Free course

Taking your first steps into higher education

Free statement of participation on completion
Taking your first steps into higher education
Taking your first steps into higher education

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.


Transcript

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.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey. Once you complete the course we would also value your feedback and suggestions for future improvement, in our optional end-of-course survey. Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.

Taking your first steps into higher education

Earn this free Open University digital badge if you complete this course! The badge can be displayed, shared and downloaded as a marker of your achievement. The badge is awarded for completing the course and passing the quizzes.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should 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.

First Published: 22/05/2014

Updated: 09/01/2020

You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.

Course content

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371