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Student and tutor module reviews

Introducing health sciences: a case study approach

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  • Points: 30
  • Code: SDK125
  • Level: 1
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Student reviews

This is a very well organised course that covers a lot of ground from many different areas of science (biology, chemistry, physics, psychology to name a few). There are 7 course books, each looking at a different area e.g. breast cancer or alcohol and each course book has aspects from at least two or three different sciences. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The one thing I would say about it is that the workload is pretty high for a 30 credit level 1 module - there is a lot of reading to be done, a lot of different assessments going on and in particular a lot of revision to be done for the exam. However, it is manageable if you are well organised and have a good tutor to help you through it all.

Course starting: February 2013

Review posted: March 2014

Took this as part of my psychology degree - I liked the idea of doing a bit of proper science!

Really enjoyed it - a wide variety of topics and a lot of ground to cover, but very well structured and with plenty of support in terms of tutor and information.

There's potentially a lot to cover for the exam, but it's not an unreasonable amount. Found a lot of the material very interesting as well as stimulating.

Helen Stonehouse

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: January 2014

I did this module to make up level 1 credits for a Psychology degree. I found the stats and calculations draining but if this is your thing then you will love it.

Did not realise until half way through the module (about 3 TMAs) that only the exam counts towards the end grade, but that was my fault for not reading the assessment guidance properly.

Best thing about this course was my tutor, extremely encouraging and proactive in helping his students - I wish there were more like him.

Not a bad level 1 module but get revising early for the exam!

Melanie Constance Fitzgerald

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: October 2013

This course is well planned and very well supported. Not only by the study planner, course books, DVDs, course website but by a well informed Tutor. I really enjoyed this informative course, I did find at times that the workload was full on but if you follow the study planner all should be fine. Please make good notes as you will need them for your exam. Overall an excellent course.

Andrew Parker

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: October 2013

My first 30 module course with the OU and the first exam I have sat in nearly 30 years. I thoroughly enjoyed this course, and the variety offered by the 7 topics. Some parts interested me more than others, which i am sure is common to most students, but the fast pace meant that we would only be studying a particular topic for a few weeks before moving on.

The exam was daunting, due to the large amount of material we had to revise, and lack of practice on my part, but on the day it was all fine. Would recommend this course, but make sure you stay up to date as you have a lot of material to get through.

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: July 2013

This is a really good one for your first OU course. Eases you into the whole online/distance study experience gently. I found the course very interesting, and the work level was perfect for a Level one 30-credit module. The exam (first I had done in more years than I care to remember) wasn't too bad - just make sure you make notes as you go along, not in a mad panic, at the end like I did.

All in all a really good intro into health sciences and the workings of the OU.

Anne Cooke

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: March 2013

This is my favourite course of all the ones I have done so far. I particularly liked the fact that it was not based on just one topic but seven. It answered a lot of questions that I have wondered about things like colour blindness. A very interesting and well laid out course and the exam was not as bad as I had thought it was going to be although be prepared to take in a lot of information for it.

Claire Elizabeth Burns

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: February 2013

This was my first OU course and I would definitely recommend it. The biology is integrated into a human context which gets you to think about the people behind the science and some of the important social and ethical issues involved, while also learning the science. There are seven books each focusing on a different topic, but cleverly designed so that the later ones reinforce what you learn in the earlier ones. I found all of them interesting but the ones that have stuck with me most are the case studies on COPD and breast cancer.

Those case studies introduced statistics, the electro-magnetic spectrum, the respiratory system, the chemistry of how oxygen gets around the body, and the social issues around which diseases get attention and which get ignored. I really appreciated this integrated social science/'hard' science approach.

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: November 2012

Would totally recommend this course as it is very well laid out with seven books each covering a different topic in Health Sciences. It covers a lot of information but it is so interesting! Would say this is the best course I have done so far, did not like the fact that there was an exam at the end of it but that turned out to be okay and surprised myself with a grade 2 pass.

