at Stage 1 of a qualification.
You're confident enough in your computing skills to commit to an OU qualification, and begin studying a Stage 1 module. At Stage 1 during your first module, you'll be introduced gradually to skills like taking part in online forums, or submitting work online for assessment.
Once you've registered with us, you'll have access to technical information and advice from a dedicated computing helpdesk, and a wide range of online resources to help with topics such as:
Use our course explorer to browse courses by subject.
Or see postgraduate.
Find your personal contacts including your tutor and student support team:
For help and support relating to the University's computing resources:
For information, advice and guidance on using the library, referencing styles or finding journals, ebooks and articles for your assignments:
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