We would like to dedicate this course to the memory of Brenda Smith, Psychology Staff Tutor and member of the course team, who died during the ﬁnal year of thecourse’s production. She had been a Psychology Staff Tutor since 1995, ﬁrst inScotland and then most recently in Ireland, but her close association with theOpen University stretches back much further than this. She was an OpenUniversity student herself and then later returned to teach and was a tutor whoenthused and supported very many students throughout their social sciencestudies. At her funeral one of these students spoke very movingly of her warmthand energy and of the fact that she had really ‘made a difference’ to their lives.She certainly also made a difference to our DSE212 course team, where her commitment to education for mature students was clear in everything that shesaid and did, and her immensely hard work inﬂuenced many of our plans for the teaching and learning strategy of the course and the content of the texts. Shecontributed enormously at both a professional and personal level, particularly to the early work of the course team, and we hope that her inﬂuence on the coursewill shine through, helping it in turn to ‘make a difference’ to the lives of all thestudents who will study it in the coming years.