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Volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis

Volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis is one of a series of short, five month 10-credit modules introducing fascinating topics in science. If you’ve ever been intrigued or affected by volcanic eruptions, earthquakes or tsunamis and want to find out more about why they happen and what they do, then this is the module for you. With a choice of start dates it enables you to try out an area of study before you commit yourself to a longer module, or top up your knowledge and skills between longer modules. 

Standalone study only

This module is available for standalone study only. The credits from this module cannot be counted towards an OU qualification.

Module

Module code
S186
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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I really enjoyed this course. It leads you gently into earth sciences and geology. The writer of the course, David...
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What you will study

The module covers:

  • the basic plate tectonic structure of the Earth and its relationship to the global distribution and types of earthquakes and volcanoes
  • the factors contributing to the origin and styles of eruption of magma from volcanoes
  • the hazards posed to humans and the environment as a whole by volcanic eruptions, and the extent to which risk can realistically be mitigated
  • the nature of ground motion during earthquakes, the hazards posed thereby, and ways to reduce vulnerability to earthquake damage
  • the nature of tsunamis and the volcanic, seismic and other events that can trigger them
  • the nature and outcome of some notable historic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis, and methods to predict and monitor these phenomena.

The module is based around two books – a specially written OU study book and Teach Yourself Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis. There is also a website that includes online activities which use video sequences and external volcanic, seismic and tsunami websites. The external websites are used both to show you reports and descriptions of recent and current events, and to give you confidence in navigating a website and finding relevant information.

Teaching and assessment

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online system to submit your end-of-module assessment (EMA).

You have to submit a single piece of written 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.

This module is for people who are new to the subject areas, and although a little knowledge of general science would be useful, you’ll need little more than an interest in volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis and the motivation to discover more about them. 

You should be able to read and understand written English of a style and complexity characteristic of a professional magazine or quality newspaper, and you should be able to communicate your thoughts clearly and comprehensibly in a written format. Mathematically you need only to be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide simple numbers. 

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Register

Start End England fee Register
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.

April 2015 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

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 22/10/2014.

What's included

OU study book, Teach Yourself Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis, study guide, website with online video activities, maths skills ebook.

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

A proportion of the module is delivered online via the website, so you will have to spend considerable amounts of time using a personal computer and the internet, including visiting external websites. No written textual descriptions are available for images within the study materials but written transcripts are available for the audio-visual material.

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 mathematical, scientific, and foreign language 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.