Science project course: radiation and matter
This is the project module for the BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences. You’ll undertake individual investigations within defined topics in the general area of radiation and matter1: quantum entanglement, gravitational lensing, exoplanets and astrophysical jets. There is also a Physics Education Research topic. You’ll need access to scientific literature, probably from electronic library sources. The study materials provide a guide to planning and conducting project work; help with searching and using the literature; and writing a report, but ultimately this is a chance for you to plan and execute a piece of work for yourself.
1Previously, we advertised this module as including bioelectromagnetism as a possible topic. From February 2020, this will no be an option as this is no longer aligned with the research strategic plan of the School of Physical Sciences, and the availability of relevant staff expertise can no longer be guaranteed.
What you will study
This module is designed to enable you to build on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed in the OU level 3 physics and astronomy modules. Early in the module you will be guided by the study materials and by your tutor to choose an appropriate topic to investigate in depth. Unless you have access to an academic library, you may find that you have to spend up to two thirds of your time in the early part of the module online, identifying suitable material to inform your choice of project topic from the electronic journals available via The Open University Library. A range of topics are possible and your chosen topic will allow you to exploit the knowledge, understanding and skills you have developed in your OU level 3 physical sciences modules. Your project will need to consider contextualisation, development, application, detailed analysis and ’what next’ for your chosen topic.
This is an OU level 3 module. OU level 3 modules build on study skills and subject knowledge acquired from previous studies at OU levels 1 and 2. They are intended only for students who have recent experience of education in a related subject.
You should study this science project module as the final module of the BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences, as you will need to apply knowledge and skills from your prior studies. Normally you should have passed at least 60 credits of the OU level 3 requirements for your degree, before embarking on your project module.
It is essential that you establish whether or not your background and experience give you a sound basis on which to tackle the module, since students who are appropriately prepared have the best chance of completing their studies successfully. The Science Faculty has produced a booklet Are You Ready For Your Science Level 3 Project Course? to help you to decide whether you already have the recommended background knowledge or experience to start the module or whether you need a little extra preparation.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.
All the study materials will be provided to you online via the module website.
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.