The Open University
Is the world of politics anything like "Yes Minister" or "The Thick Of It"? Are scientists all as geeky as Denzil Dexter from "The Fast Show"? This collection of videos looks at the funny side of different professions and the stereotypes within them, through the best of British comedy. Using...
Multiculturalism is one of the most vexing political issues of our day. How can people with very different values and customs live alongside each other? What is the history of multiculturalism? What are the arguments for and against its various forms? Has it failed? Does it have a future? The...
The adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel ‘The War of The Worlds’ in 1938 showed the power of radio to capture listeners’ imagination through science-fiction - and in doing so demonstrated how mass media could be used to communicate science to different audiences. For decades, print and broadcast...
What significant processes occur in infancy for development and learning? How does cultural environment influence individual development? And how do infants begin to develop their understanding of other people? On this album, international experts present their perspectives on the ways infants...
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...
What does it take to become a critical practitioner in social work? This unit will guide you through some important concepts. An understanding of ‘critical perspectives’ will help you take a positive and constructive approach to problems that arise in social work practice. This study unit is just...
Complex questions of environmental responsibility are increasingly raised in times of change and uncertainty. The tracks on this album illustrate the need for nurturing a fresh sense of care for our environment as well as more appropriate forms of accountability. We demonstrate the necessity of...
How - and why - would you build a machine 10,000 times thinner than a human hair? This album features experts discussing the paradigm shift that is occurring in science. Scientists are learning to manipulate atoms on the scale of a billionth of a metre and control them to perform specific tasks....
Baffled by modern art and architecture? You’re not alone! This collection gives new insight into today’s shifting kaleidoscope of visual culture by placing it in the context of the developments of the 19th and 20th century. In the mid 19th century there was a growing realisation that...
Does the Duchess of Malfi have any resonance with modern-day audiences? Are it’s themes of politics and revenge still relevant today? Since it was originally published in the seventeenth century the play has been interpreted in a variety of ways, each different director examining the story and...
Since the dawn of civilisation, humans have used everyday materials to create mathematical models of the world around them. This album explores the ancient Greeks' astrolabe as a model of the skies; the sundial, to tell the time; Babylonian clay tablets to record wages and trading of sheep;...
What is the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC)? How will the ICC develop in the 21st century? The ICC was created in 2002 as a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide and crimes of aggression. This collection of five videos looks...
Do you think about where your water comes from? In the UK each of us uses an average of about 150 litres of water per day! The seven video tracks in this album consider issues of demand and quality in water supply as well as treatment processes. They give information on methods of minimising...
How does a poet represent two distinctly different cultures in their work? How did James Berry interpret his experience and those of other Jamaican’s that migrated to England in the late 1940’s into his writing? James Berry was born in Jamaica in 1924, but moved to England during the wave of...
How do retailers decide where to locate new stores? Why do consumers behave in a particular manner? How does a frozen pea get from harvest to a supermarket freezer? How do independent and online businesses compete with high street chains? These are just some of the many questions answered...
How we can be sure our air is safe to breathe? This album introduces the principles and concepts of air quality management and looks at how we analyse pollution control problems. Five video tracks review the nature and characteristics of air pollution today and demonstrate how air quality data...
Anti-social behaviour, homelessness, drugs, mental illness: all problems in today’s society. But what makes a problem social? This unit will help you to discover how these issues are identified, defined, given meaning and acted upon. You will also look at the conflicts within social science in...
Understanding mountain building involves unraveling how and why rocks deform. Geologists Nigel Harris and John Whalley tour the Scottish segment of the Caledonian orogenic Belt to untangle the kinematics and the chronology of deformation. This material forms part of The Open University course...
Human communication is vastly more complex than that of any other species we know about. It is so complex that linguists are only just beginning to identify the processes in the brain that are related to understanding language. This unit looks at how language is understood by taking an...
How does Surrealism relate to Freud? What does Freud have to do with the Prisoner's dilemma? Josie Long takes you on a whistle-stop tour and finds the connections between Surrealism, Psychoanalysis, Game Theory, Nuclear Fission and microbes that may have played a key role in the origins of...
Do you know what happens to the things you throw away? Sustainable management of municipal and industrial waste is essential in any society, but is particularly crucial for a future in which we face diminishing resources and a growing population. This album considers the issues that are driving...
How much do you think about what you throw away? A waste management cycle is essential for a sustainable future. This album considers the policy and legislation that is driving waste management processes across the EU. By modelling the overall environmental impacts of solid waste disposal...
German surrender brought the Second World War in Europe to an end. But all feared that war with Japan would drag on and on. Behind the scenes, the US had been working on a secret weapon – the most powerful ever devised – and by August 1945… it was no longer such a secret. These films explore...
How do you see the invisible? Today, mechanical, electrical, chemical and biological engineering of ‘small worlds’ is revolutionising our lives. Atomic Force Microscopes are an important tool when creating engineering solutions on the micro and nano scale. The 4 video tracks on this album examine...
Everywhere you look in nature you will find patterns. From the seeds in the flower under your nose to the flock of swallows overhead some patterns keep occurring again and again. The essence of mathematics is a series of simple rules that produce complex consequences. And nowhere are these...
