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Student and tutor module reviews

Human biology

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  • Points: 30
  • Code: SK277
  • Level: 2
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Student reviews

This was my most favourite course to date! It carried on nicely from the level one module SDK125. The materials are extremely well written. The TMAs were challenging, but with the work put in good grades are possible. The only advice I can give is, buy all the past exam papers as they really help with revision for the three hour exam at the end of the course. It worked for me, and I got a distinction. No nasty surprises in the exam, so as long as you put the work in you will be fine.

Louise Groom

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: October 2014

I loved this course, but it WAS challenging and there is a lot of material to get through. Compared to a social science subject the amount of reading isn't particularly onerous, but it does demand that you fully engage with the material in order to understand it. I found that just a few pages of text and one or two diagrams could often take a good hour of study (or even more), but the effort paid off and it was always very rewarding to feel that I was starting to grasp a difficult concept or understand how a number of different variables interact in a feedback system.

This kind of learning is valuable in any field of knowledge - making sense of complex systems is a skill you will very likely use whatever kind of work you do, and whether you hone it through studying human biology or another topic, it's a very worthwhile thing to practice. In this case the topic itself is fascinating and very relevant. All of us have a body, so knowing a bit about how it works has got to be useful!

The textbooks are very well put together, with good use of diagrams. A few more interactive simulations/animations would have been nice on the website. The quizzes were good practice for the exam.

On the subject of the exam, I did think it was an odd decision to put the entire burden of assessment on the exam alone. There's so much material to remember, and testing students' memories for this material might not be the best way to test their understanding of it. Anticipation of the exam did force me to work harder, I expect, towards the end of the course particularly, so there was a discipline in it, but it was also quite stressful, and I wouldn't have liked for anything unexpected to have come up during the exam week which might have thrown me off course.

Exam concerns aside, I would highly recommend this module.

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: August 2014

What a challenge! I despaired at times and throughout the course was convinced I would fail the dreaded exam. However, I found the subject fascinating and often studied longer than intended because I had become so engrossed in a chapter. A well presented module together with a supportive tutor enabled me to achieve a Grade 2 pass and a huge sense of satisfaction.

Sharon Taylor

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: October 2013

A thoroughly well written and enjoyable course. This was my fifth Level two course. This is no doubt the best OU course I have done. The workload is as it should be. The exam is demanding but very fair. You do need to keep up with the planner as the TMAs are quite demanding on time.

My only slight regret was that I was struggling with a Level 3 course at the time and as a result I could not give this course the time it deserved.

The science involved is quite basic and nowhere near as hard as other Level two OU science courses (not that there are many pure science courses left nowadays). I feel that we could have made far better use of online tutorials. However the course books are very comprehensive.

I would recommend this course to anyone with an interest in the biology of the human body.

Gregory Adam Finch

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: August 2013

This was my first level 2 course and I loved it! Had a great tutor and tutorials were really helpful!

TMAs were challenging but not impossible and really consolidated my understanding of the course materials.

Exam was good and followed similar format to the TMAs, 30% given for an essay chosen from 1 of 2 subjects that were disclosed in advance. 40% short answers 2 from each of the 4 books and 30% data handling.

I allowed a lot of time for revision, attended a revision day school with my tutor, completed lots of past papers and met separately with some of my tutor group also. Delighted to have passed with distinction.

Tracy Hickson

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: August 2013

I studied this module as part of the BSc in Health Sciences. The text materials were very well written and easy to understand. The assessments were fair and were useful in consolidating the material. There is a lot of rote learning involved, so I found it useful to revise throughout the year by making myself flashcards rather than leaving it all to the weeks prior to the exam. All in all, one of the better modules I've studied so far.

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: August 2013

I loved this course and would happily recommend it to anyone studying a science/life sciences/natural sciences degree. It's in-depth enough to be fascinating but holistic enough to be a broad learning curve. The exam was true to the specimen paper and didn't contain nasty surprises (thankfully). I was supported by a lovely tutor and a great tutor group.

