The computing and IT project
The computing and IT project (TM470) enables you to explore computing, information and communications technologies in substantial depth and it is the compulsory final module for our computing and IT qualifications. It offers you practical experience of independent learning and reflective practice. You’ll apply advanced principles and techniques to produce a solution to a problem which you have defined and write up your experience and findings in a substantial report. You’ll also be responsible for choosing your own topic, carrying out the project and writing it up, with the help of a supervisor to advise and guide you.
What you will study
You will gain skills and experience in formulating and completing an individual project of your choice in any area of computing and IT that you have studied at this level. Your tutor will advise and guide you, but you will be expected to produce your work independently, without close supervision. The emphasis is on you being a reflective practitioner, developing not only the technical aspects of your project but also justifying your approach and reviewing and thinking about what you have learnt. You’ll be expected to make use of the study materials and software associated with the OU level 3 modules you have previously studied.
The main elements of your project will be:
- choosing a project topic – the topic must be based on the OU level 3 modules you have studied and we will need to know which area you want to work in before the module starts in order to assign you a tutor
- getting information and finding out about developments in your topic area
- producing a detailed proposal and project plan – this will include choosing suitable methods, setting realistic goals and deciding what resources you will need
- carrying out the project itself – it could take many forms – a software system, a critical analysis and report, or an investigation and set of recommendations are just a few examples
- writing up and evaluating the project – this will include a reflective evaluation of your approach to the project and its completion.
There are guidance notes and resources but no teaching materials associated with the module. You will draw on a range of sources (technical papers, books, manufacturers’ literature, and the internet) to investigate your topic. Your report should demonstrate your ability to assess your own developments or other topics you have investigated, using appropriate methods to measure and compare them.
Throughout your project you will be set tasks through tutor-marked assignments (TMAs), which will help you to plan and progress the various phases of the project. You will also submit a final project report.
This is designed to be the final module of your qualification as you will make use of the study materials and software associated with the OU level 3 modules you have previously studied or are studying.
Normally, the minimum requirement to register for this project module is that you have commenced your study of one of the following OU level 3 computing and IT modules:
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.
You will need to inform us of your chosen project area by completing and returning a form available from the website. We will provide details of how to access the website and download the form after you register for the module.
You also need to think about a topic for your project. You can view some previous project titles on the website. There will be an online forum where you can discuss your choice of topic with an experienced tutor. It will also help if you refresh your knowledge of the OU level 3 modules on which you are going to base your project.
You’ll have access to a module website, which includes:
- a week-by-week study planner
- course-specific module materials
- assessment details and submission section
- access to student and tutor group forums.
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.