Web technologies

The World Wide Web continues to provide a foundation for the development of a broad range of increasingly influential and strategic technologies, supporting a large variety of applications and services, both in the private and public sectors. There is a growing need for management and decision makers to gain a clearer understanding of the application development process, from planning through to deployment and maintenance. This module will give you an insight into architectures, protocols, standards, languages, tools and techniques; an understanding of approaches to more dynamic and mobile content; and demonstrate how you can analyse requirements, plan, design, implement and test a range of web applications.

Course facts
About this course:
Course code TT284
Credits 30
OU Level 2
SCQF level 9
FHEQ level 5
Course work includes:
3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

What you will study

Over the last few years the internet and the World Wide Web have provided the basis for the development of a range of strategic business solutions.

As web technologies have entered the mainstream of IT development, a wide range of applications in sectors such as marketing, selling, purchasing, banking and publishing have been deployed, positioning the Web in the relationship between providers and users.

This module starts with a focus on the foundations of web applications, including protocols, standards and content handling. It builds on these by exploring application architectures, components and alternative application designs before considering how applications and content can be made more dynamic and mobile.

The module is made up of four blocks and a project.

Block 1 Foundations of web technology

The first block covers the basic technologies on which the Web is founded. Aspects covered include: historic development of the Web; 'architecture' and basic client server architecture; protocols such as HTTP; content markup (HTML, CSS, XML) and issues of accessibility and usability; standards and standardisation organisations (W3C, Internet working group); and security (firewalls, HTTPS, certificates).

This block of the module covers all of the basic foundations on which the remainder of the module builds.

Block 2 Web architectures

After examining the different approaches to web application architecture, Block 2 focuses on how the components of the client-server architecture can deliver dynamic content to web pages.

This block covers web application architectures, including cloud technology; server and client side components (web browsers, databases) and programming languages (JavaScript, PHP and SQL).

While this block considers a range of programming languages and their roles in developing applications, it does not teach programming and you are expected to have already acquired these skills.

This block includes both JavaScript and PHP programming activities. All the code required to produce a simple web application is provided and explained, but you should be prepared to utilise and adapt the examples in simple ways.

Block 3 Mobile content

Block 3 examines the trend toward more portable content and content customisation and also explores mobile content and applications. It considers aspects such as Web 2, content manipulation and approaches to delivering content to mobile devices. You will also undertake the development of a simple mobile application.

Block 4 Developing applications

The final block explores how applications are planned, designed and developed by IT professionals, examining project planning, application design, development environments and tools as well as application deployment and maintenance.


At the end of the module, you will carry out a substantial project applying the skills and techniques from each block.

Vocational relevance

The module helps develop important skills which are particularly relevant to the workplace, such as written communication skills, information literacy, independent learning and critical analysis.

In an IT context the module will provide practitioners with relevant experience, skills and insight into a range of important aspects, such as the source and appropriate use of standards, appreciation of the application life cycle from design to decommissioning, and the range of current approaches to web application design and implementation.


There are no formal entry requirements to study this module.

However, as this is an OU level 2 module you'll need a good knowledge of the subject area obtained through any of the following:

  • OU level 1 study
  • equivalent work at another university
  • experience as an IT professional

You must be familiar with basic programming concepts (conditionals, loops, functions, arrays, etc.) and writing small programs in a language such as Java, Python, PHP or JavaScript.

Are you ready to start TT284? is an interactive quiz to help you decide whether you already have the recommended background knowledge or experience to start the module.

If you are not sure you're ready, talk to an adviser.

Preparatory work

The programming skills developed in Introduction to computing and information technology 1 (TM111) and Introduction to computing and information technology 2 (TM112), or Object-oriented Java programming (M250), would be ideal preparation, especially if you're not familiar with basic programming.

TT284 covers a range of web technologies at a depth appropriate for an OU level 2 module. We'll expect you to engage with the whole networked learning environment: online module materials, tutorials, module forums and practical activities on the server.

