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People, work and society Access module

Are you new to higher education study or returning after a break? This Access module – designed to develop the key skills required for successful university study – is an ideal starting point. You may even be able to study for free. You will be introduced to a range of subject areas, including childhood and youth studies, social sciences, psychology, health, business, and law. You will develop core academic skills such as reading, academic writing and referencing. As part of your study you will learn to navigate an innovative and interactive module website; the perfect way to gain the study skills you’ll need to succeed in the next step in your studies.

Choose to study this Access module if you:

  • want to gradually build up to university-level study
  • would like learning materials prepared with new learners in mind 
  • need time to decide your future study plans while developing your study skills.

Study for free

If you are resident in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland, you may be eligible to study an access module for free. To find out more, speak to one of our friendly advisers on +44 (0)1908 659253.  


 

 

Module

Module code
Y032
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
0 N/A N/A
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Entry requirements

Student Reviews

A brilliant beginners course for social sciences, health, childcare students. Also, the access course gave me a head start with...
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What you will study

This multidisciplinary module provides an excellent introduction to a wide range of subject areas, including childhood and youth studies, social science, psychology, health, business and law.

The module is divided into three blocks:

Block 1: People

This block, which you will study in print, considers whether people can change. You will be introduced to some influential thinkers and debates around the topics of childhood development and early relationships, health and the extent to which we can choose to be healthy, how disability can shape what we can do, and how it can impact on activities like study. Using case studies of Open University students who have physical disabilities and mental health conditions, you will focus on research methods and consider how they can convey information. You'll also look at responsibility, from an age and a cognitive perspective. We consider when children become legally responsible and also when adults who experience cognitive decline though Alzheimer’s dementia for example, are no longer responsible.

Block 2: Work

Moving to online study, this block addresses the topic of work and what people do. The focus moves from the individual to consider how organisations work and their value to individuals and society. You will explore the impact of globalisation on consumers and the extent to which our choices relate to some of the negative aspects like child labour. The idea of work in a traditional sense is also explored as we consider how organisations and businesses operate and thrive. You’ll also think about how delegation and budgeting is used in your own life and take a look at the future of work.

Block 3: Societies

Continuing online, moving beyond the world of work to the world at large, this block explores whether we can all get along in society. You’ll begin by looking at how people operate in groups, and what the minimum requirements are for a group to form an identity and sense of belonging. You will be introduced to the theory of social identity as a way to explain some behaviours. You’ll also look at the law and how it enforces order in society, and consider how physical appearance, location and where you live can also influence the feeling of belonging. The block ends by looking at how people and societies can change, and what the future holds.

After each block there is an Options week, giving you the opportunity to learn about an area that interests you. You may also choose the option of catching up, or revisiting material that you missed or would like to engage with again. There are so many things to learn about in the social sciences and we can’t possibly fit it all into one module, so this is your opportunity to choose an area that interests you most.

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 interpreting information
  • producing written communications
  • time management and organisational skills
  • problem solving

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.

Towards the end of the module you will have the opportunity to participate in activities which will help you to make decisions about your future study plans.

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.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will keep in touch by a combination of telephone, written correspondence and, if you want, email. There are no face-to-face tutorials; all tutorials are conducted on a one-to-one basis between you and your tutor. You may have an opportunity to experience a group tutorial and use online rooms later in the module. Your tutor will help you to plan your work and to think about the ideas explored in the module. Your tutor will also comment on and help you with your written work. At the end of the module you will discuss your progress with your tutor, and you will work together to review your learning.

Assessment

You do not have to sit an examination for this module. Assessment consists of short written assignments (TMAs) and online activities (iCMAs):

  • TMA stands for Tutor Marked Assignment. There are four TMAs for this module. Your tutor will give you constructive written feedback to develop your study skills and confidence, and a score. 
  • iCMA stands for Interactive Computer-Marked Assignment. There are five iCMAs for this module. Typically these are short, online, multiple choice quizzes.

The study materials give you lots of support and practice, and detailed feedback from your tutor will help to hone your study skills and build your confidence. You’ll submit some of your assignments online through our eTMA system – the assignment booklet gives full details.

Future availability

People, work and society starts twice a year – in February and October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2019 and February 2020. We expect it to start for the last time in February 2021.

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:

    4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    5 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
    No examination
    No residential school


    Entry requirements

    No special knowledge or previous experience is required. You can study our People, work and society Access module on a standalone basis, or to prepare for your OU qualification. The module won’t count towards a future qualification, but we know that students who start with an Access module are more likely to succeed. It may mean that you will study for longer, but it’s well worth the investment.

    The study materials have been prepared with the needs of new learners in mind, so it’s great if you’re a beginner or returning to study. You’ll use your general knowledge and interests to gradually build up to university-level study. This module will develop key study skills such as time management, note taking, reading for study purposes and reflection on your own learning.

    This module is only available if you live in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, the Republic of Ireland, or if you have a British Forces Post Office (BFPO) address.

    If you want to register for an Access module or want to know more about study with The Open University you can talk to one of our advisers by calling us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or request a call back.

    Register

    Start End England fee Register
    05 Oct 2019 Jun 2020 £753.00

    To register for this course - see 'Entry requirements'. Registration closes 12/09/19

    01 Feb 2020 Sep 2020 £753.00

    To register for this course - see 'Entry requirements'. Registration closes 09/01/20

    This module is expected to start for the last time in February 2021.
     

    How to register

    If you want to register for an Access module or want to know more about study with The Open University you can talk to one of our advisers by calling us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or request a call back.
     

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a computer, 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, Mastercard, Visa 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 2020. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 19/06/2019.

    What's included

    Module books, DVD and a website where you can access the online resources.

    Digital copies (PDFs and web versions) of most study materials, and transcripts of the DVD can be found on the website. Transcripts are also available on the DVD itself if it is accessed through a computer.

    You will need

    You will require access to equipment that plays DVDs, a phone and the use of a computer with internet access. You don’t need to rush out and buy a computer as you could use one at a library or drop-in centre.

    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 X 10.7 or higher

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

    To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

    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 Y032 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.