This The Frozen Planet course from The Open University UK explores the wonder of the polar world and explains how ice has shaped – and controls – our planet. The frozen planet is one of a series of short, five month 10-credit modules introducing fascinating topics in science. With a choice of start dates it enables you to try out an area of study before you commit yourself to a longer module, or top up your knowledge and skills between longer modules.

Standalone study only

This module is available for standalone study only. Any credits from this module cannot be counted towards an OU qualification.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
  • Credits
    10 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
  • More information Go to the programme website

Programme Structure

This module is about the science of the frozen planet. It is about the physical controls on the shape and character of our planet over millions of years through to the climate we experience today. You will investigate the different environmental niches where wildlife flourishes, and the strategies some species have developed to exploit them. You will discover the influence of humans on the environment and the motivations and discoveries of the early polar explorers. The poles are justifiably important but also vulnerable and so, throughout the module, you will learn about their current management and fate in the near future.

The module is based on a specially-written OU study book and website which has polar-focused activities and film clips from the spectacular Frozen Planet BBC television series about the environment, the science, and the wildlife.

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

Academic Requirements

  • The course does not assume any previous scientific background and teaches the concepts and skills as they are required. It’s designed for people who are new to the subject area.
  • Although a little basic knowledge of general science would be useful, all you need is an interest in the polar regions and how they affect the rest of the planet. 
  • Mathematically you need only to be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide simple numbers. To cope with the printed material, you should be able to understand in outline the sort of articles printed in a broadsheet newspaper (The Daily Telegraph or The Guardian, for example). You should also be able to write your thoughts down comprehensibly.

Tuition Fee

  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    488 GBP/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 488 GBP for the full programme and a duration of  .
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.