Open University DD303 – Revision Notes Index (2010)

DD303 notes – Chapter 1 – Foundations of cognitive psychology (02-01-2010)

Part 1 – Perceptual processes

DD303 notes – Chapter 2 – Attention (13-01-2010; revised 02-10-2010)

DD303 notes – Chapter 3 – Perception (22-01-2010; revised 02-10-2010)

DD303 notes – Chapter 4 – Recognition (27-02-2010; revised 03-10-2010) and Bruce and Young’s model of face recognition (03-10-2010)

Part 2 – Concepts and language

DD303 notes – Chapter 5 – Concepts (10-03-2010; revised 02-10-2010)

DD303 notes – Chapter 6 – Language processing and DRC Model (22-03-2010)

DD303 notes – Chapter 7 – Language in action and Language Production System (05-04-2010)

Part 3 – Memory

DD303 notes – Chapter 8 – Long-term memory: encoding to retrieval (01-05-2010)

DD303 notes – Chapter 9 – Working memory and the phonological loop (14-05-2010)

Part 4 – Thinking

DD303 notes – Chapter 10 – Problem solving (12-06-2010; revised 02-10-2010)

DD303 notes – Chapter 11 – Judgement and decision making (19-06-2010)

DD303 notes – Chapter 12 – Reasoning (26-06-2010)

Part 5 – Challenges, themes and issues

Chapter 13 – Cognition and emotion

Chapter 14 – Autobiographical memory and the working self

DD303 notes – Chapter 15 – Consciousness (06-09-2010)

DD303 notes – Chapter 16– Cognitive modelling and cognitive architectures (07-09-2010) and condensed notes on ACT-R (02-10-2010)

Chapter 17 – Theoretical issues in cognitive psychology

Methods Book

DD303 notes – Chapter 2 – Connectionsim (31-05-2010; revised 02-10-2010)

Blog posts

All of my blog posts relating to the 2010 presentation of DD303 can be found here:

Other people’s notes:

David has a great website containing his OU psychology revision notes. The DD303 section is here: (12-05-2014)

Reader Comments

  1. Cameron Allen

    Hi Tim,

    I’m finishing DSE212 and doing ED209 and SD226 at the moment. Yeah it’s quite a slog but I’m keeping up and doing OK. Your ED209 notes are fantastic, is there any chance you could post your DSE212 notes? For ED209 I have started reading chapter learning outcomes, reading your notes, making my notes as I work through the chapters and then re-reading both sets of notes at the end (making one blend of notes) and the amount of stuff I actually remember now is great. I need to economise with so much work to do. I do have a job too!!!

    Anyway, thank you for your blogging it’s nice to get a feel for how people are getting on as distance learning is a struggle sometimes.



  2. timholyoake

    Hi Cameron,

    Thanks for the comments – 150 points taken at around the same time is quite something – especially as you’re working too! 60 points is definitely my limit in any single year.

    My DSE212 notes wouldn’t be much, if any use at all to you I’m afraid as I took the course in 2007, before it was updated. (For example, the final book of what was DSE212 is now the basis of the separate DSE232 course and the rest of DSE212 was revised – I don’t think there’s a chapter on consciousness any more?)


  3. Cameron Allen

    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for this. I spent yesterday having a really good look at the exam structure for DSE212 and I think I have a plan that will give me my best chance of a decent result.

    Good luck with your course!


  4. Judy Kay

    Hi Tim
    I’m wading through Thinking chapters and feeling apprehensive about ch 12 since everyone on the forum hates it so much. Even though I find it impossible to really understand the material unless I read it many times and do my own notes, it is still useful to read someone else’s. So thanks for your postings, its very generous.

    • tim

      Hi Judy,

      I’m working my way through chapter 12 now. I wouldn’t say I hate it (yet) … but it’s certainly taking lots of effort to get a handle on it. (I’ve been reading the forums too!!)

      I’m going to keep going on it for now until the end of the week and then I’m going to have a go at the TMA04 essay over the weekend – not sure which option to tackle just yet though.

