Project for Master of Environmental Science

This project module is the final part of our Master of Environmental Science (M05) and is entirely online. You’ll carry out an in-depth investigation into an environmental science topic of your choice, consolidating your knowledge, skills and interests from earlier modules. Basing your study on primary data and current research findings, you’ll have the choice of obtaining your data through your investigative work or from other sources (e.g. an external online database). Throughout, you’ll have the support and guidance of a supervisor by both email and telephone.

Vocational relevance

This module is good preparation for further research or career advancement in environmental science. It will develop skills and knowledge relevant to employment within the environmental science industry, informing and strengthening professional practice.


S840 is a compulsory module in our:


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

What you will study

The study materials provide guidance on:

  • planning your project
  • help with searching the literature
  • analysing data
  • writing your dissertation.

Your first two assessments will involve developing (with the help of your tutor) a proposal for a project on your chosen topic. Two further assessments will help you keep your project on track as you collect, analyse and start to write up. Feedback from your tutor will help you develop your project.

You’ll need to check the module website and online forums frequently. The module also includes group discussions on forums and in online tutorials.

You will learn

This module is an opportunity to choose and become an expert in an area of environmental science that interests you while developing existing skills from earlier modules as you conduct your research.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You’ll have a supervisor who will provide individual support and guidance for your project and mark and comment on your written work. Your supervisor will offer support through email and telephone. And you’ll use electronic communication extensively.


The assessment details can be found in the facts box.

Course work includes

4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment

Future availability

Project for Master of Environmental Science (S840) starts once a year – in November.

This page describes the module that will start in November 2024.

We expect it to start for the last time in November 2031.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

Entry requirements

You must have completed the following modules before starting this module:

You must be studying towards the Master of Environmental Science (M05). You can’t study this module on its own or as part of any other qualification.

All teaching is in English, and your proficiency in the English language should be adequate for study at postgraduate level. If English isn’t your first language, we strongly recommend that you’ve achieved an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 7.0.

If you’re not sure you’re ready, talk to an advisor.

Preparatory work

You may find reading the following books helpful before and during your studies:

  • Biggam, J. Succeeding with your Master’s dissertation: a step-by-step handbook, Open University Press (3rd edn), ISBN 978-0335264483
  • Nygaard, L.P. Writing your Master’s thesis, SAGE publications, ISBN 978-1473903937.


Start End England fee Register
02 Nov 2024 Sep 2025 £3495.00

Registration closes 03/10/24 (places subject to availability)

This module is expected to start for the last time in November 2031.

Future availability

Project for Master of Environmental Science (S840) starts once a year – in November.

This page describes the module that will start in November 2024.

We expect it to start for the last time in November 2031.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

Ways to pay for this module

We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

Study materials

What's included

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

  • a monthly study planner
  • assignment details and submission section
  • online tutorial access
  • an assessment guide
  • a study guide
  • web-based text resources
  • web-based software
  • online tutorial access
  • online forums
  • the Library website that includes access to scientific journals, ebooks and databases.

You will need

You’ll have the choice of generating your own data (e.g. through fieldwork) or using external primary data. If you carry out your own data collection, you’ll need to provide any required equipment, ensuring that it’s safe and fit-for-purpose.

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.

If you have a disability

To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our disability support pages.

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