Skip to content The Open University

Student and tutor module reviews

Discovering the arts and humanities

see module description

  • Points: 60
  • Code: A111
  • Level: 1
On this page

Student reviews

Thoroughly enjoyable units in each block exploring different things that I might not have discovered otherwise.

Oskar James Salmon

Course starting: October 2021

Review posted: December 2022

I'm studying towards a BA Hons in English Literature and Creative Writing.

A111 is incredibly diverse and varied, but as a starting point, is an excellent module to help you understand how various disciplines influence each other.

It seemed a bit odd at first, studying historical and religious figures, as well as sculpture and music (amongst other things), but this challenged me to step outside my comfort zone and appreciate the impact these subjects have on our day to day lives.

What surprised me was how much I enjoyed studying religious figures. As an atheist, religion holds no interest for me, but I believe that allowed me to write subjectively.

Mostly, my experience was a positive one.

Grace McGowan

Course starting: October 2021

Review posted: September 2022

I thoroughly enjoyed studying A111. It was my first attempt at studying for thirty years so I was a little concerned my brain cells wouldn't play ball! However, the module is designed to ease you in gently and I gained confidence as I went along as a result of this. A great tutor and some interesting online tutorials proved very supportive. I found the variety of the contents quite staggering and found some of the aspects, eg music study, more interesting than I thought I would. I'm now about to embark on Cultures (A112), as I think this will further benefit my knowledge in areas I love, ancient history and literature especially.

Clare Denise Ransome

Course starting: October 2021

Review posted: August 2022

I completed this and received a very good passing grade overall which I am thrilled with. As someone who struggled in highschool and decided not to venture into the halls of university after scraping through college, to gather much needed resit results in my GSCE's I found this module a fantastic introduction to the field of the Arts and Humanities. Getting to taste little snippets in an almost tapas buffet of different disciplines. I enjoyed much of what I learned in A111 and while the ventures into some of the disciplines I hadn't even considered as I am studying English Literature and Creative writing I believe I took something from each and every one.

What I found most valuable was the tutor group drop-in sessions that were periodically placed, around 6 in all where we could talk with fellow students in our tutor group and be part of a presentation organised by the tutor.

This module really helped build my confidence, so much so I took on Cultures (A112) in February 2022 to run part way alongside it.

Ashley Van-Rixtel

Course starting: October 2021

Review posted: July 2022

This module seems a very diverse grouping of subjects, taking in everything from philosophy to creative writing, art history to classical studies. I find it difficult to decide conclusively that it was a good introduction given that so wide a view was taken.

I did enjoy how the subjects worked together to show the strength of interdisciplinary study across arts and humanities. The assignments were enjoyable and accessible and added value to the course materials. The materials themselves were put together well and the tutorials were useful.

The problem with such a wide range of subjects in the module was that some just didn't appeal at all. Art and art history left me pretty uninspired and I struggled through those elements.

Helen Burgess

Course starting: October 2020

Review posted: May 2022

This was a compulsory module as part of my BA in Arts and Humanities. It was also the first OU module that I studied. I was not sure how interesting I would find it due to the diversity of the disciplines. However, I found the whole experience to be really rewarding and thoroughly enjoyed every unit. It was useful to see how each of the disciplines that included art, literature, music, history, religious studies and philosophy worked together and as stand alone topics. Each unit was well laid out and all the materials provided were clear. The varied topics actually helped me broaden my thinking and enabled me to decide which route I wanted to go down for future stages. I would recommend this module as a good one to start your degree with.

Course starting: January 2021

Review posted: March 2022

This course is extremely diverse with the vast array of topics to be learnt, but nonetheless very interesting. Certainly a challenging start as an OU level 1 module, but very rewarding.

Course starting: October 2020

Review posted: December 2021

This was the first module I have studied with distance learning. One of the interesting things about this module is learning the Art History of the United Kingdom. and learning the battles that were a part of history throughout the Elizabethan period and onwards.
The books were descriptive and well written and made the module more enjoyable with lots of visual art and paintings and descriptions, including videos.

Rachel Rydersmith

Course starting: October 2020

Review posted: September 2021

An excellent introduction to the humanities. This module romps through topics such as art, history, literature, religion, philosophy, and music using high-quality resources and tutorial support.

Academic skills are gradually developed by the use of well planned and organised activities including tutorials, forums and written work. Tutor feedback is encouraging, supportive and designed to help the student to develop.

Overall an engaging and enjoyable module ideal for people returning to study.

Course starting: October 2020

Review posted: September 2021

This module is well structured with great content. You may take this module thinking you want to study one area or subject however you may very well, as I did, find another which sets you on a new path.

Matthew Fletcher

Course starting: October 2019

Review posted: November 2020

I immensely enjoyed this module more so than I thought I would! It was a great start to my academic journey and laid out in a way that really allows you to step back into studying again.

I found out that the aspects I expected to enjoy most were actually sometimes the ones I least enjoyed and vice versa.

I hope all my modules are laid out as well as this one!

Madison Kingrey

Course starting: October 2019

Review posted: September 2020

Having studied this module simultaneously with module 'Voices, texts, and material culture' (A105), I was surprised at how interesting I found this module to be. My tutor was extremely helpful and provided feedback which I look to taking with me as I move forward with my OU education. Highly recommend this module.

Stacey Lannigan

Course starting: October 2019

Review posted: August 2020

Overall, I liked the module. I didn't enjoy so much the chapters about Music, as I am not so interested in the topic.

I had trouble with my first tutor, but luckily the OU transferred me to a new group with a great tutor! The tutor would answer all my questions in time and gave me very interesting information.

It was my first OU module and I must confess the online tutorials are very few...I thought we would have more often and longer lectures! They took always only 1 hour. That's very short. The tutors would also only explain what was given in the textbooks and gave very rarely extra information.

I think the module is good and great for Art & Humanities students.

Course starting: October 2019

Review posted: July 2020

I found the module materials were good and explained the subjects well.The study skills each week were helpful. I enjoyed the historical parts of the module as this is the subject of my degree. The parts I found more difficult were the chapters on music, poetry and philosophy. Though after finishing the weeks study I understood these subjects better. Another part of the module materials I enjoyed was the chance to do further study at the end of each week. This I did on most weeks of the module. I think the workload on the module is manageable, I had to time plan giving myself study time in the morning and afternoon, but also allowing myself days when I could go and do other things.Having had experience of AA100 I think that A111 module materials were better and the chapters flowed together better on A111.

Course starting: October 2019

Review posted: July 2020

A fantastic introduction to the world of humanities. Unlike some other OU Level 1 modules, the topics move along quickly so if you aren't enjoying something it's over with pretty soon! Personally, it helped me decide on the direction to take my Arts and Humanities degree - I was originally set on taking a route through The Classics, but have since changed my direction to include more literature.

The module books are easy to follow, as are the website portions. Like most people say, the forums are a bit lacklustre and I found that it tended to be the more outspoken members that led the way, not necessarily allowing much conversation from quieter members (a lot of comments ignored if you weren't already part of a conversation that started before the topic was even covered).

Overall though, an enjoyable module and helpful if you are a little undecided which Arts/Humanities route to take.

Course starting: October 2019

Review posted: July 2020

Please note

Each of the views expressed above is an individual's very particular response, largely unedited, and should be viewed with that in mind. Since modules are subject to regular updating, some of the issues identified may have already been addressed. In some instances the faculty may have provided a response to a comment. If you have a query about a particular module, please contact your Regional Centre.

Enter a module code to find a review

To send us reviews on modules you have studied with us, please click the sign in button below.