      Thanks for the kind comments – and all the best for the rest of the course … especially the infamous chapter 12!


  5. Ray

    I’ve currently doing a TMA for ED209 and came across your site by accident. The notes are definitely going to help for revision and you’ve done a great job.

    • tim

      I wasn’t planning to – at most I’d intended to ‘review’ the weekend … assuming I have got a place on it, that is. Anything more extensive than that would probably infringe OUPS intellectual property rights, I think.

  6. mazal

    Hi Tim

    I didnt manage to go to the revision… Was wondering for tma 06 how does one reference I keep losing marks for referenceing badly 🙁

  7. Jane

    I’ve just signed up for DD303 after doing DSE212. I’m endeavouring to get a little ahead of the game before going back to work. Your notes are most useful.

  8. chris neill

    Hi Tim,
    Just downloaded your notes for DD303, just as I did for ED209. Like during ED209 I wont have time to read them, but there is something comforting in familiarity and habit. Thanks mate and keep up the good work.

    • tim

      Hi Chris,

      Good to hear from you again – you’re very welcome! Hope you enjoy DD303 this year. It can be a bit of a slog at times, but it does all come together – eventually!

  9. Michelle Murray

    Hi Tim,
    Im currently doing dd303 and Im really enjoying it at the moment.. Alot of learning required ! starting week 2 study calender I am finding material a bit scattered as Im dipping in and out of tma01 and trying to follow study guide at the same time. Im finding your notes to be of great help.. Well done and Thank you very much..
    Best wishes to you for the future

    • tim

      Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for the comment – and all the best with the course. Be aware that some of it is different this year to last (some chapters have been dropped; others have been revised and I assume there’s some new material there as well) – so use the notes carefully!


  10. Sue Blench

    Hi Tim
    Have just downloaded D303 notes and couldn’t leave without saying thank you for your generosity in sharing your work.
    I’ve taken on board the course has changed, but all reference points are useful. This is my last course in my psychology degree and I’m hoping I’ve saved the best til last. I did DD307 last year and hated it with a passion, I’m just too sciencey (I know that’s not a word, but you know what I mean!) Disturbingly (for me) DD307 has got into my brain and I now question everything, but I guess that’s what it was supposed to do! One bit of advice I’d give people doing DD307 is that it’s all about the approach not the facts. I thought I’d be learning about social psychology facts but you are learning about social psycology methods. Once I realised that it made sense!
    Good luck with your courses – your doing my most and least favourites and thanks again,

  11. Jane

    Hi Tim
    You’ve probably answered this question before but I was wondering if you had notes for Chapter 14 – Autobiographical memory and the working self (which is now chapter 7 in 2011)?

    Thanks again for your great notes so far – they have been very helpful.


    • tim

      Hi Jane,

      No – I don’t I’m afraid. I think the final TMA last year was an essay on either chapter 13 or 14 so I didn’t bother making notes on either chapter. And for the life of me, I can’t remember what I wrote that final essay on – I think it may have been on cognition and emotion as I generally found all of the memory chapters really hard going!

  12. zia

    Hiya, your notes for DD303 are fantastic. Was wondering (being a student of this myself this year) if I could leave out any chapters/parts of the book for the exam? there’s no way am gonna be successful if I aim to do all 16 chapters? Can I leave out a few? Also, could you advise us if leaving chapters covered in TMAs is a good idea?

    thx in advance and again, super notes!!!!

    • tim

      Hi Zia,

      The short answer is I don’t know. The course format has changed since last year and while it was certainly possible to revise strategically for the exam in previous years along the lines you suggest, I don’t believe that it’s quite so straightforward now. If I were you, I’d ask that question in the course forum and see what current students / tutors advise. The DD303 revision weekend at Warwick in September – see the OUPS website is worthwhile attending if you can.


  13. Jane

    Hi Tim
    I clicked on the above link for notes to chapter 2 of the method book (Connectionism) and it took me to chapter 10 (problem solving). Tried it a few times.
    Is it me?

    • tim

      Hi Jane,

      No – it was my error! thanks for pointing it out. The link should now go to the correct document.


