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    An undergraduate course in Science.

Topics in health sciences

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This course gives an overview of two medical conditions that present a major global health problem; cardiovascular disease and cancer. Many of us will encounter these medical conditions either through professional involvement in health, or through affected family members or friends. Your study of cardiovascular diseases will develop your understanding of heart and circulatory diseases, and the anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system. Cancers result from defects in cell proliferation, so you’ll study the properties of cells, how they divide and how tumours are formed and spread. Both topics consider risk factors and methods of detection, treatment and prevention worldwide.

Register for the course


Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£440.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£440.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£440.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£985.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1316.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£985.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£440.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£865.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1316.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1316.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£440.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1316.00
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.

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

*Fees may vary by country.

What you will study

This course starts by introducing the major diseases of the heart and circulation, and the normal functioning of the cardiovascular system. You will:

  • learn how genetic factors combine with environmental and lifestyle factors to affect cardiovascular disease risk in different groups of people
  • examine ways to assess the damage caused by a heart attack and any underlying cardiovascular disease
  • look at the options for medical management or surgical intervention for different conditions
  • investigate 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 second part of the course begins with an introduction to cancers on a global level, providing data on their incidence worldwide. You’ll then study the basic biology of cancers and the genetic factors that influence their formation, progression and spread to other parts of the body. The course will guide you through:

  • the risk factors associated with various cancers
  • diagnostic tests, including some imaging methods and screening techniques
  • the various therapeutic approaches currently available, including surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and biological therapies
  • palliative care treatments for terminally-ill individuals.

You will then learn about certain practical aspects and psychological adjustments that a person living with cancer has to consider in the context of diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and day-to-day living. The course finishes by briefly outlining the most promising medical approaches in dealing with cancers that may become available in the future.

This course integrates multimedia and text to show you how these conditions develop and progress, and the various diagnostic techniques and treatment options. Case studies of individuals are used throughout the course to link the medical aspects of care to the underlying science, and to convey the experience of the individual patient.

Topics in health sciences will appeal to you if you are a healthcare worker or working in professions allied to medicine, or have a general interest in the subject.

Entry

This is a Level 1 course. 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.

You are not expected to have any knowledge of cardiovascular diseases or cancers, 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.

This course complements the 30-credit key introductory course Introducing health sciences: a case study approach (SDK125). If you have not studied formally for some time, we suggest that you study SDK125 before studying this course.

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

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 have been made as accessible as possible, allowing navigation through the use of keyboard and shortcut keys. If you use special hardware or software we recommend that you find out whether it will work with the course resources before you register on the course. 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

Two printed course books and other printed materials, two DVD-ROMs, a website and online discussion forum facilities.

You will need

A basic 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.

You must complete and submit all the assessment online.

The interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs) are integral to the course and form an essential part of the learning process. You will be required to demonstrate your understanding on a proportion of them to successfully complete the course. The feedback you receive on all your answers will help you to improve your knowledge and understanding of the study material and provide valuable practice for the end-of-module assessment (EMA). The EMA has four parts, two which are submitted mid-way through the course.

Future availability

The details given here are for the course that starts in October 2014. We expect it to be available once a year.

How to register

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

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 SK143
Credits 30
OU Level 1
SCQF level 7
FHEQ level 4
Course work includes:
10 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

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