The engineering project
This individual project module is an opportunity for you to apply the engineering science principles and mathematical methods you have gained during your OU studies. You’ll need to define, analyse and solve an engineering problem that you choose. For this independent work you will need to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of relevant engineering practice and project management. You’ll need to use relevant literature to support your work and present your project results in a formal technical report. Throughout the module, an experienced tutor will advise and guide you. You’re strongly advised to have completed the OU level 3 module relevant to your project theme. This is a challenging module which requires a high degree of self-direction and motivation.
What you will study
Before registering for this module, you must have studied one of the modules listed in the ‘Entry requirements’ section.
This individual project is the final part of your honours degree, contributing directly to your employability and your career development. It is an opportunity to define an engineering question of importance to you and to seek ways of solving it.
About 80 per cent of your study time will be spent on your project, and about 20 per cent on learning how to carry out a project.
Demonstrating that you know how projects develop and being able to explain how your project has evolved are two key skills that are central to the module and to its learning outcomes. The choice of project area is left up to you, but its subject matter should be covered by one of the OU level 3 modules that you have previously studied. It will be your responsibility to ensure the project has a satisfactory amount of engineering, but you will receive guidance from your tutor and the internal examiner.
An essential part of the project is the use of research and technical academic literature so you will need to be confident in your use of the online OU library. Your ability to evaluate sources of information and make use of your engineering knowledge will be assessed. You are expected to work closely with your tutor whose role will be to provide guidance and feedback on your proposal.
The assignments have been structured to guide you through the execution of the project. However, you will need to organise your own work and be able to define (and justify) your work schedule. As you are expected to use a self-reflective approach, you will be encouraged to keep a project log throughout the module and to use it for an assessed critical review of your work.
You will learn
The module provides you with opportunities to develop and demonstrate the following learning outcomes:
- competence in the use of the principles and conventions of project management and execution
- the ability to solve problems in developed technologies using well proven analytical techniques
- successful application of your engineering knowledge to deliver a project using established technologies and methods.
In addition, you will develop your skills of project execution, literature reviewing and evaluation, and technical report writing. As the project provides an opportunity to develop your employability in engineering, you will also continue your personal development planning.
This is an OU level 3 module. OU level 3 modules build on study skills and subject knowledge acquired from studies at OU levels 1 and 2. They are intended only for students who have recent experience of higher education in a related subject, preferably with the OU.
This module is not available for standalone study – it can only be studied as part of a qualification. We strongly recommend that you have already completed 60 credits at OU level 3 from the modules specified for your qualification.
To study this project module, normally you must have studied one of the OU level 3 modules listed below. (If you have studied an OU level 3 module that is now discontinued, please contact your Student Support Team to check whether it is suitable.)
While it’s possible, it is not advised to take an OU level 3 module in October and start the project the following February, as you need to be confident in the techniques from the relevant level 3 modules when you define your proposal.
When you register you will be asked to complete and submit an options form electronically to inform us of your project theme. It is important that you return your choice in early January before the module start date. This will allow us to allocate to you the most appropriate tutor in terms of subject expertise.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.
It would be beneficial to refresh your knowledge of the OU level 3 module relevant to your chosen project theme. You should renew your familiarity with the OU library so that you can start your literature search confidently. As this project module includes work on your personal development plan, you should also make sure your portfolio is up to date.
The study materials will be delivered online via the module website:
- study guide
- subject-specific advice
- study planner
- guidance on defining your project title and aims
- assessment material.
There will be support from the OU library as well as resources on literature reviewing and report writing. This will include two online sessions in the first few weeks of the module.
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 (10.15 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.