  14. vin

    hi, could anyone provide me with photocopies or scans of the dd303 assignment booklet , I know that a experiment needs to be done and I wanted to prepare before I start the course.

    • tim


      The best thing to do is to contact your regional centre as they should have a copy of previous years’ assignment booklets. I don’t have one I’m afraid and copyright rules would prevent unauthorised distribution, so best to go through formal channels I think.


  15. Lesty

    Hi Tim

    Came across your website by accident when I did online search on research papers for my seen question for ED209. Brilliant notes I must say!! how did you find the time to do all those whilst studying. Bad enough for me to do the TMAs and reading the books! lol

    I am doing DD303 next year and DD307 the following year, shame DD303 material was revised for 2011 presentation though.

    Keep up the good work and thanks again


  16. sara

    Just wanted to say thank you – a fantastic resource. As usual I’ve left revision to the last minute and your notes are brilliant. A very generous gesture – you may have seen others are selling theirs!

  17. Cristiane

    Dear Tim

    You were of great help for many of us. Your notes are fantastic and is helping me a lot.
    I want to thank you for sharing it with us.

    All the best


  18. Serena

    Hi Tim,

    Many, many thanks for all your notes, where would I be without them. Doing DD303 exam shortly and finding your notes most useful. Will be downloading your notes on DD307 when the exam is over and done, ready for next year.

    Thanks again and wish you all the best after you have passed DD307, no doubt with a brilliant grade.



    • tim

      Hi Serena,

      Thanks! The only thing that’s certain about my DD307 grade is that it won’t be as good as my DD303 one unfortunately, as I’ve really struggled with the TMAs. But I’m hoping I’ll be all right on the exam in a couple of days time – my head feels it’s about to explode!

      All the best for DD303 and DD307 next year.


  19. Serena

    Hi Tim,

    How about helping out an equally exploding head and giving yours a couple of minutes rest. I checked out all of your notes, fab to say the least and better than most of the tutors produce. however, really wanted to download your autobiographical one but the computer says no. Any chance of putting it in again???

    Would be sooooo much appreciated.

    Much in anticipation.

    Kindest Regards,


    • tim

      Hi Serena,

      That’s because I didn’t create any notes on autobiographical memory and working memory I’m afraid! It was always going to be either consciousness or cognitive architectures for that section of the exam for me.


  20. Serena

    Hey Tim,

    I think I made a mistake and now can’t remember what set of notes I couldn’t download. But please, please don’t worry about it, I realise from your front page your exam is tomorrow.

    What can I say but the best of luck, keeping fingers (makes typing difficult) and toes (walking isn’t too good either)crossed for you. I have no doubt you will do well.

    Let us all know how you get on, no doubt there will be a few beers consumed afterward, just make sure you don’t lose your socks – not too safe on the ears!!!

    Kindest Regards,


  21. Kerry

    Hi Tim

    Thanks so much for sharing these online! You deserve your First just for your generosity of spirit!

    I hope that you get your PostGrad options sorted soon. Must be so annoying for you. Maybe it gives you a chance to have a little breather though?!

    Best of luck with your next path choice!


  22. Kerry

    Hi Tim

    Thank you so much for sharing these! You deserve your First just for your generosity of spirit!

    I hope that you get your PostGrad options sorted out soon. Must be frustrating for you, but maybe you’re enjoying your first break from study in a little while?!

    Congrats again on your First and thanks for your fantastic notes. 🙂


  23. Kerry

    LOL! First attempt froze on me, so the 2nd was me writing the gist of what I’d written before as I thought the first one was ‘lost’! Ha ha!

  24. Eli

    Thank you Tim for sharing your wonderful notes. They help me to stay focused since I have this awful habit of writing far too much, almost writing the damn book! Sadly though I may not be continuing with DD303 because of my exam score on DD307 despite the fact I wrote what I really considered two decent essays, and one not so good. I had 14% for the project. I expected a pass 3 at least, maybe a 2 with lots of luck. Pass 4, and in actual fact, I had failed the exam at 38%, but they must have passed me on my pass 2 course work, though I would have prefered to do the whole course again. This now means I have to get a pass 1 in all course work and in the exam to get a 2.2 and that sadly with dyslexia/dyscalculia is not possible. A 3 means I cannot get any work, or graduate basis with the BPS. Or get into any university for postgrad courses, or a masters. I think sadly the game is up.
    Good luck to you with your new university!! Well done on your degree classification 1.

