Getting ready to study Design and Innovation at the OU

Have you signed up for a course in Design and Innovation and want to be prepared for the study ahead, or are you just wondering what you have signed up for? Either way this short course is designed to help you to make the best possible start on your first module and to have a sense of what lies ahead. 

What is Design and Innovation

Design and innovation are both words that are used a lot, but what does it mean to study them at the Open University? Unlike most other universities and colleges this OU course takes a very broad view of design, so, in your studies you will look at the design of products, graphic design, architecture and even service and systems design. Studying design at the OU is not about becoming a trained graphic, product or website designer or architect (though you will learn about all of these different design professions) but it is about understanding different forms of design and becoming a design thinker able to apply design thinking to a wide range of problems. These thinking skills are in demand in a wide range of organisations and careers, the creative sector is one of the biggest industries in the UK and you could play a part in it. The other element of your studies is innovation, at the OU we have a strong commitment to sustainable innovation so you will learn about novel solutions which take this into account, as well as learning about the things that lead to innovation. Employers like OU students too, because studying independently shows that you are motivated and organised.

This study will be challenging at times, and our expectations of you are high, but that is what makes it worth doing. 

What is it like studying at the OU?

It is very likely, that you, like most other OU students, have never studied at a distance before. Everyone knows how it is to study in conventional classrooms but the prospect of studying on your own may be completely new. It is important to realise is you are not alone. You will be on a module with hundreds of other students who are all in exactly the same situation. Around 20 of those students will be the same tutor group as you and there will be lots of opportunities to get to know one another face-to-face or digitally over the academic year. This is not as different from studying at a bricks and mortar university as you might think, though instead of attending lectures, you will be studying module materials. Those materials will be a mixture of text, videos and audio. In the design modules you will also find that there are lots of practical activities to help you develop your skills and work for assignments. In your first year almost all of your module materials will be online, but you will find that in future years some modules have books alongside websites. Three weeks before your first module officially starts you will be able to access the module website and lots of other resources and information from your Student Home page, when you are sent the link to your Student Home page make sure to bookmark it and visit it regularly as it is the communication hub for your studies.

Because you are studying at a distance it is a really good idea to take any opportunities that are offered to meet with fellow students and tutorials are also a good way to get to know your tutor. We know that sometimes circumstances make this difficult, if this is the case (or even if it isn't), meeting and talking to people on module forums is another good way to keep motivated and in touch. Whatever's going on, whether you think you are on the right track or wondering what you have taken on, the chances are you are not alone.  Supporting and encouraging each other on the forums can help a lot.

Activity: You, Design and Innovation

What is your experience of design? Have you studied design before at any level? What are you hoping this study might lead to? What are you excited about and what are you nervous about? Use the Meet and Chat forum to introduce yourself and discuss these questions with other people who are signed up (or thinking of signing up) to study Design and Innovation at the OU.

Lamp with silhouettes of people doing different activities all around it

Go to Design and Innovation + what complementary subject?


Last modified: Monday, 19 Aug 2019, 10:51