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BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences: pathway

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This degree is made up of 360 credits.

What you will study

There are two ways to start a qualification. You can begin your studies at Stage 1, or, if you haven’t studied for a long time, you can get started by studying an Access module as an additional preparatory stage of your chosen qualification. We know from experience that students who have completed an Access module do better in their subsequent modules, so it could be the vital first step you take to help you succeed in your future studies.

To find out the recommended Access module for this pathway, choose your country in the Fees section below.

Stage 1

You’ll begin your studies with the compulsory 60-credit introductory module Exploring science (S104)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q64-1,module,S104,,1. You’ll develop your study skills while engaging with a broad and absorbing introduction to a range of science subject areas including:

  • biology and health sciences
  • chemistry and analytical science
  • Earth and environmental sciences
  • physics
  • astronomy and planetary science.

Using a blend of text and online study materials, this wide-ranging module investigates the major scientific issues affecting contemporary society. You’ll explore the fundamentals of modern science, and develop important scientific concepts and skills to give you a solid basis for higher level study.

You’ll be introduced to practical science through the compulsory 30-credit module Investigative and mathematical skills in science (S141)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q64-1,module,S141,,1

You’ll also choose one of four 30-credit modules according to your particular scientific interest:

  • Introducing health sciences: a case study approach (SDK125)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q64-1,module,SDK125,,1
  • Topics in science (S142)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q64-1,module,S142,,1
  • Topics in health sciences (SK143)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q64-1,module,SK143,,1
  • Essential mathematics 1 (MST124)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q64-1,module,MST124,,1

Alternatively, you could choose 30 credits from a non-science module if you prefer.

Stage 2

At Stage 2, you can continue with a broad approach to science, combining modules from different subject areas, or focus on one subject (choosing from biology and health sciences; chemistry and analytical sciences; Earth sciences; environmental sciences; physics; or astronomy and planetary science).

You must also study one module from our Practical science series, designed to develop the skills needed for scientific practical work – individually and in groups. You’ll cover:

  • planning and conducting observations and experiments
  • data handling
  • data presentation
  • report writing
  • safe working
  • professional team-working.

You’ll be working with other students online or, in some cases, at laboratory or field sites in the UK – gaining valuable experience of innovative and stimulating immersive technologies in practical science – and you’ll finish with an exciting team project where you’ll collaborate with students from other modules in this Practical science series.

Throughout your Stage 2 studies you’ll continue to develop your analytical, numerical, teamwork and problem-solving skills.

Stage 3

You can start Stage 3 with options from a wide range of modules in:

  • biology and health sciences
  • chemistry
  • Earth and environmental sciences
  • physics
  • astronomy and planetary science
  • mathematics.

However by this stage of your studies, you’re likely to be narrowing your focus and your choice will be influenced by the modules you studied at Stage 2.

You’ll complete your degree with a project module based on your earlier Stage 3 study.

Modules quoted in qualification descriptions are those that are currently available for study. As the structure of our qualifications is reviewed on a regular basis, the University is unable to guarantee that the same selection of modules will continue to be available in future years.

How long it takes

Typically it takes six years part-time study to complete this qualification, but you can take anything from three (full-time study equivalent) to 16 years. You can choose to vary the pace at which you study, although we recommend that you aim to study 60 credits a year as the Science curriculum is designed to be studied part-time. Some modules are best studied sequentially rather than simultaneously – particularly as you develop your study skills at Stages 1 and 2.


Where will you be resident whilst you study?

If your country isn’t shown here, please visit our website for international students.

Fee: Choose country above to see fee.
Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.

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