    • tim

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Very sorry to hear about your DD307 exam – it must be really disappointing. Are you sure that only a pass1 on DD303 will secure you a 2:2? It would be worth double-checking this with the OU directly I think before making any final decisions on DD303. It will also depend on your level 2 results as well. It seems so unfair that if they had given you a bare fail you’d be entitled to a resit, whereas because you have a pass4 you can’t try to improve it.

      Thanks for your comment about the blog – it’s nice to know that you’ve found it helpful. I’ve still not decided what (if anything) to do about an MSc – some of it depends on if I can manage to persuade my employer to fund at least part of the cost.

      All the best for the future, whatever you decide to do.


  25. Eli

    Hi Tim,
    With all pass fours in all the courses bar the DXR222 project, which was a pass 3, I have to get a pass 1 in dd303 on the course and exam to get a 2.2. I did the classification predictor, and it says I have to get a pass 1 in the exam and course work just for a 2.2, which frankly these days is pretty worthless now as well. So if I get a pass four again, I get a 3, which I would not accept. I see no future sadly.
    I could not do a post grad unless I could secure funding in total given I live on £67.50 a week. Good luck in getting your employer to fund some costs!!

    • tim

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Ah – I understand. It’s still worthwhile having a chat with the learning support people though I think. And don’t do yourself down!! Having an OU degree of any kind shows your commitment and tenacity to potential employees. And there are organisations out there that value such qualities – I really hope you can find one.


  26. Viv

    Hi Tim
    Just starting on DD303, and as I can’t take notes to save my life, I will be relying on your amazing revision notes again.

    Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing them, you have helped me in every exam to a decent pass (DD307 was a dismal mark, but despite having your notes and an excellent course tutor, that course just made absolutely no sense to me at all).

    Have you thought about running revision courses? I would sign up today.

    Best wishes


  27. Eli

    Hi Tim, sadly I cannot get graduate basis with the BPS, so psychology is out, and there is not much else I can do, or want to do. I have a degree in psychology and I can do little with. I am afraid that commitment and tenacity does not cut it with the BPS or teaching, or pretty much a lot of jobs. Gove saw to it that I will not be teaching in schools. Frankly, I would be too embarrassed to say I had a 3.

  28. Jane

    Hi Tim- about to embark on DD303, wish me luck…

    Was just going to say regarding Eli’s above post- commitment and tenacity *can* cut it with teaching, never think that all is lost for good- my good friend gained a 3rd. Sometimes the subject you opt to study does not fairly reflect your capabilities- my friend took the wrong degree for her- French and business- the French side she was great at but hopeless at the business element. She was devastated at the time, but on deciding to change career she gained experience through volunteering in schools, listening to children read etc, being active and involved. She then spoke directly to teacher training organisations and got on the course at Goldsmiths. She’s been working with great success as a primary teacher for 5 years now. You can do it. Just wanted to pass that on.

  29. Eli

    It has nothing to do with the subject not reflecting my abilities or taking the wrong degree. It has to do with having a damanged brain, that was completelly rewired, i.e. plasticity, but memory and retention affected. If there were other ways to test my knowledge other than an exam, I would be getting a very good degree. What is not fair, are exams since they are a test of memory.
    It might not be lost for good, because what teaching I can do is very limited, as I will never be able to teach in schools, and there are many jobs who will not take you even with a 2.2. With so many people to chose from, they will always plump for the better degree. I do not want to be a teacher, I want to be a psychologist. Everything else will be a lousy second best. If you are suggesting I can gain experience in schools, think again. You are now not allowed to teach children in school with a 3rd. Gove has seen to that. He sees a third as the ass end of a degree and so you are a bad teacher. Your friend was lucky to get in when she did. She would not be able to now.

