In the first few years of learning mathematics at the Open University, particularly in Stage 1 of your studies, it is really important that you study the modules in an appropriate order and don’t try to rush through them.

Here are two examples to show how you might progress through Stage 1.

Q31

You will normally be required to achieve a certain standard in your Stage 1 mathematics (MST125) before proceeding to study Stage 2 in most qualifications in mathematics and statistics.

If you start with Discovering mathematics (MU123) you must:

  • complete Discovering mathematics (MU123) before moving on to Essential
    mathematics 1 (MST124);
  • complete Essential mathematics 1 (MST124) before moving on to Essential
    mathematics 2 (MST125);
  • consider carefully whether you have sufficient time if you might wish to take more than one module at a time (around 10 hours study per module in each of 30 study weeks).

If you start with Essential mathematics 1 (MST124), known as the intensive start on some qualifications, you should:

  • consider carefully if you have sufficient time to take more than one module concurrently (around 10 hours study per module in each of 30 study weeks);
  • normally complete Essential mathematics 1 (MST124) before moving on to Essential mathematics 2 (MST125) - see Note about MST125 below for further information.

If you are unsure about whether to do MU123 or MST124 and you have attempted at least one quiz for each of MU123 and MST124, please contact Student Recruitment who, if necessary, will pass you on to an educational adviser.

Note about MST125
Exceptionally, your qualification may accommodate the study of MST124 and MST125 together. However the prerequisite mathematical knowledge for studying the pair together is considerably more than the minimum background for MST124 alone as more advanced concepts are included in MST125, so a good grade in A-level mathematics or equivalent is desirable before studying the two modules at the same time. Although Essential mathematics 2 (MST125) builds upon many of the mathematical topics covered in Essential mathematics 1 (MST124), the two modules have been designed so that they can be studied alongside each other. After successful completion of both these modules you will have encountered many of the topics that are developed in higher-level mathematics modules. As well as needing a considerable amount of study time, taking the two modules together will mean completing approximately double the amount of assessment. You should be ready to study Essential mathematics 2 (MST125) if you can answer 'yes' to all of the following:

  • you can correctly complete all the questions in the MST124 quiz without the need to refer to any books or notes;
  • you are familiar with at least some of the topics in the MST125 quiz;
  • you feel that you will be able to devote no less than 20 hours to your studies each week;
  • your mathematical background includes a good A-level or Higher in maths or an HNC/D in an engineering subject, or you have obtained this level of knowledge some other way.

If you are unsure about whether to do MST125 at the same time as MST124 and you have attempted at least one quiz for MST124, please contact Student Recruitment who, if necessary, will pass you on to an educational adviser.