This section gives advice if you wish to study only one or two modules, perhaps to brush up your skills on a particular topic, and not count them towards a qualification.
Regardless of previous mathematical knowledge, it is usually sensible for students new to mathematics at the Open University to start with a Level 1 module, such as Discovering mathematics (MU123) or Essential mathematics 1 (MST124). Most students find it takes time to organise their study and deadlines alongside the demands of the rest of their lives. Our Level 1 modules are designed to help you get accustomed to studying maths with the Open University, and you should follow the advice elsewhere in this MathsChoices website about how to choose the best module for you.
However, if you have some mathematics background, such as gained from studying at undergraduate level elsewhere, it may be feasible, with permission, to start your Open University study at Level 2. All our Level 2 modules have a diagnostic quiz that would give you an idea of the mathematics assumed at the start of the module.
Long experience at the Open University shows that only a small proportion of new mathematics students do start at a higher level. For such students the percentage completion rate on their first module is usually two thirds of the rate for students who have previously taken the relevant Open University recommended prerequisite modules.
Feedback from students who start at Level 2 suggests that many find it difficult to combine the study of mathematics at that level with establishing their work routine for Open University study alongside other commitments. If you do decide to start at Level 2, you might like to take advantage of our advice about Mathematical Study Skills.
If you wish to discuss your study plans please contact Student Recruitment who, if necessary, will pass you on to an educational adviser.