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MSc project module

In this project module, which is entirely online, you’ll carry out an in-depth investigation into a science topic of your choice. You must link it to one or more of the knowledge-based learning objectives of your previous core postgraduate science modules – excluding Developing research skills in science (S825). Your project can be literature based; involve laboratory or fieldwork; or include the design and use of a questionnaire. You’ll have the support and guidance of a supervisor, by both email and telephone.

Vocational relevance

This module provides an excellent foundation for further research in science. Through studying it, you’ll develop skills and knowledge relevant to employment, which will support a wide variety of career prospects. Given that your study on the linked multidisciplinary programme – MSc in Science – would be self-designed, the career relevance will depend on the modules you’ve studied and the topic selected for your S810 project. Therefore, it’s important to design a project that’s directly relevant to your individual requirements.


S810 is a compulsory module in our:

This module can also count towards F53, which is no longer available to new students.

You can’t study this module on its own or as part of any other qualifications.

Excluded combinations

Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with an adviser before registering.


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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What you will study

The study materials provide guidance on planning your project and help with searching literature, analysing data and writing your dissertation. Your first two assessments will involve developing a proposal for a project on your chosen topic. Two further assessments will help you to keep your project on track. You’ll need to check the module website and online forums frequently. This module also includes group discussions in online tutorials.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You’ll have a supervisor who’ll provide individual support and guidance for your project and will mark and comment on your written work. Your supervisor will offer support through email and telephone. You’ll use electronic communication extensively.


You can find the assessment details for this module in the facts box.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs). You must also use the eTMA system submit your dissertation (project thesis) – this is your end-of-module assessment.

Course work includes

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

Course satisfaction survey

See the satisfaction survey results for this course.

Future availability

MSc project module (S810) starts once a year – in November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2019. We expect it to start for the last time in November 2020.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Entry requirements

    You must have completed at least one of the following modules:

    • Concept to clinic (S827)
    • Earth science: a systems approach (S808)
    • Introduction to mental health science (S826)
    • Molecules in medicine (S807)
    • Space science (S818)
    • Discontinued: S802, S804, S809, S811, S819, SD805, SD815, SEH806 and SH804

    You should normally take this project module last.

    All teaching is in English and your proficiency in the English language should be adequate for study at postgraduate level. If English isn’t your first language, we strongly recommend that you’ve achieved an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 7.0.

    Preparatory work

    You may find reading the following books useful before and during your studies:

    • Biggam, J. Succeeding With Your Master’s Dissertation: A Step-By-Step Handbook, Open University Press (3rd edn), ISBN 978-0335264483
    • Divan, A. Communication Skills for the Biosciences: A Graduate Guide (2009), Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-922635-1.
    • Nygaard, L.P. Writing Your Master’s Thesis, SAGE publications, ISBN 978-1473903937


    Start End England fee Register
    02 Nov 2019 Oct 2020 £2450.00

    Registration closes 10/10/19 (places subject to availability)

    This module is expected to start for the last time in November 2020.

    Future availability

    MSc project module (S810) starts once a year – in November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2019. We expect it to start for the last time in November 2020.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    Ways to pay

    We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

    That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

    Study materials

    What's included

    All materials are online.

    The module website includes:

    • monthly planner
    • study guide
    • web-based text resources
    • web-based software
    • online forums

    The Library website includes access to scientific journals, ebook and databases.

    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.

    If you have a disability

    Your project must include a literature review. You’ll have to access literature resources electronically, and undertake substantive online searches of electronic databases and journals. You’ll also be able to participate in online forums and activities. Consequently, you’ll spend extensive time using a computer and the internet.

    The module uses real-time (synchronous) as well as asynchronous online discussions and an interactive whiteboard space. If you use assistive technology or have a hearing or speech impairment, and have concerns about accessing this type of virtual environment and materials, you can visit the system provider’s website for information and contact us to discuss your options.

    Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of module material are available, where possible. Some online components might not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Due to our use of external websites and third-party content, we can’t guarantee the accessibility of all components of the module. PDF versions of most journal articles are available through the OU library, as well as HTML full text. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader: mathematical and scientific notification could be particularly difficult to read in this way. If you use a screen reader to access material on screen, check that it’s compatible with the Open University Library’s electronic databases and resources before you start.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.