  30. Jaydin

    I’m currently doing the 2012 presentation of DD303. I’m only starting on chapter four at the minute, but I just wanted to say that the notes are really relevant, so I’m not sure what changed in the course. I did DD307 last year and got a level two overall, but this year, DD303 is VERY hard going for me, I had real trouble understanding some of the material, but these 10pp blog notes were really very, very helpful; thank you so much for sharing this site. Wishing you the best in whatever you’ve gone onto.

  31. JO

    Hi Tim
    I can’t open the links to chapter 13 and 14. I notice that the order of the chapters has changed since you did DD303 and I was hoping to access the one on autobiographical memory and the working self any chance you could email it to me? Thanks. I really appreciate your notes so thank you for doing this they have got me out of a hole many times.

    • tim

      Hi Jo,

      That’s because I didn’t make notes on what used to be chapters 13, 14 (and 17 too) – so they aren’t links, just placeholders on the page – sorry! In 2010, the course was structured in such a way that it was possible to miss out 1 or 2 chapters of the final section, plus chapters that came up in TMAs weren’t examined … I’m fairly certain that’s not the case now. That’s why I didn’t create notes on those chapters … I spent the final part of he course doing as little new material as I possibly could and focussed on revision instead.

      All the best with the course and I’m glad you’ve found the rest of the notes useful.


  32. Phil

    Hi Tim – I notice you don’t put dates in for research studies in your notes – did you put the dates in when you wrote your essays in the exam, or were the surnames enough for the tutors? It would be a huge bonus not to have to learn all the dates too. Any advice appreciated, thanks Phil.

    • tim

      Hi Phil,

      I found myself remembering quite a few of the dates of the studies after I’d revised – so if I could remember them I put them into the answer but didn’t worry too much if I couldn’t. The exception to this was anything I brought into the answer that wasn’t from the course materials. The year I took the exam, we were encouraged to drop in new material that we’d researched for ourselves – (just a sentence or two – no more) provided that it was relevant to the topic / answer. You can see some of that at the end of my notes on the attention chapter for example –

      There are two or three additional pieces of information I’d found through the OU library – one of which I’d have looked to reference in my exam answer, depending on the question asked.

      Hope that helps,


  33. Phil

    Thanks Tim, that helps a lot – could I also ask if you remember how many chapters you studied for the exam – did you use a strategy where you could ‘ditch’ some? – with ours looming its a hot topic of debate, with the course director advising us to revise ALL chapters. PS On your advice I went to the revision week-end at Warwick – so glad I did, it was invaluable. Many thanks for your help (and your notes!)


    • tim

      Hi Phil,

      When I took the exam it was fairly safe not to revise chapters that TMA questions had been on and it was also certain that all of the chapters in the methods book would come up (from which you had to select one question – I did connectionism, which is no longer covered on the course).

      All of that changed the year after I did the course and yes, as far as I’m aware, it’s risky to leave out any chapter from revision these days.

      However, I suspect there must be a way of revising strategically still – but as I don’t know how the course is examined these days I’m really not in a position to speculate I’m afraid. Try the OUSA DD303 forum perhaps?


  34. Paul Walker

    Hi Tim,

    I am interested in the methods you applied to learning the DD303 material. Having done all level 2 modules I am doing DD303 next. I have never been happy about the way I am learning and struggle and spend considerable amount of time doing TMA’s. My primary interest is therefore your methods of note taking, sumamary, memorisation and examination preparation. Any information on this would be most appreciated.


  35. tim

    Hi Phil,

    Note taking – I make them as I go along (my big mistake on DSE212 was not to start making proper notes much before I started to revise). I read either the whole chapter and supporting texts (or more often than not, a chunk of a chapter at a time) highlighting key parts on the text. Then I write my notes. I’ve always used the three column approach that you see here, with different colours to try to break the chapter down into logical chunks.

    Memorising – simple really – I keep re-working the notes using pictures, mind-maps (although I’m not good with those) and writing sample essays – all by hand – in the run up to the exam. Cognitive psychology shows that active work with material (rather than just reading it) helps memory retention and recall!

