Taking your first steps into higher education
Taking your first steps into higher education

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Taking your first steps into higher education

Week 1: First steps


Welcome to Week 1 of Taking your first steps into higher education. This week introduces you to the course and encourages you to think about what you might get out of it.

Watch the introductory video from the lead author Jonathan Hughes as he introduces the course and this week.

Jonathan also gives a brief introduction to the two social science weeks. You will need to return to this part of the video clip, or you could make a note of any thoughts you have about social science. You will use these in the first activity in Section 4.

Download this video clip.Video player: he1s_1_wk1_part1_640x360.mp4
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Jonathan Hughes - author
Hello, my name’s Jonathan Hughes. On behalf of the team of people who put together this badged course, I'd like to welcome you to Taking your first steps in higher education.
This first week, Week 1, looks at the range of English universities, but it also gets you to think about what going to university might mean to you. In Weeks 2 and 3 we look at the arts and humanities subjects. In Weeks 4 and 5 we look at the social science subjects, and then move on in Weeks 6 and 7 to science, technology and maths. And then, in Week 8, we look at what you’ve learned.
This is a badged open course, and to get your badge you need to do the two quizzes that you'll find in Weeks 5 and 8. You have to get 50 per cent on both these quizzes, but you can take them more than one time.
I've been responsible for Weeks 5 and 4. In Week 4 you look at identity. Well, actually, you start off by looking at Popeye. And then, in Week 5, you go on to look at how where you live can affect life chance. You will already know quite a lot about this, but we hope that your study of these two weeks will extend your understanding.
We've really enjoyed writing this course, and I hope you enjoy studying it too.
End transcript
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In this first week you will:

  • learn about the assumptions this course is based on
  • gain an understanding of the importance of personal expectations about university
  • consider some important questions you should ask
  • start to recognise some differences between broad subject areas.

The course draws on carefully selected material from The Open University’s Access modules [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Access modules and other Open University courses are different from this course in some important ways:

  • they have to be paid for (but there are fee waivers for the 30-credit Access modules, so the majority of students receive support to study Access modules for free)
  • once you have progressed beyond the 30-credit Access module, the credits can be counted towards a degree or other qualification
  • they start and finish at set times
  • study is supported by a tutor who marks your assignments.

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. Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.

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