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Maths for science

Do you want to further your study of science but worry that you lack confidence in mathematics? Then this module could be for you. Mathematical techniques are explained, and worked examples are included throughout the module, but the main emphasis is on providing examples for you to try for yourself.

Many of the examples have a scientific flavour and detailed answers are also provided. As you work through the questions you will be able to revise the mathematical skills you already have, as well as learning and practising new ones, and your confidence in handling maths should increase. There are two online interactive assessments which give you instantaneous feedback on your answers; one can be attempted at any point during the module and provides practice for the end-of-module assessment with the same format.

You are advised not to take Maths for Science as your first module.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate-level module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

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Module

Module code
S151
Credits
10
Study level
OU SCQF FHEQ
1 7 4
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Am I ready?

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What you will study

Mathematical techniques are explained, and worked examples are included throughout the module, but the main emphasis is on providing examples for you to try for yourself. Many of the examples have a scientific flavour and detailed answers are also provided. As you work through the questions you will be able to revise the mathematical skills you already have, as well as learning and practising new ones, and your confidence in handling maths should increase. There are two online interactive assessments which give you instantaneous feedback on your answers; one can be attempted at any point during the module and provides practice for the end-of-module assessment with the same format.

The module assumes some knowledge of arithmetic, but other topics, such as addition and multiplication of fractions, are revised; while algebraic techniques, such as rearranging and combining equations, are taught from first principles. You will also have an introduction to scientific notation, logarithms, radians, trigonometry, differentiation, and some scientific uses of statistics and probability.

Teaching and assessment

Assessment

You will be required to submit an end-of-module assessment that must be completed online via the internet.

You have to submit the single piece of work for assessment after 21 weeks. There will be no other opportunity to complete the module.

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in April and October 2014, and April 2015 when it will be available for the last time.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

Course work includes:

End-of-module assessment
No residential school


Entry

Please note: this module is only available for standalone study. You cannot count the credits you gain from the module towards any current OU qualification. It may be possible, however, to count the credits gained towards a qualification if you are already studying with us and have declared your qualification intention before September 2012 – see your qualification description in StudentHome for details.

The module is not meant for absolute beginners in mathematics and is not recommended as your first Open University module. It is only one of a number of OU level 1 mathematics modules available to you. 

You are strongly advised to attempt the short diagnostic quiz Is Maths for science the right course for you? to assess whether S151 is appropriate for your needs.

If you intend to study Exploring science (S104), you are advised to do so before studying S151.

The maths in S151 would be excellent preparation for The physical world (S207) or Astronomy (S282). However, it is not an adequate preparation if you intend to go on to Open University physics modules at OU level 3 or mathematics modules at OU level 2 or 3.

The module assumes that you can add, subtract, multiply and divide positive and negative numbers and understand the use of brackets in numerical calculations. You should know how to express numbers as fractions and decimals and as simple powers (e.g. know that 1000 can be written as 103). You should be able to measure angles in degrees; plot and read data from straight-line graphs; use symbols to represent quantities and substitute numerical values into simple formulae. You will find the module more straightforward if you know how to add and multiply numerical fractions; rearrange very simple algebraic equations and find the gradient of a straight-line graph. But the module does not assume great confidence in these topics and they are all revised. If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

If you would like more information about the range of science short courses available you can visit the science short courses website. This site includes a frequently asked questions section and throughout the year details of special regional events are posted here.

Register

Start End England fee Register
04 Oct 2014 See description £439.00

Registration closes 25/09/14 (places subject to availability)

Register

You may need to apply for some payment or funding options earlier. Please check the Fees and Funding information or contact us for information.

11 Apr 2015 See description £439.00

Registration closes 02/04/15 (places subject to availability)

Register

You may need to apply for some payment or funding options earlier. Please check the Fees and Funding information or contact us for information.

This module is expected to start for the last time in April 2015.

Ways to pay for this module

Open University Student Budget Account

The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

  • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
  • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your annual fees and spreads them out over up to a year, enabling you to pay your fees monthly and walk away with a qualification without any further debt. APR 5.1% representative.

Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

Employer sponsorship

Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU qualifications are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to achieve one. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

More than one in 10 OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the qualification you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

  • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
  • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your modules.  

Credit/debit card

You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

We accept American Express, Maestro (UK only), Mastercard, Visa/Delta and Visa Electron. 

Gift vouchers

You can pay for part or all of your tuition fees with OU gift vouchers. Vouchers are currently available in the following denominations, £10, £20, £50 and £100. 

Mixed payments

We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. You may, for example wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).

For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or request a call back.


Note: Your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is based upon current details for  year 1 August 2014 to 31 July 2015.
This information was provided on 23/08/2014.

What's included

Study book including explanations, worked examples and questions; online study guide, interactive activities, revision questions, online interactive assessments, website.

You will need

You will need a basic scientific calculator.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this module as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2008 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.7 or later.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information (including details of the support we provide).

If you have a disability

The assessment for the module is delivered online via the module website, so you will have to spend considerable amounts of time using a personal computer and the internet.

If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in operating a computer or the internet and have any concerns about accessing the types of study materials outlined you are advised to talk to our Student Registration & Enquiry Service about support which can be given to meet your needs.

Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader and scientific or diagrammatic materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future.

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.