The Open University
This album contains fascinating and engrossing interviews with several leading philosophers concerning, primarily, the exploration of four topics: emotion; thought and language; imagination and creativity; consciousness. The interviews contain lively debates from differing philosophical...
This is an advanced-level course using a variety of authentic materials from Spain and Latin America to improve your language skills and knowledge of Spanish-speaking societies. The course has seven themes that give a broad introduction to different aspects of Spanish-speaking countries. These...
Have you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This unit will give you an insight into how authors create their characters and the settings for their work. You will also be able to look at the different genres for fiction. This study unit is just one of many that can...
In Thailand, the international media is the battleground for political ideas. Protests have become increasingly dramatic and well organised. In October 2008, Red-shirts, in their thousands, donated their own blood and poured it on the walls and under the gates of Government House while...
This album takes an extensive look at the ins-and-outs of family life and caring for children. It draws on interviews with a wide-ranging selection of professionals, from people who deal directly with children at nurseries or schools to those that help shape national policy, to throw light on...
The consciousness of the human mind has long been a topic of fascination and curiosity amongst writers, artists and psychologists, from Carl Jung and Salvador Dali to Virginia Wolfe and Gertrude Stein. This album explores our understanding of consciousness, and features a discussion on some of...
This series of clips looks at speaking, pronunciation and listening practice on the theme of Food and Drink. Material is taken from The Open University Course L193 Rundblick: beginners' German.
What is a microbe and what have they ever done for us? From Black Death to Cholera, and Syphilis to Typhoid, microbes have been responsible for some of the world’s most devastating diseases. But they have also provided the human race with the technological advances of genetic engineering and...
Returning to study or starting it for the first time can be daunting. Many students are frightened of writing essays, but it’s a craft that can be learnt. This album will help you to build confidence in all areas of essay writing. A student discusses with two tutors her writing methods and how...
Latin is the basis for many languages in the world. This unit will provide you with a general introduction to learning Latin allowing you to assess whether you would like to learn more. You will look at the links that exist between Latin and English, examine the structure of sentences and gain an...
Never before have social issues been more at the centre of public and private debate. From concerns about sustainability and the future of the planet to the introduction of smoking bans, there is a growing recognition that social marketing has a role to play in achieving a wide range of social...
This unit is based upon a case study scenario – it simulates the experience of moving around an organisation, talking to people, and looking at organisational documents. Many managers find that they are required to manage projects. In this unit we aim to help you work through a series of tasks...
Genes are units of inheritance that contribute to a person’s behaviour and health. In this unit you will learn what genes, DNA and chromosomes are and how they combine to make the human genome. You will also learn how the principles of inheritance work, the effect that our genetic make-up has on...
Rome: a majestic city with a rich past, spanning over two and a half thousand years. What remains to be seen of ancient Rome? As the heart of the Roman Empire, ancient Rome’s archaeological remains have been studied and admired for centuries, many being well-preserved due to their incorporation...
This unit is taken from Lebensumstände, a language module that concentrates on German as a tool for communication, but it also provides some insights into German society and culture through authentic printed, audio and video materials. It will be of interest to all those who want to improve their...
Do you want to learn the basics in Italian? The audio tracks in this collection are devised for learning simple Italian, including expressions for greetings, ordering food and drinks, booking into a hotel and talking about a recent holiday. The tracks contain sample recordings with suggestions...
Do people that speak English receive better opportunities in life than those who don’t? How essential is fluency in English when pursuing an occupation in the current climate? In this collection we consider these questions in developing job markets such as Malaysia and China, amongst other...
As the world responds to climate change, we explore whether sustainable energy can satisfy our need for endless economic growth, without radical changes in the way we live. This album examines power sources which provide cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels, such as wind power, biomass, hydro...
Writing reports and assignments can be a daunting prospect. This unit is designed to help you develop the skills you need to write effectively for academic purposes. You will learn how to interpret questions and how to plan, structure and write your assignment or report. This study unit is just...
Why is a rollercoaster so exciting and terrifying, yet safe? Modern rollercoasters such as ‘Nemesis’ are engineered very precisely to create an exciting experience for thrill-seekers. This short album visits Alton Towers theme park in England, and explores the part that mathematicians play in...
The law is an interesting and lively subject that touches upon all aspects of everyday life. But how are laws in the UK made and who makes them? This unit will introduce you to the key players in law making in the UK and provide some helpful tips on study techniques. This study unit is just one...
This unit is taken from Ouverture, a language module that concentrates on French as a tool for communication, but it also provides some insights into French society and culture through authentic printed, audio and video materials. It will be of interest to all those who want to improve their...
The transformation of radioactive uranium and, in some instances, thorium isotopes provides vastly more energy per unit mass of fuel than any other energy source, except nuclear fusion, and therein lies its greatest attraction. The unit considers the advantages and limitations of generating this...
Learning how to learn: a process we all engage in throughout our lives, but no single method of learning guarantees success. This unit aims to make the process of learning much more explicit by inviting you to apply various ideas and activities to your own study as a way of increasing your...
In this unit you’ll explore art history. Look around you, it’s likely that wherever you are you’ll be able to see some images, it’s also likely that many of these image will be intended to have some sort of effect on you. Here you will be exploring the power of images via a study of contemporary...
