This certificate covers basic astronomy and planetary science. You'll study two broad themes of 'Stars and Galaxies' and 'Multiwavelength Astronomy'. Learn how astronomers 'measure' the Universe ? considering spectroscopy, imaging, and time-variability as observational tools. You'll study the formation, evolution and rebirth of stars and galaxies through energetic processes, and learn about their constituents. Learn about the formation and evolution of the Solar System and other planetary systems. Consider how life arose on Earth, and whether life exists beyond Earth. You'll look at planetary processes such as volcanism and impacts in the Solar System; the structure of planets and their atmospheres; and asteroids, comets and meteorites.
You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification.
For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007), Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate.
However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer.
A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you register.
Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.
This certificate offers a broad introduction to core science subjects while developing essential study skills. You'll explore biology, chemistry, earth sciences, environmental sciences, physics, astronomy and planetary science.
This diploma is ideal if you're curious about the world we live in and enjoy delving into a broad range of scientific topics. You'll explore aspects of biology, chemistry, earth sciences, environmental sciences, physics, astronomy and planetary science ? while developing critical thinking, data analysis and problem-solving skills.
This module tackles fundamental questions about our solar system. How did it form and how has it evolved? Why aren't all the planets like Earth? How and why did life ----- on Earth? Has life -----n elsewhere in the Solar System or beyond, and could it be intelligent? You'll look at the exploration of the Solar System by spacecraft; planetary processes such as volcanism and impacts; the structure of planets and their atmospheres; and asteroids, comets and meteorites. You'll use web-based resources and electronic conferencing extensively. Although the module is intended for a wide range of people, a background in science is required.
is an innovative on-screen module presenting an appealing set of societally relevant Earth science topics: events in Earth history (e.g. Noah's flood and death of the dinosaurs); mountain building, oceans, volcanoes and remote observation, sediments and sea-level, and Earth science in society (e.g. hazards, climate change, strategic science). You will be supported in the development of practical and investigative skills in addition to collecting and interpreting your own Earth science data for a project. There will also be the opportunity to engage in scientific discovery and debate directly with the academics.
This on-screen module spans biology, chemistry, earth science and physics, drawing them together in a holistic approach to studying the environment. You'll investigate air, water, earth, life and cycles and explore the processes, interactions and feedback mechanisms operating within different environments. Practical experiences provided through multimedia interactive 'virtual' field trip activities and project work allow you to develop skills and apply your learning. By the end, you will be able to make critical analyses of environmental processes and structures, e.g. landforms, soils, water flows and habitats of flora and fauna, and comment on anthropogenic influences and their likely consequences.
This wide-ranging on-screen module introduces a scientific study of the earth across the spectrum of scale ? from shifting continents to the microscopic; and time ? from the 4.5 billion year age of the earth to geological processes that happen in a flash. Your studies will include fossil life, erupting volcanoes, mountain building, and the record of earth's changing surface environments. The teaching materials will develop your practical skills using geological maps, microscopes, and many types of field data, alongside developing your general science and study skills. You'll also learn fieldwork skills via virtual field trips or the optional four-day residential field school (for which there is additional cost).
This module considers the interactions between terrestrial organisms and their environments ? that together form ecosystems, ranging from simple microbial communities to tropical rainforests. We could even consider earth as a whole ecosystem. The module will introduce you to key ecosystem concepts, and develop your understanding of the stability and resilience of ecosystems to disturbances such as disease and pollution. You'll learn how ecosystem function depends on exchanges of water, energy and nutrients; and gain practical experience with current research techniques, including real-time monitoring and computer modelling. Finally, you'll gain experience in writing professional-style reports on ecological systems.
This introductory science module encompasses astronomy and planetary science; biology; chemistry; earth and environmental sciences; and physics. A series of questions, starting with 'Can you make a hole in water? and 'How do you know what is alive?', demonstrates the interdisciplinarity of the sciences and teaches scientific thinking.