What you will study
This is a multidisciplinary module that allows you to develop your subject knowledge and your general study skills. It provides an excellent introduction to a wide range of subject areas, including childhood and youth studies, social science, psychology, health, management and law.
The module is divided into three blocks:
Block 1: People
This block focuses on people over the lifespan, from a range of perspectives such as how fixed we are at birth and what potential we have to change. You’ll learn about stage theories of development, developmental trajectories and attachment styles. The influence of childhood on adolescence and through to adulthood is discussed, and the way in which these are measured is explained.
The idea that people are individuals that exist in a particular time and space is explored from the perspective of individual differences, where biology and health are used to explain differences, and from a social perspective where societal expectations can impact on those who may not fit into a normative category. These perspectives include people with disabilities, deviant behaviours, and people with different perceptions of the world.
The rights and responsibilities of individuals are addressed from a legal perspective, and in terms of the impact on the individual when we consider how society can protect those for whom differences may present issues. The block ends with the implications of an ageing society using the example of dementia.
Block 2: Work
Our study of people moves into the workplace as we focus on the relationship between work, money and our status as consumers and creators of products and services. We pick up on the ideas of individual difference and change as we focus on location and life choices, and the way that those can impact on our earning potential. We use examples of child labour and sweatshops as we begin to focus on a global world with complex trade connections, where supply and demand reinforce what is sold and on what terms.
We also look at the more traditional western ideas of an office workplace, and consider how these operate, how people get to certain positions within an organisation, and how organisations function, including rights in the workplace, teamwork and organisational flows.
The block concludes with a discussion about the financial rewards of work from the perspective of organisations, employees and consumers and the relationship that work and money have with happiness.
Block 3: Societies
As society encompasses both people and work, you’ll look at how the whole can be greater than the sum of parts and yet why we don’t all get along. Beginning with social identity theory, the idea that people form groups based on minimal categorical differences, you’ll explore some of the foundations of prejudice. This is also taken from a political perspective to see how society is ordered and how these rules can change depending on location and context.
You’ll also consider the unwritten rules that order our lives, and the cultural pressures such as gender conformity, body image, and mental health conditions that shape how society includes some and excludes others. Migration, immigration and the implications of changing borders are discussed in the context of human geography, and what that means to social identity is explored through the example of Brexit.
Towards the end of the module you’ll have the opportunity to participate in activities which will help you to make decisions about your future study plans.
The module includes multimedia material and a website with further study materials and resources as well as online quizzes and interactive exercises to help test your understanding.
As you study this module you will build your confidence and develop your study skills, including:
- reading and note taking
- evaluating evidence and interpreting information
- academic skills including writing, referencing and using evidence to support claims
- time management and organisational skills
You will also have the opportunity to gain skills such as working with audio and visual material, using online forums and searching the internet for information. This experience will provide you with a gentle introduction to using a computer to support your study, and will equip you with the basic computing skills you will need for the next step in your studies.
Please note that you will need access to the internet and a computer to study and pass this module. You will need to use a computer early on in the module but not straight away, so if you don’t currently have one you’ve got time to make arrangements. You can use your own computer or one at a library or drop-in centre.
On successful completion of this module you will receive an Open University Access Module Certificate.