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Adulthood, ageing and the life course, Short Course

  • Application Deadline
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University rank #501 (WUR) Online
The Adulthood, ageing and the life course at The Open University UK incorporates a rich blend of multi-media learning resources, including stimulating case material and opportunities for online collaborative learning.


You will learn

Your learning will take place principally through the online learning guide via the website. This is a structured and guided online teaching environment where you engage with academic readings, websites, journal articles, video and audio clips, and a range of other learning elements that constitute the combined teaching materials for the module.

 The student learning activities in this context encourage you to rehearse and to develop your own lines of enquiry as an OU level 3 student. Alongside this there is online communication with other students studying the module and with your tutor. On a regular basis you can share and discuss your experiences and ideas about the material you are studying.

The video and audio materials are integrated into the online learning guide. These are also supplied to you on separate DVDs for offline use if required. You will receive as part of the set of study materials a module guide and a module reader to stimulate and support your learning.

In this module, you learn how to evaluate and communicate many of the important issues in adult health and social care. You will also develop your facility to appreciate some of the contested areas where there may be significant differences of view about the causes and solutions to problems, or about the allocation of resources. 

This learning takes place in the context of developing your knowledge and your critical understanding of adulthood and ageing, and of how this enhanced facility can make a significant and positive difference to your role as a carer, a service user, or to your role as a professional. You will be encouraged to reflect upon your own learning and how this may be applied positively in practical ways, exploring, developing, and at times perhaps being encouraged to challenge your own values, assumptions, and beliefs.

The module includes a wealth of material in relation to many of the commonly occurring categorisations and groupings within modern health and social care; such as: older people; mental health and wellbeing; long term conditions across the range of adult ability and disability; drug and alcohol use; and offending behaviour. These groupings, however, are not dealt with in fixed divisions but rather they are drawn upon throughout as illustrative and tangible examples in the process of learning about adulthood and ageing through the life course.

The module also incorporates many of the perspectives and ‘voices’ of people working in practice and of people who as adults are receiving support themselves, or have a role in supporting others. These voices are included as text items, and as video and audio clips, where people comment on particular ideas illustrating issues from their personal or their professional experience. 

These diverse perspectives bring an immediacy and variety to the study process as you learn to engage with and evaluate directly the opinions and the contexts of a rich variety of adults, their supporters, carers, and professionals. As students, you also join in this collaborative process by learning and sharing with your fellow students studying the module.

Vocational relevance

Some of your reasons to study this module may be linked to enhancing your employment prospects, or you may simply be curious to expand and develop your knowledge and understanding of the adults with whom you have some supporting or caring role; or you may be receiving support services yourself. 

Whatever your background and motivation, this module is designed to widen your horizons and to deepen and sharpen your facility to think holistically about the issues, structures, and the forces that create and shape adult lives and may lead to people needing additional support. This module will help you consider critically how problems may be addressed and how services may best be provided and sustained, individually, in groups, and through formal organisations.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
  • Credits
    60 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode

Programme Structure

Courses include:
  • Approaches to adulthood and ageing
  • The environments of adult support
  • The impact of policy on practice
  • Frameworks and skills for adult support

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Academic Requirements

This is an OU level 3 module. OU level 3 modules build on study skills and subject knowledge acquired from studies at OU levels 1 and 2. They are intended only for students who have recent experience of higher education in a related subject, preferably with the OU. However, you are not required to have studied before in this subject area.

Tuition Fee

  • EU/EEA

    2928 GBP/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2928 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.


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