You must be prepared to spend significant amounts of time online each week. The stop–start nature of the work could make it difficult for you to measure how much time you're actually devoting to the module. Also, students work at different rates, and some students need longer than others to get up to speed.

Attitude is extremely important – you'll inevitably discover some dead ends and these can be demoralising unless you cope with them constructively. Have an open mind: if one approach isn't working, try another; if you think you're on the wrong track, contact your tutor or post to the forums.

If you're returning to study, you might find it helpful to look at our Skills for OU Study website and to read The Good Study Guide by Northedge, (The Open University, 2005).

Study materials

What's included

This module is presented fully online within The Open University's virtual learning environment (VLE), which gives access to the study materials in electronic format, online forums and other online resources. There are no printed texts: all the study materials will be available online from the website.

You may wish to use a headset, with a microphone and earphones, to talk to your tutor and other students online during some of the module activities.

You will need

If you have an Apple Mac or Linux computer – please note that for Block 4 and the end-of-module assessment (EMA) of this module you can only use it by running Windows on it using Boot Camp or a similar dual-boot system.

Computing requirements

A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

A desktop or laptop computer with either:

  • Windows 7 or higher
  • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. We may also be able to offer group tutorials or day schools that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where your tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the module.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your TMAs.

The end-of-module assessment (EMA) is an individual project.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone. The Accessibility Statement below outlines what studying this module involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Mode of study

All of this module's study materials are online. Online materials are composed of pages of text with images, animation, portions of code, and short videos all with transcripts/subtitles. Online materials also include links to external resources, online forums and online tutorial rooms. The majority of the module resources have been designed to be as accessible as possible: they can be navigated using a keyboard rather than a mouse, the text they contain is accessible by screen readers, and alternative long descriptions are provided where appropriate. Due to the changing graphical display of some of the activities, some students benefit from the support of a sighted helper.

Tuition strategy

This module provides online tutorials. Although not compulsory, attendance at tutorials will help you consolidate your learning.

Working with others

For some of the activities you may be asked to come up with your own answer to a particular question and then share your answer with other students in the module forums. This will help you to look at a topic from different perspectives and gain a broader understanding of the subject.

Practical work

Computer practical work forms a required component of assessment. You will be asked to carry out practical activities using specialised software. Given the nature of the activities, some students may need a sighted helper.

Mathematical and scientific expressions and notations

Mathematical and scientific symbols and expressions are used in some parts of the module. You will not be required to use such notation within assessments.

Diagrams and other visual content

The study materials contain a number of diagrams and graphs and a considerable number of code portions. Reading and interpreting the diagrams, and interpreting and producing code are an important part of the study of this module, and are assessed.. Figure descriptions are provided for all figures. If you have any concerns about this aspect of the module, please contact us for further advice.

Finding information

You will be required to search for, and make use of, third-party material online and this is assessed. Alternatives for required/assessed research material can be provided to enable you to meet the Learning Outcomes of the module.


This module has Tutor-Marked Assignments (TMAs), which must be submitted online via the OU electronic TMA system, interactive Computer-Marked Assignments (iCMAs) completed online, and an End-of-Module Assessment (EMA) submitted online.


You will receive feedback from your tutor on your submitted Tutor-Marked Assignments (TMAs). This will help you to reflect on your TMA performance. You should refer to it to help you prepare for your next assignment.


All University modules are structured according to a set timetable and you will need time-management skills to keep your studies on track. You will be supported in developing these skills. If you are concerned about the time management required at undergraduate level, please contact us before you register on the module to find out what we can do to support you.

Specialist software

To do your practical work you will need a simple editor that you will use to develop your code, and a suitable web browser. The module has been developed using the 'Brackets' editor, Google Chrome and Mozilla FireFox browsers, but other modern text editors and browsers can be used.

Future availability

Web technologies (TT284) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2019. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2020.

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2020.