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Preparing for S111

Questions in science (S111) is the introductory module in the Open University’s Natural science qualifications. S111 does not assume any previous science qualifications, but in order to study successfully you need to be sufficiently prepared. You must have basic maths and IT skills and an ability to read and write to a good standard in English.

Our online self-assessment quiz Are you ready for S111? will help you decide whether you have the recommended background knowledge to start the module. The links below will take you to resources that you can access to help your preparation in advance of studying S111.

IT skills

S111 is an online module so you need a computer and some basic IT skills such as writing a document using a word processor programme. Advice about computing skills can be found at Skills for OU study and skills for studying online

Mathematical skills

You will find lots of helpful advice on developing your mathematical skills here Maths Help website

There is also a free 12 hour course on OpenLearn Basic science: understanding numbers  This practical, hands-on course will help you to start thinking like a scientist, by using numbers to describe and understand the natural world. Periodically a version of this course is also available through FutureLearn which offers you the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go. Check for availability on FutureLearn here.

Language skills

To study S111 you need to be able to read and write to a good standard in English. The English for OU study website has online resources for developing language skills.

Studying an Open University Access module first

If you are studying in the UK, an OU Access module is the place to start if you feel you need to develop your study skills and build your confidence before starting S111. For many students, Access modules are the perfect way to prepare for their qualification, and in the past, students who have taken an Access module have gone on to be more successful in their future studies.

Go to the online interactive quiz to check whether an Access module is for you.

The most appropriate Access module to take as preparation for S111 is Science, technology and maths Access Module (Y033). You can find out more on the Access modules website. Select your own country from the drop-down menu near the top of the page. 

Alternatively (or if you are not studying in the UK), you may want to consider studying one of our not-for-credit Science online short courses that can be studied online at any time. For example, Science: the frozen planet or Science: galaxies, stars and planets.  Find out more on the Science online short courses website.

Got a question?

If you have any further questions about studying S111 or other Open University modules, please contact us.

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