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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. Covering three areas of focus: People, Work and Society, this multidisciplinary module explores a range of subject areas, including childhood and youth studies; social sciences; psychology; health; management; 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.

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.

This module can be studied on a standalone basis or as an integral part of an OU qualification. If you choose to study the module as part of a qualification, the credit gained will be in addition to the other credit required for the qualification. On successful completion, you will be ready to continue your studies with us.

Study for free

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 Am I ready?

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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.

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 2018 and February 2019. 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

    If you’re a beginner or returning to study, this module is an ideal starting point for a qualification in childhood and youth studies, social science, psychology, health, management and law. We will help you to develop your study skills and become a confident learner.

    You can study People, work and society Access module as an additional preparatory stage of your chosen qualification – or on a standalone basis – but whichever option you chose, you will receive all the preparation you need to be a successful university student.

    The study materials have been prepared with the needs of new learners in mind. No special knowledge or previous experience of studying is required. This module enables you to use your general knowledge and interests, and gradually build up to university-level study. You will develop key study skills such as time management, note taking, reading for study purposes and reflection on your own learning.

    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
    02 Feb 2019 Sep 2019 £732.00

    To register for this course - see 'Entry requirements'. Registration closes 10/01/19

    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 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 16/10/2018.

    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
    • macOS 10.7 or higher

    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 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.