A dedicated module website, online tutorials and forums. All study materials (introduction and guide, three study blocks, case studies, digital microscope, activities and glossary, etc.) and assignment materials are delivered online. There are no printed books.
You will need
This module is delivered online via a module website, so you will need a computer with internet access throughout to read the online text, engage with the online activities and student forums, to keep up to date with module news items and to download other study materials, including the module assignments.
You may need to draw diagrams or to annotate by hand diagrams that you download, and then use either a scanner or a digital camera to produce files of these diagrams for inclusion in your assessment.
You will need a device with internet access to study this module as a web browser is used to access learning materials and activities. 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. This module requires the installation of software from a hardware device e.g. DVD drive or USB stick. You may need administrative privileges to install the software.
A Windows desktop or laptop running Windows 7 or later operating system is suitable for this module. This module requires installation of Microsoft Windows specific software.
Some software will not run on Mac OS X, Linux, iOS or Android devices.
A netbook, tablet, phone, Mac or Linux computer that supports one of the browsers below may be suitable for some activities. However, these devices may not be suitable for one or more activities within this module. If you intend to use one of these devices please ensure you have access to another suitable desktop or laptop device that uses the Windows operating system so that you can carry out all activities on your mobile device. You will need a broadband internet connection to complete this module. Better video performance is available with higher connection speeds.
Recent versions of the following browsers for carrying out web-based activities:
Or Internet Explorer 9 and above.
Using a browser upgraded to the latest version 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.
Devices with small screens may make it difficult to view the material provided and carry out the activities. However, a device that has a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and also at least 768 pixels vertically should be adequate.
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 components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of study materials are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader (mathematical and scientific materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way). Other alternative formats of the study materials are available.
Please note that this module makes substantial use of complex visual material and includes a significant number of interactive animations and activities.
You will need to spend extensive periods in most study weeks using a personal computer to access study resources supplied via the module website or other internet sites. There are some electronic computer-marked assessment questions that are accessed, answered and submitted online via a website. If you use special hardware or software to assist you in using a personal computer or the internet and have any concerns about accessing these types of materials you are advised to contact us about support which can be given to meet your needs. Students with severe visual impairments may find they are more able to achieve the learning outcomes if they make use of a sighted assistant.
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.