Welcome from the Dean of Science,
Professor Hazel Rymer
I would like to welcome you to the Faculty of Science at the Open University. The Faculty is committed to international excellence in the research, teaching and dissemination of science.
Our strategic priorities therefore include:
(i) provision of world class distance education in science, developing skills for employability to a diverse range of learners, via appropriate and innovative technologies presenting coherent curriculum, informed by high quality research and scholarship, on a global basis. Our curriculum is available to all, globally online;
(ii) international, focussed research excellence consistent with the OU mission, responsive to the needs of a changing world.
The Faculty has developed an extensive range of modules using the Open University's supported open learning teaching model. These modules contribute to a number of qualifications such as the BSc (Hons) Natural Sciences, the BSc (Hons) Environmental Sciences and the BSc (Hons) Health Sciences and the more general BSc (Open) degree. In addition, there are a number of diplomas and certificates and interdisciplinary qualifications available. Students can choose to study any of our modules and qualifications at their own pace and are supported by tutors, study advisers and on-line conferences. There are optional face to face tutorials for some modules, but most of our modules are accessible entirely online and it is possible to complete the whole Natural Sciences BSc degree in this way. Students can download the OUAnywhere app to get their study materials on their mobile device. This level of accessibility, the impressive breadth of our science curriculum, produced by our excellent staff mean that the Faculty has the largest number of science students of any UK university. In addition to our degree level programmes, the Faculty offers an innovative range of Science Short Courses and Taster courses that are designed to provide an introduction for those new to undergraduate study or not wanting to commit to a large module at this time.
The Faculty also offers a Master's postgraduate degree programme with several taught degrees including the first UK MSc to be accredited by the Council of Graduate Schools as a Professional Science Master's.
Science is a practical subject and we teach practical skills through on-line modules, and where appropriate field and lab based work. Details of how we teach practical science on-line are available at - S288 Practical Science.
The Faculty of Science undertakes a range of research across many scientific topics, bringing together traditional scientific disciplines and new interdisciplinary areas through two major research groupings:
• Environmental Change (Past, Present and Future)
• Natural Hazards
• Planetary Geosciences
• Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry
• Solar System Exploration
• Biomolecular Damage
• Cell Biology
• Disease and Diagnostics
Our research encompasses a wide range from 'blue skies' to applied research finding solutions to specific scientific and technological problems.
These research activities are supported by world class laboratory facilities and instrumentation and provide opportunities for full time PhD research studentships supported by our own academics and post doctoral research fellows.
There are about 31,000 students studying our undergraduate and postgraduate science modules, mainly based in the UK, but increasing numbers are studying online globally. There are also several hundred PhD research students studying full time in our laboratories at our campus in Milton Keynes or part time at partner institutions or affiliated research centres.
I hope you find the information on our website useful, whether it be for study, research, collaboration or advice.
Dean and Director of Studies (Science)