|About this course:|
|Course work includes:|
|No residential school|
This course deals with a subject of importance to us all – our genes, which is an area at the forefront of developments in medical science. You’ll examine the patterns of inheritance of genes, how genes function and why there are differences between individuals and between populations. Human genetics and health issues is one of a series of short, five month 10-credit courses introducing fascinating topics in science. With a choice of start dates it enables you to try out an area of study before you commit yourself to a longer course, or top up your knowledge and skills between longer courses.
Our characters, including our appearance, depend on the functions of genes. Genes also contribute to a person’s behaviour and health, including susceptibility to certain diseases, such as heart disease. The course examines: the patterns of inheritance of genes, including those associated with genetic diseases; the sequence and content of the human genome; how genes function; how the physical and biochemical characteristics of the body are produced; and why there are differences between individuals and between populations. Finally, it explores some of the issues surrounding research into genes, from biological, medical and ethical points of view: for example, how knowledge of our genes has the potential to revolutionise our ability to change the genetic fates of individuals. The course will equip you with sufficient background to understand these issues and to engage with discussions presented in newspapers and popular scientific journals. As well as some of the biology of genes, you will learn biology that you can apply to other situations. You will also engage with key issues of concern to health professionals.
If you are a beginner in biology, you will find that the course introduces new ideas, concepts and scientific and study skills as they are needed, and you will progressively develop these skills and your understanding through structured questions and activities. If you have already done some biology at school, college or elsewhere, you will find that the course extends your knowledge about our genes and the biological, medical and ethical issues behind research on genes.
The course covers some biological concepts introduced in our Level 1 science course Exploring science (S104) and will develop your understanding of health issues introduced in An introduction to health and social care (K101).
You need little more than an interest in biology (and genetics in particular) and debates in health and the motivation to discover more about these topics.
You should be able to read and understand written English of a style and complexity characteristic of a professional magazine or quality newspaper, and you should be able to communicate your thoughts clearly and comprehensibly in a written format. Mathematically you need only to be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide simple numbers. The structured teaching introduces simple fractions, ratios, percentages and probability.
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.
A proportion of the course is delivered online via the website, so you will have to spend some time using a personal computer and the internet. If you have severely impaired sight you may find the course challenging, as it relies heavily on coloured images, although written textual descriptions are available. Written transcripts are also available for the audio-visual material.
You may be required to draw diagrams or to annotate by hand diagrams that you download, and then to use either a scanner or digital camera to produce electronic versions of these diagrams for inclusion in your assessment. Alternatively, creating diagrams electronically will be acceptable.
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 and scientific or diagrammatic 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:
Book, study guide, online activities using articles and video sequences, website.
You may be required to draw diagrams or to annotate by hand diagrams that you download, and then to use either a scanner or a digital camera to produce files of these diagrams for inclusion in your assessment.
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 can contact a team of expert science study advisers through an online discussion forum, and they will be able to help you with academic questions to do with the course and the assessment. There will also be an online discussion forum that you can use to get in touch with other students.
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.
You must use the online system to submit your end-of-module assessment (EMA).
You have to submit the single piece of written work for assessment after 21 weeks. There will be no other opportunity to complete the course.
The details given here are for the course that starts in October 2013 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.
“I took up this course after losing my daughter to a rare genetic condition and deciding to go down a ...”
“I began this course as an introduction to the OU for my Open Degree. I had completed a Biology A ...”
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:|
|No residential school|
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