Three printed module books (Empire of the microbes, Human genetics and health issues, The Frozen Planet), an ebook (Molecules, medicines and drugs), study guide, website, online digital microscope and other online materials, and online discussion forums for interaction with other students.
You will need
Basic scientific calculator; access to some household items to conduct practical activities.
You will also need some means of inputting a digital image of a hand-drawn diagram into a word-processed file e.g. scanner, digital camera or mobile phone with a camera.
You will need a computer with internet access to study this module as the study materials and activities are accessible via a web browser. Any other computer-based activities you will need to carry out, such as word processing, using spreadsheets, taking part in online forums, and submitting files to the university for assessment, are specified in the module materials. If any additional software is needed for these tasks it will either be provided or is freely available.
We recommend either of the following:
Windows desktop or laptop computer running Windows 7 or later operating system
Macintosh desktop or laptop computer running OS X 10.7 or later operating system.
A netbook, tablet, smartphone or Linux computer that supports one of the browsers listed below may be suitable. The screen size should be at least 1024 (H) x 768 (W) pixels. If you intend to use one of these devices please ensure you have access to a suitable desktop or laptop computer with a Windows or OS X operating system, in case you are unable to carry out all the module activities because some software will not run on Linux, iOS or Android devices.
We recommend a minimum 1 Mbps internet connection and any of the following browsers for carrying out web-based activities:
Internet Explorer 9 and above
Apple Safari 7 and above
Google Chrome 31 and above
Mozilla Firefox 31 and above.
Note: using the latest version for your browser will maximise security when accessing the internet. Using company or library computers may prevent you accessing some internet materials or installing additional software.
To be able to talk and listen in our online discussions you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones.
See our Skills for OU study website for further information about computing skills for study and educational deals for buying Microsoft Office software.
If you have a disability
Written transcripts of any audio/video components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of the study material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader and mathematical and scientific materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. The printed module books are available in a comb-bound format. Other alternative formats of the module materials may be available in the future.
Some parts of the module are delivered online via the website, so you will have to make considerable use of a computer and the internet. Some parts of the module rely heavily on complex diagrams, including maps, chemical structures and coloured images, some of which are delivered via an online digital microscope and this must be studied in order to complete the module. One of the learning outcomes of the module is that students should develop an ability to interpret images, structures and video sequences. No textual descriptions of diagrams will be available and the use of a sighted assistant to interpret the images would conflict with this learning outcome. However, the assessment will only require students to demonstrate that the majority of the module learning outcomes have been achieved. You should consider if you will find achieving these learning outcomes challenging then contact the OU for advice if necessary.
If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Find out more about our services for disabled students.