    Exam prep – one thing that I wish someone had pointed out to me was that if the TMAs are worth about half of the overall marks for the course (and yes, I know that’s not quite accurate), then if you spend 15 hours per TMA and there are 6 TMAs, then you should expect to spend around 6×15 hours on revision. This means starting as early as possible by making sure that you can ‘get rid’ of the last TMA early. Also, I’ve always revised strategically and I’ve been fortunate as my guesses have (largely) paid off. Knowing a reasonable number of topics really well rather than all of the topics to a moderate degree seems to have worked quite well for me.

    Hope that helps and enjoy DD303!


  36. Paul Walker

    Thanks for the reply Tim. I have just completed ED209 and basically they changed the exam radically so that strategic planning like above, which is what I do and I suspect most students do just did not work. Out of 8 areas that I needed 2 out of only 1 came up. Nobody bothered to tell tutors, revison weekend people or the revision aiders like Cox, basically the information they gave was next to useless. A lot of complaints with most people saying basically did not even understand the questions. If this is way it is going though its going to be very challenging indeed as basically everything needs to be revised. There were even two questions that came up that related to options on TMA’s. Very interesting to see whats happends over next few months.

  37. Saima

    Hi Tim and all,

    I will be starting DD303 in a few months and was just wondering if anyone on here has the DD303 main book that I can borrow it for a couple of months and will return after just so I can get ahead on my reading until the OU sends my pack out.



  38. Brian

    Hi Tim,
    Thanks for this excellent resource. I used your ED209 notes this year in the run up to my exams. I was wondering if you have any thoughts about the following. I need to take DD303 OR DD307 this year. Would you suggest one before the other, or does it really matter which one you do first ? I the OU have come back to me stating that it does not really matter. I would like the opinion of someone who has completed these modules though. Is there a logical sequence between the two do you feel ?

    • tim

      Hi Brian,

      Glad you found my old ED209 notes of use.

      The OU are right – DD303 and DD307 are such different courses that it really shouldn’t matter which order you take them in. Neither builds on the other – and in DD307’s case, encourages you to critique the experimental approach to (social) psychology. However, I’m glad I took 303 first as I have a scientific/mathematical background, so for me it was definitely the easier course to do. When I started struggling with 307 the knowledge that I only needed a pass 3 on it to still achieve a 1st class honours was very comforting. However, if you’re more familiar with post-modernist thinking (or at least, comfortable with the idea) then you’ll probably find the opposite!

      All the best whichever you decide to do first – as they are both excellent modules in their own right.

    • tim

      Hi Nicky,

      No – afraid not. The only methods chapter I studied was the (now withdrawn?) one on connectionism.


  39. dungan41

    I’m appreciative of the work you’ve put into this area, and
    the great advice you’ve given. What have you gone on to do; are you
    still involved with OU matters, this aside? I hope to take DD307
    next Oct. – my first psy course, but I will run through the DSE212
    material in advance, with the help of your notes. Last course was
    AA308, phil of mind, which steered me a little in this in this
    direction. Any advice, comment would be welcome, Leslie,

    • tim

      Hi Leslie,

      If you’ve done philosophy and are comfortable with postmodernism and constructing arguments, you’ll probably really enjoy DD307! DSE212 is good background first though.

      I’m not sure you can ever really leave the OU, but I’m no longer studying with them as they have no social science or psychology masters offers at the moment. However, I’m due to be starting as a part time distance student at Leicester on their occupational psychology masters in October.

      All the best,


  40. dungan41

    Ta for fast response, Tim, Leicester sounds good; prelude
    to a Ph D? I take your point about not wanting to leave the OU. I’m
    retired from a life in electrical engineering and took a course to
    address my neglect of the humanities – have been through AA100,
    A207, A222, AA308, L140 and L193. I study with the OU for the focus
    this brings, though I begin to see that I might achieve this by
    following people such as you and Linda Corlett. However, you are
    all too rare, and possibly non-existent outside the psy area!