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: August 2012

Enjoyed this module. The 7 course books were laid out well and all related to each other. Some easier than others, a lot of reading to take in at some points! The iCMAs and TMAs were manageable and the exam at the end was a nice round up of all the course work. Quite a lot of work involved but as long as you manage your time you should be fine!

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: August 2012

I found this course to be a good opener into health sciences as it covered a wide range of topics which were all very current in our world today. Also throughout the course it demonstrated how chemistry, biology and physics have their place in health sciences. The text books are excellent and my tuition was really good, I always felt help was available if needed.

I feel the only drawback to this course is that it was very demanding with regards to the pace, especially considering it is a Level one course. There was very little time between assignments and I found it difficult preparing for the examination as the last assignment was due in shortly before. This did hinder my enjoyment of the course which is a shame because all of the topics were very interesting.

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: August 2012

Overall I enjoyed this course. I like the way it is split into separate books and separate topics. The later books contain revision of the earlier material. I also enjoyed the iCMAs, and there are practice ones so they're useful for revision. I found there was way more time allocated to tasks than I needed (eg creating graphs on the computer) so I found it easy to be ahead of the planner. The only issue with that is the TMA questions (& iCMAs) only become available at the appropriate time according the planner (ie when the study for that book is due to start) which limits how far ahead it's worth getting. It can be quite slow going if you're already familiar with maths and computers (percentages, spreadsheets, graphs etc.) but that's probably true of Level 1 courses in general.

TMA feedback didn't contain any ideas on how I could have scored better which was disappointing. I also struggled with the exam questions (and past papers) in that I didn't really know what the question was asking for so found I was writing way more than suggested. I got a distinction though so I guess my answers were good enough.

This course is a good introduction to some of the biggest health issues faced worldwide. It was very much a global view which meant it contained lots of things I had never really considered before (such as the difficulty of health care provision in rural Africa etc.). Definitely a course I would recommend.

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: July 2012

I really enjoyed this course. This was my 2nd OU course as part of my Psychology degree. The holistic approach to each topic was really interesting and gives a flavour of a range of different sciences. I've never considered myself much of a scientist, so I found some of the chemistry a little difficult to get my head around at first and definitely had to study hard. The textbooks were really informative with useful diagrams, and the DVD activities helped compliment the materials. The TMAs were laid out relatively straightforwardly and helped to wrap up the learning objectives nicely.

The exam revision was very hardgoing as there was just so much to revise, but the exam itself was manageable. As a psychology student, I didn't find this course to involve a lot of psychology, so I would suggest that perhaps this course isn't suitable for somebody interested only in social science, as it is very biology and chemistry heavy. All in all though, a very enjoyable and interesting course.

Katherine Harrison

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: July 2012

I did enjoy this course very much but found the exam hard going as there were so many books to revise from. I found that what I had remembered the best, whilst revising, sadly did not appear on the paper. My exam mark was much lower than my course work so it brought my grade down. I would, however, still recommend this course as I did enjoy most of the content.

Course starting: October 2010

Review posted: March 2012

After a couple of science short courses this was my first longer course. I enjoyed the course and found most of it relevant, although with such a diverse range of subjects covered there were bits that were of less interest.

I did not find the workload particularly onerous. That said I almost missed one of the deadlines for a TMA. I'll need to keep my eye on the ball a bit more in the future. I thought the ICMAs were fairly easy but care is needed to make sure silly errors don't occur.

The TMAs were again not too bad although whilst I appreciate the need to be able to explain things clearly using non-scientfic language, writing a letter to auntie Mabel seemed a bit silly.

I didn't do anywhere near as much revision as I intended but the final exam ended up not too bad. As always I came out thinking about the stuff I hadn't answered when in reality what I had written was more than enough.

The tutor forums were ok. I found them a little simplistic. They were clearly aimed at the students that were finding the going a little tough and that, I guess, is fair enough.

I would recommend the course to someone starting out in Health Science studies.

Ashok Kumar Clive Singal

Course starting: October 2010

Review posted: December 2011

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.

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