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Engineering: professions, practice and skills 1

Qualification dates
Start End

In this module, you’ll take the first steps in your personal development planning. As part of the skills development, you’ll participate in practical engineering activities delivered via home experiment kits and a one-day online project school. You’ll work both on your own and in a small team, under the guidance of experienced tutors, exploring real-world engineering phenomena and solving problems. You’ll also gain practical skills in taking measurements, analysing data, seeking and evaluating information, modelling, and making presentations. This module also explores the professional practice of engineers, including ethics and safety.

What you will study

In this module, you’ll have the opportunity to develop the skills to support you in attaining your chosen qualification in engineering. By focusing on a real-life engineering sector, you’ll explore the professional practice of engineers including their ethics and approaches to safety.

You’ll also gain invaluable practical skills: measuring; data analysis; research and information evaluation; modelling; presenting; designing; and decision making. Working both on your own and in a small online team, you’ll develop these skills through home experiments and a one-day online project school. You’ll define your learning needs and plan ways of meeting them with the support of experienced tutors.

To pass the module, you must take part satisfactorily in the practical engineering component. You’ll have a selection of dates in June and July to choose from for attending the online project school. If you have any concerns about the practical engineering aspects of this module, contact your Student Support Team to discuss your options.

You will learn

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a topic in engineering by consideration of the underlying principles, concepts and motivations
  • by use of appropriate technical vocabulary, outline the acquired knowledge in the broader context of engineering practice
  • interpret instructions accurately in order to collect and evaluate, from an engineering standpoint, scientific information from published sources and from your own investigations
  • manage your learning and professional development by analysing your own approach to learning, assessing your current abilities in certain key skills areas and the factors that are likely to help or hinder your own further learning and development, and drawing up and maintaining a development plan linked to a strategy for achieving your goals
  • present the procedures and outcomes of your guided investigations in the form of structured reports of investigative work and critical analyses of arguments taken from published sources and/or team working
  • use examples from your own experience, previous study and practical work to outline the role and responsibilities of a professional engineer in respect of legal and other statutory frameworks, particularly in the area of health, safety and risk, and ethical issues affecting engineering practice.

Entry requirements

You should complete Engineering: origins, methods, context (T192) before studying this module.

Typically, you’ll also have passed or be studying Engineering: frameworks, analysis, production (T193).

What's included

You’ll have access to a module website, which includes:

  • a week-by-week study planner
  • course-specific module materials
  • notes to accompany the practical engineering activities
  • audio and video content
  • assessment details and submission section
  • online tutorial access.

You’ll also be provided with a home experiment pack.

Computing requirements

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 Ventura 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.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Throughout your module studies, you’ll get help and support from your assigned module tutor. They’ll help you by:

  • Marking your assignments (TMAs) and providing detailed feedback for you to improve.
  • Guiding you to additional learning resources.
  • Providing individual guidance, whether that’s for general study skills or specific module content.
  • Facilitating online discussions between your fellow students, in the dedicated module and tutor group forums.

Module tutors also run online tutorials throughout the module. Where possible, recordings of online tutorials will be made available to students. While these tutorials won’t be compulsory for you to complete the module, you’re strongly encouraged to take part.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying T176 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

Engineering: professions, practice and skills 1 (T176) starts once a year – in January/February.

This page describes the module that will start in February 2025.

We expect it to start for the last time in February 2026.

Course work includes:

2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
1 Interactive computer-marked assignment (iCMA)
End-of-module assessment