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OU on the BBC: More or Less - Strokes, teachers and electoral reform

OU on the BBC: More or Less -  Strokes, teachers and electoral reform Copyrighted image Credit: Brett Critchley | Dreamstime.com New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 14 May 2015
Tim Harford investigates strokes, the plight of new teachers, overhauling the electoral system and how computers struggle with big numbers as much...

'We all look forward to it': The social value of a festival in the town

'We all look forward to it': The social value of a festival in the town Copyrighted image Credit: Paul Bishop | Dreamstime.com New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 14 May 2015
Does a festival have social value? Does it bring social bonding or does it cause social division? Dr Linda Wilks investigates. 

Memo to Nicky Morgan: Welcome back, now leave schools alone

Memo to Nicky Morgan: Welcome back, now leave schools alone Creative commons image Credit: Gary Edwards
Duration 5 mins Updated 12 May 2015
Nicky Morgan has returned as Secretary Of State For Education in the new cabinet. It's an opportunity, says Jacqueline Baxter, to try leaving other...

James Dickson: The second youngest MP since the Great Reform Act

James Dickson: The second youngest MP since the Great Reform Act Copyrighted image Credit: Susanaaraujo | Dreamstime.com
Introductory level Updated 11 May 2015
The story of the youngest MP elected between The Great Reform Act and 2015 is a twisty one of parental wrongdoing and self-sacrifice.

Recycling: Putting consumers to work

Recycling: Putting consumers to work Copyrighted image Credit: Jupiter Images
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 11 May 2015
The role of consumers play a vital part in waste management; Dr Katy Wheeler explores how in this article. 

The 2015 UK election result: A view from Australia

The 2015 UK election result: A view from Australia Creative commons image Credit: Andrew Parsons/The Conservative Party under CC-BY-NC-SA licence
Updated 08 May 2015
Writing for The Conversation, Brian McNair shares his personal view of what the surprise majority for the Conservatives might mean for the people...

Ballot boxes or badges?

Ballot boxes or badges? Copyrighted image Credit: Various copyrights - please see the page for full details
Updated 01 May 2015
As the UK starts to process the victory of the Conservatives in the 2015 General Election, OpenLearn has lots to offer you if you can't get enough...

What is a confidence and supply government?

What is a confidence and supply government? Copyrighted image Credit: Photos.com
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 01 May 2015
There's suggestions we might find ourselves with a confidence-and-supply government after May 7th. What does that actually mean - and what does it...

Which party did best from the 2010 - 2015 coalition?

Which party did best from the 2010 - 2015 coalition? Copyright free image Credit: US government image
Updated 01 May 2015
Five years on from the coalition agreement, which of the two parties was most successful in achieving their aims?

Free OpenLearn courses.
OU course extracts and exclusive free courses

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Introducing ageing

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
Introducing ageing Copyrighted image Credit: Copyright © Debbie Crouch
Introductory level Duration 11 hours Updated 24 Mar 2015
Everyone is ageing, whatever their current age, and we live in a world where many people are living much longer that previous generations. This is...

Discovering disorder: young people and delinquency

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo AudioAudio
Discovering disorder: young people and delinquency Copyright free image Credit: Copyright © Sam Scott-Hunter/Photofusion (Jaguar 32785)
Introductory level Duration 8 hours Updated 12 Feb 2015
This OpenLearn course, Discovering disorder: young people and delinquency, will introduce two approaches to understanding juvenile delinquency. The...

Contemporary Wales

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
Contemporary Wales Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 15 hours Updated 21 Aug 2014
This unit provides an accessible and lively social science account of contemporary Wales. It introduces key aspects of the economy, society,...

Psychological research, obedience and ethics

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
Psychological research, obedience and ethics Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 5 hours Updated 21 Aug 2014
In this unit you will learn about the importance of ethics in research that is undertaken by psychologists. You will read about the famous study on...

Political ordering

Free CourseFree Course
Political ordering Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 10 hours Updated 04 Feb 2014
This unit asks questions about what states are and how they are involved in the processes of governing and ordering social life. Beginning from an...

Innovation, markets and industrial change

Free CourseFree Course
Innovation, markets and industrial change Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 15 hours Updated 04 Feb 2014
How does a firm emerge as ‘leader of the pack’? Why do most of the small firms so common in the early years of new industries disappear? This unit...

Information technology: A new era?

Free CourseFree Course
Information technology: A new era? Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 15 hours Updated 04 Feb 2014
Do the advances in information technology equate to a new industrial revolution? The advances by IBM, Dell and many other manufacturers have...

Living and working in the new economy

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: ActivityActivity
Living and working in the new economy Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 15 hours Updated 04 Feb 2014
The new ‘service economy’, is it a direct result of globalisation? This unit examines the switch from manufacturing to services and looks at the...

Reading and note taking - preparation for study

Free CourseFree Course
Reading and note taking - preparation for study Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 11 Dec 2013
Reading and note taking are two essential study skills. How do you read? This unit will introduce you to different techniques to help you to alter...

Nationalism, self-determination and secession

Free CourseFree Course
Nationalism, self-determination and secession Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 8 hours Updated 17 Oct 2013
What makes a ‘nation’ and what makes peoples strive for nationhood? This unit will provide you with an introduction to studying political ideas by...

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Change your life with a qualification

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Certificate of Higher Education in Social Sciences

CourseCourse
Certificate of Higher Education in Social Sciences Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 1200 hours Updated 26 May 2015
Are you interested in what shapes the lives we lead and the decisions we make? Have you wondered why people continue to smoke when they know the...

Diploma of Higher Education in Counselling

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education in Counselling Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 26 May 2015
The value of counselling to improve well-being and quality of life is increasingly recognised in society. From everyday worries to serious mental...

Certificate of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Certificate of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Credit: Irochka | Dreamstime.com Updated content
Duration 1200 hours Updated 26 May 2015
If you’re keen to try university study and want to keep your options open, this certificate course is ideal. It’s part of our unique Open...

Foundation Degree in Counselling

CourseCourse
Foundation Degree in Counselling Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 26 May 2015
The value of counselling to improve well-being and quality of life is increasingly recognised in society. From everyday worries to serious mental...

BA/BSc Open degree

CourseCourse
BA/BSc Open degree Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 26 May 2015
Over 40 per cent of OU students who graduate do so with an Open degree. It’s a statistic we’re proud of – the BA/BSc Open is one of the most...

Foundation Degree in Financial Services

CourseCourse
Foundation Degree in Financial Services Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 26 May 2015
With global financial markets and personal finances making the headlines daily, there’s never been a more exciting time to study finance and...

BA (Honours) Philosophy and Psychological Studies

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) Philosophy and Psychological Studies Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 26 May 2015
Philosophy and psychology seek to answer profound questions about us, our minds, our behaviour, and our place in the social and physical universe....

Diploma of Higher Education in Social Policy and Criminology

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education in Social Policy and Criminology Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 26 May 2015
Is there a link between poverty and crime? Are inequality and injustice factors in anti-social behaviour? What can be done to tackle the breakdown...

Diploma of Higher Education in Financial Services

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education in Financial Services Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 26 May 2015
With global financial markets and personal finances making the headlines daily, there’s never been a more exciting time to study finance and...

BSc (Honours) Economics and Mathematical Sciences

CourseCourse
BSc (Honours) Economics and Mathematical Sciences Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 26 May 2015
Graduates who understand the commercial and economic environment and who are also highly numerate are in short supply. If you enjoy solving...