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Exploring practice

Qualification dates
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Do you regularly find yourself asking questions of your work setting? Have you ever reflected on how effective aspects of your practice provision are? Exploring practice enables you to examine in detail a project theme pertinent to your practice. This unique opportunity promotes development of personal and professional learning in evidence-based practice and culminates in detailed action planning, exploring implications for change and improvements in practice. This online module is readily accessible to busy practitioners through its learning and teaching strategies which seek to facilitate and support your exploration of practice.

What you will study

This module is about developing your ability to negotiate, plan and undertake a work-based project, and is designed to build on experience and develop practice. It will develop your confidence and competence as a practitioner, enabling you to assess evidence and draw appropriately on findings. You will learn how to handle uncertainty and change and throughout the module you will relate learning to practice. To complete the module successfully you need recent relevant work experience.

This module provides you with the skills needed to work independently and to interrogate critically the evidence of your practice in terms of knowledge and change creation. It provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate your learning within the workplace through an independent learning journey culminating in a written project of 7000 words.

On this module you'll develop the ability to:

  • learn in new and unfamiliar situations from differing sources and experiences
  • manage complexity and critically analyse, synthesise and evaluate new information in the context of its use
  • use information literacy, ICT tools and numeracy skills as appropriate to find, valuate, process, present and communicate information
  • frame and address issues appropriate to your work, being aware of their context and environment
  • independently plan, monitor, evaluate and improve your own learning and performance.

​You'll also gain an appreciation of multiple perspectives and their effect on decision making.

The central learning resource for this online module is its website. You will use it to plan and conduct your studies via the interactive learning guide. This guide, coupled with the online calendar, will provide the ‘road maps’ for the progression of your project. You’ll be directed to online tools that are provided to support your project development, and collaboration with your peers will form an essential component of your learning journey.

Entry requirements

This module is open only to students already studying on the BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing (Q73) and BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing (Q74) qualifications.

This is an OU level 3 module. OU level 3 modules build on study skills and subject knowledge acquired from studies at OU levels 1 and 2 and challenge you with advanced topics at undergraduate level. They are equivalent to the final year of an honours degree. These modules are also suitable if you already have a degree and want to update your knowledge.

Some study at OU level 2 would put you in a strong position to enjoy this module and rise to its challenges. Its academic content has a direct bearing on practice, so you should have relevant experience to draw on to complete the module activities and assessment. 

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

What's included

All the module teaching and library resources are available online through the website.

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 to help you with the study material and to assess your on-going progress by marking and commenting on your written work. You may ask your tutor for advice and guidance online or by phone as the module progresses. The contact with your tutor and other students will be through email, online discussion forums, and by telephone.

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 will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system. The TMAs are formative; your tutor will provide you with feedback relevant to the progression of your independent project. These assignments do not contribute towards your final assessment score but they are compulsory as they provide valuable feedback on your progress toward the EMA. The end-of-module assessment (EMA) is a 7000-word project report, which is submitted online through the eTMA system.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying KYN316 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

Exploring practice starts once a year in October. This page describes the module that starts in October 2019. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2021.

Course work includes:

4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school