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.
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 aging 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 notetaking
- 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.
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.
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.
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.