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Making sense of the arts

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Making sense of the arts introduces some of the key ideas and ways of thinking involved in studying the arts and humanities. You’ll explore poetry, history and art – at the same time as developing a range of study skills. No previous experience of studying is required; just that you’re interested in some aspect of the arts and that you’re keen to discover more. This Openings Access module gently introduces you to OU study – ideal if you’re a beginner or returning to study. It also provides an opportunity to try out learning online; the perfect way to gain the basic computing skills you’ll need for the next step in your studies.

This Openings Access module is only available if you live in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

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No current presentation - see Future availability

This course is expected to start for the last time in March 2014.

What you will study

This Openings Access module helps you to make sense of the different and exciting disciplines of poetry, history and art. The module is structured around the theme of popular protest and uses lots of interesting and varied examples to help you get to grips with the arts whilst at the same time developing the skills to become a confident learner.

First, you will examine the theme of popular protest with an initial discussion of a First World War poem, Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen, and this will be used as a reference point throughout the chapter. You will then go on to study a diverse range of poetry with an emphasis on protest.

Next, you will look at the history of the demand for democracy (government by the people) in Britain from around 1815, focusing on the Chartist movement as one important example of this. You will be introduced to a small number of the many debates surrounding the interpretation of Chartism and the relevance of the subject today.

Following on from poetry and history, you will consider the relationship between art and popular protest. This section introduces the study of the visual arts and you will examine the work of a selection of Turner Prize winners. You will be able to look at many different types of art and explore the techniques used by art historians and art critics when they analyse a work of art.

Finally, in the two online chapters you will continue your study of art and popular protest, looking at the Suffragette movement in Britain in the early twentieth century and exploring the art and poetry of the period. You will also have the opportunity to gain skills such as working with podcasts, using online forums and searching the internet for information relating to the subject. This experience will provide you with a gentle introduction to using a computer to support your study, and will equip you with the basic computing skills you will need for the next step in your studies.

You will need a computer with internet access for the last two chapters of this module, so if you don’t currently have one you’ve plenty of time to make arrangements. You can use your own computer or one at a library or drop-in centre. Please note that you can still study and pass this module if you don’t have access to the internet and a computer.

Entry

Like all Openings Access modules, this module is ideal if you’re a beginner or returning to study, we will help you to develop your study skills and become a confident learner.

You can study this module as an additional preparatory stage of your chosen qualification, or as a standalone module but whichever option you chose, you will receive all the preparation you need to be a successful university student.

The study materials have been prepared with the needs of new learners in mind. No special knowledge or previous experience of studying is required. Taking examples from everyday life, this module enables you to use your general knowledge and interests and gradually build up to degree-level study. You will develop key study skills such as time management, note-taking, reading for study purposes and reflection on your own learning are key features of the module.

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

Outside the UK

This Openings Access module is only available if you live in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

If you live in England, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or if you have a British Forces Post Office (BFPO) address, we offer a choice of three 30-credit Access modules:

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

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable 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 foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. The printed study materials are available on audio in DAISY Digital Talking Book format. 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 opt to do the online element of this module you will need to make use of a personal computer and the internet.  If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in operating a computer or have concerns about accessing the type of material outlined, talk to the Student Registration & Enquiry Service before registering 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

Module books, DVD and a website where you can access the online resources.

Digital copies (PDFs) of most materials, and transcripts of the DVD can be found on the website. Transcripts are also available on the DVD itself if it is accessed through a computer.

You will need

Access to a telephone (preferably a landline) for contact with your tutor; and the equipment to play and watch a video DVD e.g. a television and DVD player or a personal computer with DVD-ROM.

You will need access to the internet and a computer if you study the last two chapters of this module or if you wish to receive and send email and use our online services. 

Computing requirements

This course includes optional, online, computer activities, which you can access using a web browser.

To take part in the online activities you will need a computer with internet access.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2007 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.6 or later.

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 keep in touch by a combination of telephone, written correspondence and, if you want, email. There are no face-to-face tutorials; all tutorials are conducted between the individual student and their tutor on the telephone. Your tutor will help you to plan your work and to think about the ideas explored in the module. Your tutor will also comment on and help you with your written work. At the end of the module you will discuss your progress with your tutor, and you will work together to review your learning. 

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 module can be found in the facts box above.

You can choose whether to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and end-of-module assessment (EMA) on paper or online through the eTMA system. You may want to use the eTMA system for some of your assignments but submit on paper for others. This is entirely your choice. 

The iCMA (interactive computer-marked assignment) needs to be submitted online.

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in June and November 2013 and March 2014 when it will be available for the last time. Each module lasts for a maximum of 20 weeks.

How to register

Student Reviews

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“I liked studying Y180 although saying this I did have a couple of problems, I'm blind, and descriptions of art ...”
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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 Y180
Credits 15
OU Level 1
SCQF level 7
FHEQ level 4
Course work includes:
2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
1 Interactive computer-marked assignment (iCMA)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Course satisfaction survey

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