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Understanding cardiovascular diseases

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This course provides an introductory overview of the diseases of the heart and circulation, and the anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system. You’ll study risk factors and patterns and methods of prevention of these diseases in a global context. The course text, case studies, and multimedia illustrate the characteristic symptoms and pathology of peripheral vascular and coronary heart disease; their diagnosis using a variety of techniques; and subsequent medical, surgical and lifestyle management. The course will appeal to patients, health care workers, people working in professions allied to medicine, and those with a general interest in the subject.

Register for the course


Start End Fee Register
20 Sep 2014 See description
£290.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

September 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
20 Sep 2014 See description
£290.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

September 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
20 Sep 2014 See description
£290.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

September 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
20 Sep 2014 See description
£680.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

September 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
20 Sep 2014 See description
£658.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

September 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
20 Sep 2014 See description
£680.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

September 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
20 Sep 2014 See description
£290.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

September 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
20 Sep 2014 See description
£580.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

September 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
20 Sep 2014 See description
£658.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

September 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
20 Sep 2014 See description
£658.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

September 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
20 Sep 2014 See description
£290.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

September 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
20 Sep 2014 See description
£658.00
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.

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

*Fees may vary by country.

What you will study

The course will:

  • introduce the different major types of cardiovascular disease and underlying risk factors
  • describe the cardiovascular system and how it functions normally
  • outline the patterns of cardiovascular disease, and the ways in which genetic factors combine with environmental and lifestyle factors to affect risk in different groups of people
  • describe how cardiovascular disease can be prevented, both in individuals and whole populations
  • outline the pathological processes that occur in vascular disease and show how understanding these processes can lead to effective treatment
  • describe what occurs during a heart attack and in the recovery period
  • examine the types of investigations that can be carried out to assess the damage that has been caused by a heart attack and any underlying cardiovascular disease
  • look at the options for medical management of different types of cardiovascular disease, and relate these options to the diagnostic investigations and the pathology
  • describe the types of surgical intervention that may be performed for different conditions
  • outline how patients can be rehabilitated following a heart attack, and adapt their lifestyle to slow further disease progression and reduce the likelihood of subsequent attacks.

The course integrates multimedia and text to show how the heart functions in normal conditions and what can occur when things go wrong. Relevant video sequences on DVD are used to show what happens during, for example, cardiac emergencies, and how medical teams diagnose and manage heart attacks. Case studies of different people are incorporated throughout the text, in order to convey the experience of the individual patient. These clinical case studies are used to link the medical aspects of patient care to the underlying science.

Entry

Please note: this course is only available for standalone study. You cannot count the credits you gain from the course towards any current OU qualification. It may be possible, however, to count the credits gained towards a qualification if you are already studying with us and have declared your qualification intention before September 2012 – see your qualification description in StudentHome for details.

You are not expected to have any knowledge of cardiovascular diseases, but you should be able to read and understand written English of a style and complexity characteristic of a professional magazine or quality newspaper. If you have not studied up to GCSE level fairly recently, you should expect to spend longer on the study materials.

It is essential that you establish whether or not your background and experience give you a sound basis on which to tackle the course, since students who are appropriately prepared have the best chance of completing their studies successfully. Level 1 courses provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, to help you to progress to courses at Level 2.

The package Are you ready for science study? offers an interactive quiz to help you decide whether you already have the recommended background knowledge or experience to start the course or whether you should consider first studying an Openings course.

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

Outside the UK

The course focuses on the person with cardiovascular disease in the context of the UK National Health Service and includes, where necessary, references to the treatment plans and diagnostic tests used in the UK. Although the provision of services for cardiovascular treatment and education is likely to differ outside the UK, the course makes references to global issues and ethnic and class differences in the incidence of disease.

Preparatory work

If you do not already have the necessary computing and internet skills, we recommend you study sections three and four of the SAFARI materials, provided by the OU Library, before you begin your study of SK121. As an alternative you may wish to take one of the many courses available at your local night school or college.

If you particularly wish to improve your study skills you’re strongly advised to read The Sciences Good Study Guide (1997) by A. Northedge, J. Thomas, A. Lane and A. Peasgood, ISBN: 9780749234119 which can be purchased from www.ouw.co.uk. Further advice is available from the Learning with the OU website.

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

If you have severely impaired sight or manual dexterity you may find using the web and the multimedia resources challenging. All electronic or multimedia aspects of the study materials are accessible, allowing navigation through the use of keyboard and short cut keys. The printed study materials are available in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) as screen readable eBooks. Some components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader and mathematical, scientific, and foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. 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:

  • 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

A course book and other printed materials, a DVD-ROM, a website and online forum facilities.

You will need

You will need a simple calculator.

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

Study support

You can email a study adviser, who will be able to help you with academic questions to do with the course and the assessment. There are also online discussion forums that you can use to get in touch with study advisers and other students.

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.

The interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs) are at roughly three week intervals throughout the course. The end-of-module assessment (EMA) must be submitted online. There will also be some formative exercises to enable you to practice similar questions and monitor your progress throughout the course.

Future availability

The details given here are for the course that starts in September 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

“I really enjoyed studying this module. Although not impossible to answer, some of the iCMA questions were frustratingly vague upon ...”
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“Enjoyed the module although have failed but will submit another exam. Learned so much from a patients view. ...”
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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 SK121
Credits 15
OU Level 1
SCQF level 7
FHEQ level 4
Course work includes:
5 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

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