MSc project module for MSc in Mental Health Science

This project module is the capstone of our MSc in Mental Health Science (F78). You’ll plan and conduct an in-depth investigation into a mental health science topic of your choice. You must link your project to one or more core topics and knowledge-based learning objectives from either Introduction to mental health science (S826) or Core topics in mental health science (SD816). You’ll have the support and guidance of a tutor-supervisor throughout.

Vocational relevance

The module is good preparation for further research in mental health science. It will develop skills and knowledge relevant to employment within the health sector, life sciences, medical and related fields, which will inform and strengthen professional practice.


SXH890 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 guide your project planning and help with searching and evaluating the literature and writing your dissertation. As part of your first assignment, you’ll develop a proposal for a project on your chosen topic, guided by your tutor-supervisor.

Your project will typically be literature-based and must:

  • focus on a well-defined area (diagnosis, causes or interventions) directly related to anxiety, depression, psychosis or dementia
  • be primarily from biological/psychological perspectives
  • be approved by your tutor-supervisor.

Project proposals that are health and social care-based or have a primary focus other than biological/psychological (e.g. education) fall outside this scope. Two intermediate submissions will help you to keep your project on track. You should check the SXH890 website and online forums frequently. This module also includes group discussions, online tutorials, and an online peer review activity.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Your tutor-supervisor will help you by:

  • providing you with support and guidance for your project and approving your project proposal and plan
  • marking your assignments and providing feedback comments on your written proposal and project plan, identifying areas for you to improve
  • offering general study skills support or guiding you to specific module content and additional learning resources, where relevant
  • facilitating online discussions between your fellow students in the dedicated module and tutor group forums.

The module team and tutors will also run online tutorials throughout the module. Where possible, recordings of online tutorials will be made available. While these tutorials won’t be compulsory for completing the module, you’re strongly encouraged to participate.


You can find the assessment details for this module in the facts box.

Course work includes

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

Future availability

MSc project module for MSc in Mental Health Science (SXH890) 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 2029.


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 be studying the MSc in Mental Health Science (F78). Therefore, you can’t study this module independently or as part of any other qualification.

You must have completed both Introduction to mental health science (S826) and Core topics in mental health science (SD816).

Preparatory work

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

  • Biggam, J. (2021) Succeeding with your Master’s dissertation: a step-by-step handbook, Open University Press (5th edn), 320 pp. ISBN 978-0335249817
  • Dawson, M., Dawson, B. and Overfield, A. (2013) Communication skills for biosciences, Wiley Press, 185 pp. ISBN 978-0470863930
  • Divan, A. (2009) Communication skills for the biosciences: a graduate guide, Oxford University Press, 256 pp. ISBN 978-0199226351
  • Nygaard, L.P. (2017) Writing your Master’s thesis, SAGE publications, 224pp. ISBN 978-1473903937


Start End England fee Register
02 Nov 2024 Oct 2025 £3150.00

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

This module is expected to start for the last time in November 2029.

Future availability

MSc project module for MSc in Mental Health Science (SXH890) 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 2029.

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

All materials are online. The module website includes:

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

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

Your project must include a literature review. You’ll have to access literature resources electronically and undertake substantive online searches of electronic databases and journals. You’ll also be able to participate in online forums and activities. Consequently, you’ll spend extensive time using a computer and the internet.

The module uses real-time (synchronous) and asynchronous online discussions and interactive whiteboard space. If you use assistive technology or have a hearing or speech impairment and have concerns about accessing this type of virtual environment and materials, you can visit the system provider’s website for information and contact us to discuss your options.

Where possible, Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of module material are available. Some online components might not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Due to our use of external websites and third-party content, we can’t guarantee the accessibility of all module components. PDF versions of most journal articles are available through the OU library, as well as HTML full text. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader: mathematical and scientific notification could be particularly difficult to read in this way. If you use a screen reader to access material on screen, check that it’s compatible with the Open University Library’s electronic databases and resources before you start.

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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