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Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Welcome to this new free course produced by The Open University. If you enrol and complete the course you can gain a digital badge and a Statement of Participation as a record of your achievement. Digital badges are a new way of demonstrating online that you have gained a skill. Schools, colleges and universities are working with employers and other organisations to develop open badges that help learners gain recognition for their skills, and support employers to identify the right candidate for a job.
What is university study like? Is it for me? If you are asking yourself these questions, this badged course is for you.
Taking your first steps into higher education provides insights into how subjects are studied at university. This introduction to carefully selected materials helps you decide what you might want to study. You will be looking at three main areas: arts and humanities, the social sciences and maths, technology and science.
Taking your first steps into higher education is a free course which lasts about 8 weeks, with approximately 3 hours' study time each week. You can work through the course at your own pace, so if you have more time one week there is no problem with pushing on to complete another week's study. You can also take as long as you want to complete it.
Enrolling on the course will give you the opportunity to earn an Open University digital badge. Badges are not accredited by The Open University but they're a great way to demonstrate your interest in the subject and commitment to your career, and to provide evidence of continuing professional development.
You can manage and download your digital badges online from My OpenLearn. In addition you can download and print your OpenLearn Statement of Participation - which also displays your Open University badge.
After completing this course you will be able to:
- demonstrate a basic understanding of what is meant by higher education and the nature of study at this level
- demonstrate an understanding of a range of basic facts, ideas and theories associated with the arts and humanities, social sciences and science, technology and maths
- recognise and use some of the basic terms and concepts associated with these subjects
- use and apply routine skills associated with these subjects
- recognise your own personal skills, interests and preferences relating to higher education study
- plan and review your study pathways to link your learning with your own personal or career goals.
The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations of the course. We welcome your feedback and suggestions to improve the experience for other learners.
Creative Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence.
However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions and our FAQs.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Wednesday, 12th October 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
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