|About this course:|
|Course work includes:|
|7 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)|
|No residential school|
This key introductory Level 1 course is an ideal introduction to the social sciences – psychology, social policy and criminology, geography and environment, politics and international studies, economics and sociology – through study of contemporary UK society. Using a blend of text, audio, DVD and online materials, you’ll explore a wide range of topics, including questions of society’s relationship to the environment, questions of identity and issues of social order and governance – all considered in their national and international contexts – that will equip you with a range of skills for independent study and for your personal and working life.
Introducing the social sciences provides an approachable and contemporary introduction to the disciplines and subjects that form the social sciences, as well as the questions and issues that social scientists investigate and explore. It is ideal preparation for Level 2 courses in a range of social science and related qualifications.
The first course-wide question is: How is society made and repaired? This question asks about how people make society in their relations with one another and with the material world, and how, in turn, society shapes people. The second question is: How are differences and inequalities produced? People making and being shaped by society generate differences between and inequalities among groups and individuals – where do these come from and how do they change? And the third question is: How do we know? That is, how do social scientists set about investigating and answering questions about society? Social science answers to these questions are explored by looking at three strands of study materials called: Material Lives, Connected Lives and Ordered Lives.
Material Lives considers how the making of society involves not only relations between people, but also relations between people and things and their environments; how society shapes and is shaped not just by humans but by material objects and the environment; and some of the consequences of the fact that our lives are influenced by both the human and material worlds. In the first half of the course this strand is developed through an examination of consumption and consumer society, questions of power and markets, and issues of waste and sustainability. In the second half of the course the strand considers whether increased material consumption contributes to greater happiness and well-being, and whether our material lives are becoming more or less sustainable, how we live with and respond to the risks and uncertainties of our material environment, and how global problems such as climate change can be addressed in a world of many, competing states.
Connected Lives also considers people’s connections to material places but the focus is on the people themselves and how they are connected and disconnected from one another, how they see themselves and others, where they live and the mobility of things and people involved in making and breaking connections. In the first half of the course this strand is developed through an examination of questions of identity in relation to personal and social lives, issues around our connections to place and the natural and built environment and the social life of neighbourhoods or communities. In the second half of the course the strand considers migration and the making of identities, places and institutions, the contested nature of British identity in a national and international context and the changes of identity involved in the lifecycle especially in relation to motherhood and mothering.
Ordered Lives explores some of the different ways in which social life is ordered and governed through the rules, norms and expectations people have of one another in day-to-day interaction and how these arise and are sustained; how does social order and ordering vary in time and place; and how is social order contested, challenged, sometimes broken and repaired, including by institutions that claim various kinds of expertise and authority. In the first half of the course this strand is developed by an examination of day-to-day ordering in daily lives, through the issue of the anti-social as a certain kind of challenge to normal ways of ordering and by looking at aspects of how governments seek to assemble and regulate their populations. In the second half of the course the strand considers how various kinds of authority seek to govern social order, the role played by political authorities (states) in claiming certain kinds of legitimate authority to govern and questions of order and disorder in relations between states in transnational and international interactions.
You will learn about the nature of the social sciences and the ways they develop through a process of questions, arguments, evidence and evaluation. You will also learn about some key issues and debates at the centre of life in the contemporary UK. You’ll develop an awareness of a range of different disciplinary approaches in the social sciences. You will gain confidence and skills in studying and accessing information from a range of sources; constructing arguments; reading, interpreting and evaluating evidence; and presenting and communicating ideas and information in a variety of formats. You will also practice how to manage your time effectively and organise and complete a programme of work, how to learn from feedback and reflect on your own learning and have an opportunity to plan a study pathway leading to personal and/or career goals.
After this course, further study in the social sciences could open up employment opportunities in a wide range of occupations in business, banking, insurance, education, health professions, administration, law, social services, voluntary and campaigning organisations, the media, public relations, public service organisations and government (national and local), planning and environmental management, the criminal justice system, and social welfare organisations. The course builds a strong basis of vocationally oriented skills that are transferable to the job market: clarity of written communication; critical thinking; ability to analyse, reflect on and present arguments, evidence and theories; problem-solving; evaluating issues; time management; self-motivation; and basic numerical skills.
This is a key introductory Level 1 course. Level 1 courses provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, to help you progress to courses at Level 2.
You are strongly advised to start your OU studies with a Level 1 course. Introducing the social sciences has an interdisciplinary approach to the social sciences and its integrated teaching of key study and skills provides a firm foundation for further study at Level 2.
Alternatively, if you're unsure whether social sciences is for you, try our diagnostic quiz at Are you ready for DD101? to help you decide. You can also find more information about the course, including frequently asked questions.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.
Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.
If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:
Course books, other printed materials, audio CDs, DVDs, and website.
Audio CD and video DVD playback facilities.
You will need a computer with internet access to study this course as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.
You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.
You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. If you are new to the OU, you will find that your tutor is particularly concerned to help you with your study methods. We will also be able to offer group tutorials or day schools that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the course.
Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.
The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above.
For TMAs 01 - 06, you can choose whether to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) on paper or online through the eTMA system. You may want to use the eTMA system for some of your assignments but submit on paper for others. This is entirely your choice, but the final TMA, TMA 07, must be submitted online through the eTMA system.
Assessment is an essential part of the teaching, so you are expected to complete it all. But if you unavoidably miss or do badly in an assignment, some courses allow you a ‘substitution score’. In DD101 this rule can apply to one assignment. You will be given more detailed information when you begin the course.
The details given here are for the course that starts in October 2013 and February 2014 when it will be available for the last time.
Students who studied this course also studied at some time:
To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.
“It's a really good grounding in a broad range of sciences and it's a good jumping off point. Don't expect ...”
“Enjoyed this course although at times it seemed there was a vast amount of stuff to get through in various ...”
The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.
For more information read Distance learning explained.
|About this course:|
|Course work includes:|
|7 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)|
|No residential school|
See the satisfaction survey results for this course.
Try our frequently asked questions.
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