Today, listening to music is easy - we have CDs, MP3s, radio, television and the internet. But around a hundred years ago life was very different - either you had to play music yourself or have someone else play it for you. The 15 video tracks in this album demonstrate various ways to play music...
Energy policy in Scotland has been following a different path to the rest of the UK since devolution. How is Scotland's energy policy different, what factors have contributed to this and what impact could independence have on the Scottish renewable energy sector? Contributors include; Charles...
What is imagination and can philosophy define it in any meaningful way? This unit will introduce you to some of the possible answers to these questions and will examine why philosophy has sometimes found it difficult to approach imagination. It will then go on to examine the relationship that...
Britain was the first country to industrialise, and it acquired the largest empire ever during this same period. But its sphere of economic influence extended far beyond the boundaries of the formal British Empire. This unit focuses on the economics of empire, using a case study of one town,...
How do children fit in to our society? This unit will help you to understand the issues surrounding children's rights as well as examining the implications of seeing children as citizens. You will also explore the meaning of childhood and analyse children's needs. This study unit is just one of...
What teaching methods can be used to improve a school’s performance? What are the benefits of collaborating within an educational institution? Victoria school for the arts in Canada is ranked amongst the best performing in the country. Maths is now one of the school’s most successful subjects;...
Should we have the right to die? Should lawyers be passionate? Why are women still poorly represented in law? And since when did judges decide become of such interest to the public? These are just some of the topics covered in this fascinating compilation of discussions of law by Professor Gary...
Ethical standards play a key role in the conduct of individuals and societies. This audio album contains three tracks that examine the basics of ethical theory and practice. It features interviews with leading figures in the field of ethics and examines codes of ethics, corporate businesses and...
Just how dangerous is the everyday workplace? What can be done to mitigate risks and avoid hazards? And what trade-offs have to be made between the competing demands of safety, efficiency and wider social responsibility? This album looks at three very different case studies - farming, food...
How has the English language influenced your life? How would you define your relationship with English? In this collection these questions are explored by Poet Benjamin Zephaniah, writer Sindiwe Magona, and author Jung Chang amongst others. They discuss the impact of the language; and describe...
“I blame the parents!” How often is that phrase used to explain the ills of society and is it valid? This material will consider how important is quality parenting, who judges it, and is its provision the sole responsibility of parents – should parents just be left to get on with it? It explores...
This series of tracks examines the operations management in four service industries. Each has unique problems associated with their sector but they all have operational processes to ensure smooth delivery of their product. Material is taken from The Open University Course T883 Business...
Is English a force for good? What have been the ramifications of this language’s dominance in ex colonies and also throughout the world? We debate how local languages have suffered as a result of the spread of English and investigate the consequences of its influence on indigenous communities....
Have you ever wondered where bottled water comes from and what impact this has on the environment? This informative, animated video looks at the complete process of producing bottled water and strives to answer the question, 'Bottled water - who needs it?' Highlighting the effects this has on the...
How do archaeologists investigate and understand ancient sites and civilisations? Interpreting archaeological evidence accurately and methodically is the key to obtaining a critical perspective on the development of the human race. This album provides an introduction to archaeology and its...
This is a one-week residential course which introduces a range of practical skills appropriate to the study of environmental science. You visit a variety of sites where you apply your knowledge of biology, chemistry, earth sciences and physics to study interactions and feedback in the...
Playing badminton is like playing chess at 200 miles per hour, it requires a combination of explosive power, speed, agility and strategy. The physiological demands that badminton places on the body requires intense fitness preparation. So what training is vital to ensure high performance? In a...
Is creativity a mind-set or can it be developed? How much influence does organisational culture have on creativity in the workplace? And is there space for innovation within all business environments? Managing a successful business is never simple, especially when it’s necessary to navigate a...
What can we learn from the way business is done in Asian cultures? The dominant management philosophy in the Asia-Pacific region is a Chinese one, emphasising Confucian values, the family and respect for authority. Does the enduring success of this approach have important lessons for us in the...
The Acropolis is one of the most famous ancient sites in the world. Rising over the city of Athens 150 metres above sea level, it consists of several significant archaeological remains of temples dedicated to various deities, and civic buildings. This album offers a chance to tour the Acropolis...
This unit provides basic historical background to the French Revolution. It will show that the Revolution accelerated intellectual, cultural and psychological change, and opened up new horizons and possibilities. In fact, while much controversy and scepticism remain as to the real extent of...
This masters level science course aims to give you an understanding of the application of physics to the techniques of radiotherapy, one of the key weapons in the fight against cancer. It is designed to enable you to develop a broad and balanced appreciation of this area of contemporary medicine,...
How should Stonehenge be conserved for the future? The modernisation of the Visitors' Centre at Stonehenge has been a battleground, exposing conflicting interests, and revealing the challenges that can lie behind the preservation of heritage sites. This album explores how different values and...
Why is Iceland the fastest growing island in the North Atlantic? Why is Iceland on dry land? Dr Dave McGarvie takes us on a geographically complex field trip to discover Iceland's new land. McGarvie explains how different types of basalts eruptions help build the crust of Iceland. This material...
Climate change is a key issue on today’s social and political agenda. This unit explores the basic science that underpins climate change and global warming. This study unit is just one of many that can be found on LearningSpace, part of OpenLearn, a collection of open educational resources from...