What you will study
This OU level 1 module consists of four blocks of study that take an international perspective to explore the structure of the social world. Block 1 is introductory; blocks 2, 3 and 4 each have a topic and a theme, with an integrated set of learning and teaching materials that focus on helping you to develop specific skills:
- questioning and evidence (Block 2)
- analysing and evaluating (Block 3)
- debating and communicating (Block 4).
You'll engage with these linked processes of social science investigation throughout the module.
Block 1, the trigger block, uses the topic of money to introduce you to the way the social sciences investigate the social world.
Block 2 uses the topic of home and the theme of inequality to explore how five different social science perspectives understand different meanings and issues around what home is, or what it can be.
Block 3 looks at the political, economic and geographical aspects of responsibility for the environment and the question the use of its resources. The theme of rights is used to look at different aspects of this key contemporary issue.
Block 4 explores boundaries – social, policy, legal and others – and how they structure the world. The theme of justice is used to understand key issues such as immigration, criminalisation, Fairtrade policies and noise as examples of boundaries.
You will learn
In this module you'll learn:
- the ways in which the social sciences investigate the social world through questioning, analysing, evaluating and engaging
- how the social sciences investigate familiar and contemporary social issues
- about debates at the centre of life in the contemporary world.
You’ll also develop an awareness of a range of different disciplinary approaches in the social sciences and you will gain confidence and skills in:
- studying and accessing information from a range of sources
- constructing arguments
- reading, interpreting and evaluating evidence
- presenting and communicating ideas and information in a variety of formats
- managing your time
- communicating effectively
- learning from feedback
- reflecting on your own learning.
After this module, further study in the social sciences could open up employment opportunities in a wide range of occupations in business, banking, insurance, education, health professions, administration, law, social services, voluntary and campaigning organisations, the media, public relations, public service organisations and government (national and local), planning and environmental management, the criminal justice system, and social welfare organisations. The module builds a strong basis of vocationally oriented skills that are transferable to the job market.