Postgraduate Diploma in Space Science and Technology - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

This qualification aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills that are required by employers in the space sector. The qualification provides students with a wide-ranging overview of scientific measurement in the space environment including the technical design of space instrumentation and spacecraft systems. Students analyse their own learning needs at Stage 1, so as to make appropriate choices for the skills development options at Stage 2.

Learning outcomes

The qualification provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this postgraduate diploma, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • the space environment within the Solar System
  • the design and operation of space-based instrumentation
  • the aspects of space mission design and operation relevant to scientific applications
  • scientific debates within planetary and space sciences, based on current research findings

Cognitive skills

On completion of this postgraduate diploma, you will be able to:

  • critically evaluate methodologies of scientific measurement in the space environment
  • select and apply appropriate mathematical methods for modelling and analysing science and engineering data obtained in the space environment
  • analyse and address complex technical situations through the application of appropriate scientific, engineering or computing techniques

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this postgraduate diploma, you will be able to:

  • plan and carry out a scientific investigation using data from space-based instrumentation
  • demonstrate a professional approach to practice (proficiency in skills relevant to employment or research in the space sector, e.g. team-working, showing evidence of use of initiative and personal responsibility)

Key skills

On completion of this postgraduate diploma, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

  • manipulate and present data in a variety of ways
  • demonstrate proficiency in using a programming language in a space science related context 
  • communicate information and conclusions effectively, to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • use information and communication technology (ICT) to locate information and to communicate effectively with others
  • reflect on your own learning and plan your developmental needs


Teaching, learning and assessment methods

The teaching in this qualification is online. The material provided is mostly resource-based, with online study guides, and you are therefore encouraged to plan your own learning programme. Teaching materials use a variety of learning approaches, which may include self-assessment questions, working with audio and visual learning materials, reference electronic texts, directed reading, electronic journals, computer conferencing, and web-based resources including remotely operated experiments. You will mainly work independently with the teaching materials, but some online group work will be required. Tutors will support learning individually and within groups.

Understanding of principles and concepts is assessed through tutor-marked assignments (TMAs), and end-of-module assessments (EMAs) or an examination. You’ll submit TMAs and receive feedback through the online TMA service. You’ll submit an EMA (or sit an examination where required) for each of the modules in the qualification. You receive feedback on all assessed work, with particular emphasis being given to the development of skills through the period of each module. Cognitive, key and practical/professional skills are developed throughout the programme in parallel with knowledge and understanding within this qualification.

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