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    An undergraduate course in Science.

Scientific investigations

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This online course provides an innovative introduction to designing experiments and interpreting results. These are key scientific skills that you will learn by devising and performing experiments at home. You will not be alone in your task. Collaboration is important in science and you will work with a small group that, for part of the course, discusses experimental design, collects data and compares results. The experiments and study materials draw on examples from the breadth of science. S155 is an online course within which you will use a variety of communication methods, including scheduled online forums. 

Register for the course


Start End Fee Register
01 Oct 2014 Jan 2015
£230.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
01 Oct 2014 Jan 2015
£230.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
01 Oct 2014 Jan 2015
£490.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
01 Oct 2014 Jan 2015
£230.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
01 Oct 2014 Jan 2015
£490.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
01 Oct 2014 Jan 2015
£439.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
01 Oct 2014 Jan 2015
£230.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
01 Oct 2014 Jan 2015
£440.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
01 Oct 2014 Jan 2015
£439.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
01 Oct 2014 Jan 2015
£439.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
01 Oct 2014 Jan 2015
£230.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
01 Oct 2014 Jan 2015
£439.00
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.

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

*Fees may vary by country.

What you will study

This course is about the experimental method in science. You will learn about designing and planning experiments by working through the course text, which will be illustrated with case studies taken from the published work of professional scientists. By carrying out experiments yourself and discussing both the design and the results with other students in your group, you will learn practical skills in making measurements and observations accurately. You will also learn about the process of reaching conclusions that are supported by the experimental results.

Towards the end of the course you will get an opportunity to design and carry out an experiment with your group. This will help you to understand the role of hypotheses in experiments and that detailed planning is necessary for successful and safe experimentation. By working in groups you will appreciate the role of group work and discussion in science.

Entry

Scientific investigations complements the 60-credit key introductory course Exploring science (S104), and is particularly suitable if you’re taking that course or have already taken it. (However, if you choose to study S155 alongside S104, you should be prepared to study for 26 hours a week for your first ten weeks of study.) 

You should have basic mathematical skills (including drawing and interpreting graphs, and measurement and use of angles, using degrees). You should also have an understanding of basic scientific concepts. Both skill sets are covered in Exploring science (S104). You can test your mathematical skills, or refresh them, using the Maths Skills ebook.

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

Study material will be delivered online but will include printable versions of web pages for students to print off themselves should they wish. Students with hearing impairments may have difficulty participating in the audio conferences but should be able to participate fully in online forum discussions. Transcripts of audio-visual clips will be included in the study materials. Students with manual dexterity problems may need assistance to complete some experiments. 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.

As the course is web-based, you will need to make extensive use of a personal computer and the internet. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in operating a computer or with the types of material outlined above you are advised to talk to the Student Registration & Enquiry Service about the 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

All study materials and assessment material will be delivered online.

You will need

A webcam or digital camera is highly desirable to show images of experiments.

You will need a certain amount of space to perform some of the experiments, and for one of them you will need access to soil. You should be prepared to set aside several periods of up to half a day for completing some of the experiments. This course may not be suitable for you if you are unable to study regularly or will not have access to the internet throughout the 10-week course.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this course as it includes online activities, for use with a web browser. There is also software to download and install on your computer.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer running Windows since 2007 you should have no problems completing the computer-based activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device you may have difficulties with some software, 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 experiments, and whom you can ask for academic advice and guidance. If you are new to The Open University, you will find that your tutor is particularly concerned to help you with your study methods.

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.

All assessments must be submitted online.

Future availability

The details given here are for the course that starts in February 2014 and October 2014 when it will be available for the last time.

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

“A reasonable course. The investigations where not especially taxing but this is a level one course. I would recommend studying ...”
Read more
“This course is very well written and I had excellent tutorial support. An indispensable grounding for any further science study. ...”
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 S155
Credits 10
OU Level 1
SCQF level 7
FHEQ level 4
Course work includes:
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Course satisfaction survey

See the satisfaction survey results for this course.

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