Sheilagh Margaret Rawlins

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: December 2012

I thoroughly enjoyed studying this module, it was interesting and relevent to my job as a midwife. However, preparing for the exam was tough as there was a lot of studying and a lot to remember - but, I got a distinction so it was all worth it in the end!

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: October 2012

Great module! Loved it from start to finish. The module material was well written and the depth of information given was fantastic but not too over bearing.

The exam topics are vast but the essay element is narrowed down so you can pick a topic from four choices which allows you to concentrate on the other two elements of the exam.

Overall my favourite module, passed with a grade 1 and the information I have learned has given me solid basis for my Level 3 biology modules.

Amy Willey

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: August 2012

I thoroughly recommend this course to anyone considering biology / life sciences or psychology studies. The materials were good (and in book form) and my tutor was great. I can't get to tutorials because of work commitments but my tutor responded to my emails very promptly and efficiently and that makes a big difference.

I panicked a bit over the exam but managed a really good grade and am over the moon. Well worth the money and the effort and a really good launch pad for further study.

Sheilagh Margaret Rawlins

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: August 2012

I really enjoyed this course. At times it was frustrating because the detail stopped just at the point where it was getting really interesting. The course book is extremely well written and I found the questions at the end of each chapter really helped to consolidate the material in my mind. They formed the basis for exam revision which worked very well. You come away with a broad overview of the main body systems and how they fit together. Excellent!

Vivien Shaw

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: August 2012

Overall I enjoyed this course, even though it was a lot of reading and quite hard at times. Attention needs to be paid to detail and try to gain an understanding of each topic as you go along. I would recommend having done a foundation course or an A level in Biology before attempting this course. I did the course having studied biology at a much lower level quite a few years ago; however, it is possible to do the course in this way and pass. It would have been much easier to have the background knowledge. Attending Tutorials is helpful on this course, as this helps to gain a perspective and relate the interactions within the body. The Tutor was extremely helpful and was able to offer help in order to fill in the missing background knowledge.

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: August 2012

Fantastic course, had an equally fantastic tutor who was there to help with whatever study query I had. A bit strict with the markings, but she was the one who really taught me how to write a proper essay and it has helped me tremendously ever since for my other courses.

It is a course doable alongside another one, providing that you do not fall behind with the reading and keep up with the study planner. My previous experience with anatomy and physiology helped, although it was almost 20 years since I left college and sat an exam.

The tutorials were a great help, especially the one for revision. The final exam was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Only had a week for revision, but still managed a grade 2 pass for the course which I was really chuffed about!

Course starting: October 2010

Review posted: June 2012

This was a brilliant course, very well written and with superb tutor support. I took it as my first Level 2 course, fully expecting to struggle on it. Thanks to the excellent quality of the course materials and input from the tutor via forums it turned out to be an unfounded expectation.

The TMAs are stretching but really help to consolidate your understanding at the end of each section. I hadn't sat an exam in some 20 years, but it was fine. The invigilating team really do talk you through the process in baby-steps, so the whole process is easy to follow. As for the actual exam, I must have done something right because I walked away with a distinction!

A big bonus is that several weeks before the exam, the course team releases information about subjects that are likely to be included in the essay choice. While you aren't given the actual essay subject, you do have the opportunity to intensively revise an area so that you can confidently tackle one of the four possible essays - in my case I dived into the immunology section and it paid dividends when I got to the essay section.

Just be sure to have ice-packs handy, because your hand WILL hurt after three hours of writing (if like me you type all day long and seldom write manually).

Linda Margaret Sears

Course starting: October 2010

Review posted: April 2012

Fantastic course, a great start to my OU studies given a biological background. Gave me confidence to move on to Level 3 courses which I found considerably more challenging. A very interesting course for anyone with an interest in how the human body works. My only criticism would be that it wasn't very in depth, however this is balanced out by in-depth Level 3 courses.

Course starting: October 2010

Review posted: January 2012

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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