Science project course: radiation and matter
In Science project course: radiation and matter (SXP390), you’ll undertake individual investigations within defined topics, which could include radiation and matter, quantum entanglement, gravitational lensing, exoplanets, astrophysical and jets – there’s also a Physics Education Research (PER) topic. You’ll need access to scientific literature, probably from electronic library sources. The study materials guide planning and conducting project work, 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.
What you will study
A range of topics are possible, and your chosen topic will allow you to exploit the knowledge, understanding and skills developed in your OU level 3 physics and astronomy modules. Early in the module, the study materials, tutorials and discussions with your tutor will guide you to choose an appropriate topic to investigate in depth. Your project will need to consider contextualisation, development, application, detailed analysis and ‘what next’ for your chosen topic. You might have to spend up to two-thirds of your time identifying suitable material to inform your choice of project topic in the early part of the module.
SXP390 is an OU level 3 project module; therefore, you need a good knowledge of physical science obtained through OU level 1 to 3 study or another higher education institution. There are no formal entry requirements.
We recommend you have completed at least one from:
We strongly recommend that you check your background and experience are sufficient to tackle this module. We’ve found that appropriately prepared students have the best chance of completing their studies and get the most enjoyment from the module.
Are you ready for SXP390?
Talk to an advisor if you’re not sure you’re ready.
Note: If you’re studying towards a degree, SXP390 is intended as your final module. It runs from February to September, meaning you’ll receive your module result and degree classification in November. This late result may impact your study plans if you’re considering continuing on to postgraduate study.
We recommend you familiarise yourself with the Library search tool and referencing guide.
You’ll have access to a module website, which includes:
- a study planner
- course-specific module materials
- assignment details and submission section
- online tutorial access.
You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11), or macOS (11 'Big Sur' or higher).
Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.
To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).
Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.
Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.
It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.