Your feedback is important to us
Please take two minutes at the end of your visit to help us improve our information and services.
Skip to content The Open University

Exploring psychology

On this page

How humans think, develop, and experience the world around us has been fascinating psychologists for over 100 years. Using a historical and biographical framework, this course introduces you to a wide range of psychological approaches, including biological, social, and cognitive psychologies. It looks at areas such as identity, learning, memory, and language. But you won’t just learn about psychological theories, you’ll learn how to do different types of psychological research too. You’ll undertake practical work using quantitative and qualitative research methods and learn to analyse data using statistical software. All in all, Exploring psychology will give you a thorough overview of psychology, relevant to your daily life.

Modules at Level 2 assume that you are suitably prepared for study at this level. If you want to take a single module to satisfy your career development needs or pursue particular interests, you don’t need to start at Level 1 but you do need to have adequately prepared yourself for OU study in some other way. Check with our Student Registration & Enquiry Service to make sure that you are sufficiently prepared.

Register for the course


Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£850.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£850.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£850.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£850.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1700.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£1700.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£850.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£850.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£850.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£850.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1540.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£1540.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£850.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£850.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

See below for information about part time tuition fee loans available for study towards a qualification.

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.

*Fees may vary by country.

What you will study

This course covers a wide range of psychological theories, concepts and methods and demonstrates how they are typically applied in various contexts. The course explores the scope of contemporary psychology and its historical roots, and assesses the role played by very diverse perspectives on understanding human behaviour and experience.

The course is divided into two parts, each with a different focus and approach. Each part is presented in a book with accompanying software, video and audio material on CD-ROM, DVD, DVD-ROM and online.

Book 1, Mapping Psychology, is in two parts and together with its linked materials makes up about two thirds of the course. The book maps out a basic set of approaches to psychology (e.g. cognitive, biological, social, individual differences) and provides you with a conceptual ‘bag of tools’ – the basic equipment needed to start mapping psychology in the twenty-first century.

Book 2, Challenging Psychological Issues, and its associated materials, make up the last part of the course and build on the foundations presented in the first book. Book 2 presents three topics that epitomise current debates about what is ‘distinctively human’ psychology. The discussion of each topic (lifespan development, language and meaning, and sex and gender) draws on theories and empirical research from the biological, cognitive and social-psychological approaches introduced in Book 1.

Accompanying both Books 1 and 2 is a third book, Exploring Psychological Research Methods, which takes you through the range of methods employed by psychologists to investigate questions in psychology, and gives you an introduction to designing both quantitative and qualitative research projects and to gathering and analysing data. A separate online booklet will guide you through using a computer for performing statistical analyses so that you develop information technology skills in handling and analysing data. An online workbook that accompanies the main texts develops study skills such as using evidence, understanding the research process, structuring an argument, writing essays and undertaking critical evaluation.

Associated residential school course

The 15-credit residential school course Exploring psychology project (DXR222) and its online version Exploring psychology on-line project (DZX222), offer tuition and activities that support and extend the academic aims of this course. For further information on which course is the most suitable for you, see DXR222 or DZX222: Making the right choice. If you want to count DSE212 towards an Open University qualification, you may need to include either DXR222 or DZX222 as well. 

If you decide to attend the residential school, you must register for DXR222 or DZX222 separately, for which an additional fee is payable.

Entry

This is a Level 2 course. Prior to studying this course you should have obtained the necessary study skills to study at Level 2, either by completing relevant Level 1 study with the OU (e.g. in a social science) or by doing equivalent work at another university, but you are not expected to have any special knowledge of psychology.

This course will be available for the last time in February 2015, so if you don’t yet have the necessary study skills, we recommend that you first study Introducing the social sciences (DD102) and Investigating psychology 1 (DE100) to prepare you for our new Level 2 psychology courses, planned from October 2015. These new courses will require both general study skills and some specialist knowledge of psychology.

You are expected to have some basic knowledge of how to use a computer, so that you can for instance use the mouse or keyboard to open a document or program, navigate around a standard screen and windows on a PC, print a document and use a word processor. Guidance is provided on installing software.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Regulations

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.

If you have a disability

Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of the printed study materials are available, although some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader.  The printed study materials are available in comb-bound format and as audio in the DAISY Digital Talking Book format.  Transcripts are available for the audio-visual material. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability of alternative formats.

Students with visual impairments may benefit from the assistance of a sighted helper when working with the statistical software CD-ROM. Elements of this course are delivered online and through CD-ROMs. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet and have concerns about accessing this type of material you are advised to talk to the Student Registration & Enquiry Service about support which can be given to meet your needs.

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:

  • help to determine your study requirements and how to request the support that you need  
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
  • using a computer for OU study
  • equipment and other support services that we offer
  • examination arrangements
  • how to contact us for advice and support both before you register and while you are studying.

Study materials

What's included

Text books, other printed materials, DVD, DVD-ROM, CD-ROM and website.

You will need

The ability to play DVDs.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this course. It includes online activities – you can access using a web browser – and some course software provided on disk.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer running Windows since 2007 you should have no problems completing the computer-based activities.
  • A netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device is not suitable for this course – check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you have an Apple Mac or Linux computer – please note that you can only use it for this course by running Windows on it using Boot Camp or a similar dual-boot system.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

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. We may also be able to offer group tutorials or day schools that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where your 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.

Assessment

The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

Two assignments are based on project work. Assessment is an essential part of the teaching, so you are expected to complete it all. You will be given more detailed information when you begin the course.

Future availability

The details given here are for the course that starts in October 2014 and February 2015 when it will be available for the last time. A new 60-credit course Investigating psychology 2 (DE200) is planned for October 2015.

How to register

To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.

Student Reviews

“This module is a big step up from DSE141, so be prepared for a significant change in workload! Having said ...”
Read more
“This course seemed daunting at first - a methods textbook, two theory-based textbooks and a challenging psychological issues textbook, not ...”
Read more

Distance learning

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.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.
Course facts
About this course:
Course code DSE212
Credits 60
OU Level 2
SCQF level 9
FHEQ level 5
Course work includes:
6 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
Examination
No residential school

Your questions

Try our frequently asked questions.

Come and meet us at an event near you.

Or contact an adviser by Email or call +44(0) 845 300 60 90 +44(0) 845 366 60 35

Employers' questions

Contact Corporate Enquiries
Visit our website for employers or Email us

Get a prospectus

Download or
order