  41. dungan41

    Postmodernism? I’m not sure of the implications of this – though I expect that it’s mainly to do with a kind of relativism that translates into the ‘situate’ concept in SP. I’ve become interested in Heidegger through Dreyfus’s podcasts on iTunes U, and have got as far as buying the ‘Being and Time’ book, but I’ve a way to go to understand what Derrida and others may be about. The OU seem to offer nothing on the ‘Continental’ stuff.

    Discovered that DD307 doesn’t start until January, so may take A230 in Oct,, as literature is also an interest


  42. dungan41

    So, ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’, I’ ve peeked in Wendy Rogers’ book, ‘Social Psychology’, and got an idea of the postmodernism thing from a SP vp. Ignore these ramblings I’ve made as I try to fix on the scope of the subject. L

    • tim

      They’re very entertaining ramblings though! I’m sure you’ll enjoy DD307 … its approach to psychology provokes great debates!


  43. Richie

    Hello Tim,

    Ive been reading your blog here since I started researching DD303, Im taking it now and the course will start in a few months. Your approach are excellent. I feel stressed already! I was thinking about revising NOW till the course starts in about 2 months – basically to learn every chapter from the old version of the book, but I wanted to do it in a way which is optimized and the most effective rather than waste time on unnecessary things, do the things people would do right at the end near exam time – do it now! work smarter now as I will need that time since I am doing an Innovation module as well …. what do you think of this idea and how can it be accomplished??

    Basically I wanted your advice on what would be the absolute best possible use of this time, if DD303 is my number 1 priority for next year and education in whole and I want to excel at it, what could I do now to give me and edge and not be panicking, i’m hoping you can help me out and here and I cannot state enough how much help this would be to me and I’d really appreciate it.

    thank you,

    • tim

      Hi Richie,

      You might find it more productive to get a copy of last year’s books for the course (you can often find them on ebay and advertised for sale in various OU facebook forums too) rather than use these notes for that purpose. I do know that the course has been revised since I took it in 2010, but I’ve no real idea what’s been taken out, added or changed – except that I do know that the stuff about connectionism and rules based systems (ACT-R) has gone.


  44. Richie


    Thanks for your reply. Im planning on getting the new book but the content seems 90% the same as I’ve seen inside the new one, perhaps a few new studies are included thats it. Ive got a copy of the old one, so how about learning the fundamentals of each from book, and other resources before creating my own set of notes, basically cover the content of all the major sections …??

    However there is the thing of TMA’s…what are they exactly and what do they assess?? and how can I prepare for them?/

    Please help, I really need this kind of insight as I hardly know anyone! studying this


  45. Paul Skilander


    If you want, email me and I will send you my revision analysis and notes for the October 2013
    examination. I can tell you what the TMA questions are but they may be different. The biggest issue with the course I found was the low marks given for certain TMA’s which seemed to be a universal complaint. I spent some 40-50 hours per TMA with extensive reading about 10 papers maybe using 2-3 for the TMA. The tutor I had gave no recognition or additional credit for any of this. Interestingly I met a student on the residential course who got extremely high marks. She said that her tutor said that the structure of the TMA answer was the most important factor in getting high marks. Additionally she did no additional reading at all. Getting 96% for TMA01 and 94% for TMA02 can’t see any scope for additional credit for additional reading. My opinion is I would concentrate on the book and core reading articles but no more. The exam was ok if you just went with the analysis of previous questions. Interestingly a lot of students I spoke to pre-exam ignored advice given to ignore the thinking chapters from the tutor and did not appear to have done any basic analysis of previous questions. They made life very hard for themselves. Email me at dd303 at

    • paul

      Hi Paul. Really appreciate this. Is it possible to get your email address again as my message bounced back. Thanks.

  46. Azizun

    Hi! you have great notes here, thank you for sharing 🙂
    ive just started dd303 with the open uni. im currently studying towards a BSC Honours degree in Psychology. are these notes still relevant?

    Azizun 🙂

    • tim

      Hi Azizun,

      DD303 was changed after I took it in 2010, so not all of the notes will be relevant to you. Some will be – I’m not sure which are though.

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