You are viewing information for England.  Change country.
Rosetta space mission

MSc in Space Science and Technology

This postgraduate qualification is designed for those with an academic or professional interest in space science and the technology that underpins this discipline. It equips students with the skills to carry out scientific investigations using space-based instrumentation, both individually and as a team. Students learn how to use a programming language in support of space science applications and develop other skills that are relevant to further research or employment in the space sector. The qualification also requires students to conduct an in-depth research project on a topic in space science or space technology.

Key features of the course

  • Develops skills in conducting science in the space environment through the use of robotic experiments
  • Explores current debates in space and planetary sciences using data from space missions
  • Develops technical and professional skills according to individual needs and interests
  • Culminates with an in-depth individual research project in space science or space technology.

Masters degree

Course 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.
How long it takes
3-7 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Course cost
Postgraduate loan available
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

Request your prospectus

Explore our subjects and courses.

Request your copy today

Course details


To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

60 credits from the compulsory module:

Compulsory module Credits Next start
Space science (S818)

This module provides an in-depth introduction to the methods of conducting scientific measurements in the space environment and the technologies needed for space missions.

See full description

60 26 Jan 2019

30 credits from List A:

List A: Optional modules Credits Next start
Managing technological innovation (T848)

This module explores the processes that underpin technological innovation an understanding of which is crucial whether you are a user or producer of technological innovation.

See full description

30 01 May 2019
Project management (M815)

In this online module you’ll explore the whole life cycle of projects, from initiation, through to planning, scheduling, execution, handover and review.

See full description

30 01 May 2019
Strategic capabilities for technological innovation (T849)

This module draws on a range of theoretical perspectives from both strategic and innovation management to produce a multi-layered, practical, approach to strategic management of technological innovation.

See full description

30 01 May 2019

30 credits from List B:

List B: Optional modules Credits Next start
Finite element analysis: basic principles and applications  (T804)

This module introduces some of the computational modelling and analysis techniques used in engineering the products, processes and systems that support our modern lifestyles.

See full description

30 01 Nov 2019
Manufacture materials design (T805)

Introducing materials processing from the perspective of a design engineer, this module explores how to make components, focusing on the interactions between manufacturing, materials and design.

See full description

30 01 May 2019
Software development (M813)

Gain the fundamental knowledge and understanding, and analysis and synthesis skills that you will need to develop software artefacts fit for a real-world organisational context.

See full description

30 01 May 2019
Software engineering (M814)

Explore the advanced concepts and techniques used throughout the software life cycle, for the effective production and management of large, complex, and long-lived software systems.

See full description

30 01 Nov 2019 FINAL

a 60-credit compulsory module:

Compulsory module Credits Next start
MSc project module for MSc in Space Science and Technology (SXS810)

Plan and carry out an independent research project on a topic of your choice in space science or space technology as the final stage of the MSc in Space Science and Technology.

See full description

60 02 Nov 2019

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 8th June 2018.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes.

Credit transfer

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Master of Science entitling you to use the letters MSc (SpST) (Open) after your name. The degree will be classified as pass, merit or distinction. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.


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

Entry requirements

Entry to this qualification will typically require a minimum of an honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in one of: physics, astronomy, geosciences, chemistry, engineering or mathematics. Space science (S818) should be studied as the first module in the qualification and the compulsory MSc project module for MSc in Space Science and Technology (SXS810), as the final module in the qualification. Any prior entry requirements (pre-requisites) on constituent optional modules will need to be met separately, where these may apply. For further advice, contact us

How long it takes

This qualification can be completed within three years, and up to a maximum of seven years of the start of the first module.

Career relevance

This qualification is directly relevant to scientific and technical careers in the space sector. It is particularly relevant to roles that are concerned with acquisition, handing and interpretation of data obtained by space-based instrumentation.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.