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Introduction to computing and information technology 2

This module builds on Introduction to computing and information technology 1 (TM111) and prepares you for further study of computing and IT modules. You will:

  • learn about a variety of information technologies – including basic computer architecture, the cloud and mobile computing – while training your numerical skills;
  • develop problem-solving skills as you get familiar with the Python programming language, analyse real-world data and carry out a programming project;
  • practise your communication and analytical skills as you explore the profound legal, social, ethical and security challenges posed by information technologies.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate 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
TM112
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
30
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.
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

This module consists of three themes:

  • ‘Essential information technologies’;
  • ‘Problem solving with Python’;
  • ‘Information technologies in the wild’.

Theme 1 ‘Essential information technologies’
You’ll learn, among other things, about:

  • how computers store and process data – and why they use binary;
  • the hardware components of your computer;
  • different types of cloud;
  • the parts of a mobile device, from sensors to batteries;
  • how to use latitude and longitude to look up locations on online maps;
  • what happens under the bonnet when you delete a file on your computer.

You’ll also develop your numeracy skills – from using scientific notation and percentages to calculating with binary representations.

Theme 2 ‘Problem solving with Python’
You will:

  • learn to use the Python programming language;
  • analyse, with Python, health and well-being data from the Office for National Statistics;
  • complete a small programming project.

You’ll also be introduced to a range of problem solving strategies, which you’ll practise as part of your project.

Theme 3 ‘Information technologies in the wild’
You’ll study:

  • how hackers pose a threat beyond the digital world;
  • how you can secure your data;
  • how the Internet is enabling crime, surveillance, and digital freedom.

You’ll also develop your analytical and communication skills – including collecting and using evidence to argue a point.

Each theme consists of parts – you’ll study one part per week. The themes are interleaved throughout the module. So, you may study a part on ‘Essential information technologies’ in one week and another part on, say, ‘Problem solving with Python’ in the next week and then another part on ‘Essential information technologies’ the following week. This allows you to revisit and strengthen your understanding of the concepts and skills of each theme over the course of the module. Problem solving and programming skills especially can’t be learned in a few weeks; they require continued practice throughout the module.

Vocational relevance

This module has particular vocational relevance for those wishing to develop a career in the computing and IT industry – providing many opportunities to demonstrate relevant technical knowledge and practical IT skills.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You’ll have a tutor who’ll help you with the study material, and mark and provide feedback on your work. Your tutor is your first point of contact for any queries on the module and you can ask them for advice and guidance. Your tutor is particularly concerned to help you with your study methods. We may also offer group tutorials or day schools that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students. In addition, there will be online tutorials and other collaborative activities which will take place in your tutor group’s online forum. Throughout your study you can use this forum to keep in touch with your tutor and with other members of your tutor group.

Assessment

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

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Future availability

Introduction to computing and information technology 2 (TM112) starts twice a year – in April and October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018 and April 2019. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2023.

Regulations

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

    Course work includes:

    3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    No examination
    No residential school


    Entry requirements

    You’ll need to have knowledge of digital technologies and networking; and skills in programming, algorithmic thinking, digital information literacy and communication. Providing you have the appropriate background knowledge, you should expect to spend, for the duration of the module (21 weeks), about 10 hours each week working on the module and its assessment and a further 4 hours each week on self-directed study.

    You’ll be prepared if you’ve passed Introduction to computing and technology 1 (TM111), normally as part of one of our computing and IT qualifications. If you’ve not received your result for TM111, review your scores on TMA01 and TMA02 as soon as they're available; we recommend proceeding with TM112 only if you’ve scored 40% or more on each.

    Are you ready for TM112? is an interactive quiz to help you decide whether you already have the recommended background knowledge or experience to start the module.

    If you’re not sure you’re ready, talk to an adviser.

    Register

    Start End England fee Register
    06 Apr 2019 Sep 2019 £1464.00

    Registration closes 14/03/19 (places subject to availability)

    Register
    This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2023.

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

    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 monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

    Joint loan applications

    If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

    As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

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

    Employer sponsorship

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

    More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module 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 module.  

    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. 

    Mixed payments

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


    For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or book a call back at a time convenient to you.


    Please 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 valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 18/11/2018.

    What's included

    Each theme is supported by a printed book. Your study will be guided from the module website, which includes your study calendar, software resources, interactive online activities, practice quizzes and media clips. You’ll communicate and work online with other students through online forums.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module.  Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • Mac OS 10.7 or higher
    • a modern Linux version

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones. 

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students. 

    If you have a disability

    The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying TM112 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

    To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our Disability support website.