People, work and society Access module
An Access module is a great place to start if you want a gentle introduction to Open University study. It can also help you to find out more about your interests and where you want your learning to take you.
This Access module gives you the chance to dip into some of our most popular subjects, such as psychology, childhood and youth, social science, health, business and law. Each subject is introduced and explained at a comfortable pace, perfect if you want to discover something new or brush-up on your study skills. You'll use theoretical discussions and real-world events to build up your knowledge and understanding of the wide-ranging topics that make up people, work and society.
Choose to study this Access module if you:
- want to gradually build up to university-level study with the OU
- would like learning materials prepared with new learners in mind
- need time to decide your future study plans while developing your study skills.
What you will study
This multidisciplinary module provides an excellent introduction to studying with The Open University; you'll get to cover 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.
On successful completion of this module you will receive an Open University Access Module Certificate.
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.
You'll have access to a module website, which includes:
- a week-by-week study planner
- course-specific module materials
- audio and video content
- assignment details and submission section
You'll also be provided with four printed module books, a study planner and assessment guide.
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.
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 an up-to-date version of Windows or macOS.
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.