Skip to content
Science, Maths & Technology

Understanding numbers: Taking it further

Updated Friday, 25th July 2014

Want to know what it's like to study at the OU? Explore how you can use numbers to describe the natural world and make sense of everything from atoms to oceans in this free course. 

This page was published over five years ago. Please be aware that due to the passage of time, the information provided on this page may be out of date or otherwise inaccurate, and any views or opinions expressed may no longer be relevant. Some technical elements such as audio-visual and interactive media may no longer work. For more detail, see our Archive and Deletion Policy

A colourful representation using different photos of the individual numbers that make up Pi. Creative commons image Icon Mykl Roventine under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 licence under Creative-Commons license Pi

Valuable resources and preparation for this course

If you want to start thinking like a scientist, you can do so by using numbers to describe and understand the natural world. By being introduced to the skills you need to understand and communicate scientific numbers, you can can learn to embrace percentages, love negative numbers and, importantly, relate them to the real world! This free course will allow you to do so. 

Whether you are following our free Basic Science: Understanding numbers course on FutureLearn, or would like to view a range of related content on OpenLearn, we've got a variety of articles, podcasts and plenty more so you can explore the topics raised in more depth.

Study this free course

Enrol to access the full course and get recognition for the skills you learn. This course tracks your progress and on completion issues a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others.


Before you start this course you may want to brush up on your Maths, English or Study Skills with our range of free courses

The Open University's degrees and courses

The Open University offers a large range of science courses and degrees. Take a look at our prospectus to find out more about these. 

To find out more about our range of short courses starting from £160 visit our short courses page.

Don't miss out

- If you use our free courses sign up for a free OU account to track your progress and gain recognition for your learning. 

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay in touch with what's new in the world of free courses and other free educational material produced by The Open University.

Get to grips with plotting and interpreting graphs

Look into fractions, percentages and round numbers

Applying area, volumes and density to science

Learn how to handle small numbers 

Preparation for study




Related content (tags)

Copyright information

For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?