Moving into a care home can have a profound emotional impact on an individual – just the anticipation of residential care is one of the biggest sources of fear for the elderly. This unit discusses the role of social workers and care staff in supporting individuals through the transition, and how...
Does the recruitment and selection process fill you with dread? Discrimination and equal opportunities legislation can make this area feel like a minefield. If you are faced with appointing a new employee, then this unit will provide a straight-forward guide to the process: from writing job...
What impact does alcohol have on the body? From a ‘hangover’ to cirrhosis this unit looks at the harmful effects of alcohol both in the short and long term. This study unit is just one of many that can be found on LearningSpace, part of OpenLearn, a collection of open educational resources from...
Can Darwin's theory of evolution be applied to cultural institutions like the family? If so, how can it help us to understand how family structures have evolved? If not, what are the limitations of a Darwinian approach? In this album, Ruth Mace, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at UCL in London,...
No idea how relational database systems are constructed? Did you know that they underpin the majority of the managed data storage in computer systems? This unit has been designed to give you an overview of the developmental lifecycle for a database system, explaining the importance of data...
This unit provides you with a set of ideas for developing your approach to managing your own work – what we might call ‘self-management’. In order to do this, we will examine some of the key processes of management decision making – allocating time, staff, physical and financial resources:...
This unit will give you an opportunity to think about some of the key concepts and methods of the discipline of Religious Studies. You will meet examples of different forms of religious practice and belief, mostly from Britain and India. This study unit is just one of many that can be found on...
This unit examines system engineering and why it is important. You will learn to identify and evaluate the importance of relationships within the process and assess the relative importance of stakeholders. You will also be able to classify a systems engineering project in terms of the balance of...
How do you start to design a product? Can drawing techniques be learned? And why is modelling such a useful technique? This album introduces the basic skills necessary to communicate ideas on paper, as well as revealing the step-by-step processes for making three-dimensional models of objects,...
Geology is the scientific study of the Earth, its origin, structure, processes and composition. This album features The Open University's Glynda Easterbrook and fellow geologist Tony Lee as they visit Northern Ireland to look at some amazing rock forms and some fascinating successions of...
In rural South Africa there are thousands of people who receive little or no medical care. So what can be done for them? One answer is Phelophepa, the Good Health Train, which makes a circuit of the country every two years. This album joins the team of doctors, medical students and health workers...
What do you imagine when you think of a leader? Is the customary vision of the powerful politician or business leader still entirely relevant today? In these recent times of massive political and economic upheaval, it appears that society’s faith in its traditional leaders is at its lowest ebb:...
Have you ever been the victim of crime? Are you fearful of rising crime rates? Crime is one of contemporary society's most pressing social problems - how should we respond to it? This album visits various communities in the UK to explore issues of criminal justice and the introduction of...
In the sub-arctic environment in northern Norway and the high arctic climate of Svalbard, reindeer have adapted to their environment in different ways. The five video tracks in this album explore the key concepts of evolutionary science and investigate how these account for the characteristics...
In many cultures, song is perhaps one of the most important traditions. What is extraordinary about the Inuit musical tradition is the way they create their songs - with notes originating from their throats. The song isn't interrupted even when a breath has to be taken. The 6 tracks in this...
Strategic management and planning are no longer the preserve of senior executives. This unit looks at three different approaches to strategy before analysing the direction that strategic management may take now that it has become an accumulation of small tactical decisions rather than a top-down...
The legal issues involved in setting up and running a business can be complex and confusing, especially when some of the terms used don't seem to have clear meanings. This unit from the College of Law gives a basic introduction to the legal concepts of companies, partnerships, assets and...
What are the prospects for cooperation or cooperation in the international system? Will states always be primarily concerned with their own security or is progressive change possible in international politics? Does it matter to international politics if states are democratic or not? And what is...
Are ancient sculptures ethnographic artefacts or works of art? How can objects like these throw light on the relationship of our culture to other cultures, both in the past and in the present? This album explores some of the issues surrounding interpretation and display of bronze sculptures...
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world, so just how has it managed to develop a wireless network and promote innovation? This collection explores how Nepal has developed its digital technological infrastructure, how it is still developing from a complex political background and gives...
The importance of managing people for the success of a project cannot be underestimated. This unit identifies the groups and individuals whose appropriate involvement in a project is important for its success, and considers the ways in which their contribution might be maximised. This study unit...
Vaccinations are now considered a part of everyday life, but how do they work? This unit will help those with a background in biology understand the historical development of vaccination, assess the various types of vaccines used today, examine their production and explore the limitations that...
Why is Sociology Important? What have been the key trends in social sciences? Sociology is the academic study of social behavior, including its origins, development, organization, and institutions. Social science uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a...
Debt has now become a part of everyday life, with personal debt in the UK topping £1.1 trillion in 2005. In this unit, you will explore the different types of debt and loans and some of the associated concepts, arming yourself with more information to plan your financial future. This study unit...
Is running a football club part of the entertainment business, a rich man’s hobby, a community asset or all three? And what difference does it make if you’re a club outside the Premiership? Here club chairmen, fans, players and other executives talk about the unusual nature of the football...