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Environment: journeys through a changing world free course icon Level

Nature & Environment 

Environment: journeys through a changing world

Our world is changing fast ? we are experiencing pressure from climate change, growing demands for finite resources, biodiversity loss and the extinction of many plants and animals. introduces you to subjects from the natural sciences, social sciences and technology to develop your understanding of environmental issues and sustainability concerns. It shows how people are seeking positive solutions to environmental challenges where you live, in the Arctic, Africa, the Amazon and China. You do not need any prior environmental knowledge to study this key introductory OU level 1 module, just an interest in the future of our planet.

OU course
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The biology of survival free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology 

The biology of survival

is an innovative module covering the biology and diversity of whole organisms from an evolutionary perspective. Interactions between diverse examples of cooperating and/or competing organisms, including predators and prey, are explored along with their changing environments. Various plants, animals and fungi are used to illustrate how adaptation in the physiology and behaviour of organisms contributes to survival. An important component is an investigative strand, in which you will undertake real and virtual experiments. Through this study and investigative combination, you will develop practical and analytical skills using at-home and on-screen interactive experiments to generate and analyse your own unique data sets.

OU course
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Chemistry: further concepts and applications free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology 

Chemistry: further concepts and applications

Chemistry is fundamental in our lives and this module explores chemistry in the context of the natural world, from its role in the environment, in both aqueous and atmospheric systems, to that in plants and animals, in proteins and metabolism. This online module, which includes experimental work, builds on key concepts in inorganic, physical and organic chemistry, exploring the subtle interplay between molecular structure, chemical reactivity and their practical consequences. Application of this chemistry is considered, with topics ranging from materials, industrial and environmental catalysis and pollution control, to diagnostic and therapeutic medicine, as well as strategies for the synthesis and structural determination of organic molecules.

OU course
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Cell biology free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology 

Cell biology

explores the fascinating and diverse world of cells, from single-celled micro-organisms to the specialised cells that form complex tissues in plants and animals. It develops the key aspects of cell and molecular biology introduced in (S111), (S112) and (SDK100). It explores the origins of cells and the generation of cell diversity, as well as the common features of cellular structure and function ? how they obtain energy, synthesise new molecules, communicate, proliferate and survive. There is an emphasis on the fundamental importance of cell biology in modern science, particularly in relation to cell technologies and health.

OU course
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Do animals have sex for fun? article icon

Nature & Environment 

Do animals have sex for fun?

How was it for Fido? Do animals approach sex in more than a - well, animalistic - way?

Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Jo-Anne McArthur
Why are nonhuman animals victims of harm? free course icon Level

Society, Politics & Law 

Why are nonhuman animals victims of harm?

In this free course, Why are nonhuman animals victims of harm? you will investigate why nonhuman animals tend to be overlooked as victims of violence. The course explores some of the social processes and structures that victimise other animals, such as ‘livestock’ farming. The course also highlights some of the environmental harms related to ‘livestock’ farming. You will learn about how harms are perpetuated by language and imagery, as well as how language and imagery can be used to oppose and resist harms against nonhuman animals. This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course DD311 Crime, harm and the state Content warning Study in the social sciences – and criminology in particular – inevitably touches on sensitive and emotive topics that may be difficult and upsetting. This course explores harms against nonhuman animals that you may find difficult to work with, including images of nonhuman animals in confinement.

Free course
2 hrs
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Studying Mammals article icon

Nature & Environment 

Studying Mammals

Welcome to OpenLearn’s ‘Studying Mammals’ series. This collection of 10 free courses covers everything from the largest to the smallest of mammals, their eating habits and social interactions.

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