There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification, but it’s very important you’re well prepared to study mathematics at this level.
You should have a working knowledge of most of the following topics:
- arithmetic of whole numbers, decimals and fractions (including negative numbers, powers and roots);
- algebraic manipulation, such as multiplying out brackets, factorising simple expressions, solving linear and quadratic equations, manipulating algebraic fractions and manipulating powers of variables;
- percentages, ratio and proportion;
- coordinates of points in the plane, and the equations of straight lines and parabolas;
- geometry of plane figures, such as the sizes of angles, alternate and corresponding angles, the areas of shapes, similar and congruent shapes, and the properties of triangles, rectangles and circles;
- geometry of solid figures, such as volumes and other properties of cuboids and cylinders;
- simple inequalities;
- trigonometric ratios – sine, cosine and tangent;
- logarithms and the rules for manipulating them.
Check you’re ready for Essential mathematics 1 (MST124) with our self-assessed quiz.
You need no previous knowledge of science; however, you must be able to:
- write clearly and concisely, structuring short pieces of writing so that they flow coherently;
- log on to the internet, find websites and communicate by email;
- create, save and retrieve documents using basic word processing skills.
Check you’re ready for Questions in science (S111) with our self-assessed quiz.
How much time do I need?
- Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
- This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner
Counting previous study
You could save time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study towards this qualification if you have:
- already studied at university level (even if you didn't finish your studies)
- other professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.
Find out more about credit transfer
Preparing for study with an Access module
If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! The OU offers Access modules designed to introduce the subject area, build your confidence and prepare you for further study, and you may be eligible to study an Access module for free! You'll get:
- a personal tutor providing regular feedback with one to one telephone tutorials
- support from a dedicated team throughout your study
- detailed written feedback.
For this qualification we recommend: