Research project

In this final module, you’ll design a research proposal by identifying and developing a research problem relevant to your MSc. Your research will involve a literature review, original data collection, data analysis and the drawing of conclusions. You’ll then communicate the outcome of your research through a dissertation. The module is online and support is available to you at every stage from the online study materials, your supervisor and online forums.


T802 is an optional module in our:

Excluded combinations

Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with an adviser before registering.


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 module provides an opportunity to pursue research in a topic of your choice based within the broad area of your MSc study. Undertaking the research will enable you to:

  • investigate in depth an issue or problem of relevance to yourself and which may also be of relevance to an organisation such as an employer, institution or public body
  • develop your knowledge of recent research in your chosen topic
  • become competent in research methods appropriate to your research topic
  • develop the capacity to plan, organise and carry out an extended independent study at masters level
  • develop skills in the written communication of research work at masters level.

During your study of this module you will learn how to:

  • develop a research proposal
  • carry out a literature search and write a critical state-of-art review
  • select suitable research methods and integrate them within a research methodology
  • carry out research processes
  • analyse results to form conclusions
  • write-up your research in the form of reports (assignments) and a dissertation.

Your research topic will depend very much on your own knowledge and experience and on the modules you took in your diploma, and must be in an appropriate area relating to the subject of your MSc. Note for the MSc in Computing there are specific requirements for the research topic that you choose; guidance on this is available on the module website after you register.

A supervisor will be appointed to help you develop a formal proposal appropriate for MSc-level work and advise you throughout the research phase.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You’ll be assigned a supervisor with broad knowledge and skills relevant to the Research Project module. Your supervisor will advise you during the initial stage of developing a research proposal. You will submit an initial proposal three weeks after module start and then begin the process of refining this over the ensuing two months. You will be required to produce at least three iterations of the proposal prior to the deadline for final submission of proposals. This deadline is approximately three months after module start. Your supervisor will then continue to support you throughout the rest of your research.

You’ll also have access to our online forums. Communication with your supervisor will be mainly through email and telephone. Once your proposal is accepted, you’re encouraged to plan your communication with your supervisor to suit your research plan.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register


The assessment details can be found in the facts box.

Your research proposal has to be approved before you can continue to the research phase. In the research phase you will submit three assignments (TMAs) at intervals of approximately three months.

The submission date for the dissertation will be during the final month of the 12-month period of the module.

Course work includes

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

Future availability

Research project (T802) starts twice a year – in February and October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2024 and February 2025.

We expect it to start for the last time in February 2025.


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 first 120 credits of your MSc.

You may register while studying your penultimate module, but you must have completed it before T802 starts.

If your penultimate module ends in October, you should wait until February to start T802. If your penultimate module ends in March, April or June, you should wait until October to start T802. There is preparatory work to do before T802 starts and the first part of the module is intense, so overlapping modules would be very demanding.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, talk to an adviser.

Preparatory work

After you register and before the module starts:

  • you’ll submit (at least seven weeks before the module starts) a synopsis of your research topic1, so that we can allocate you an appropriate supervisor
  • you’ll have access to our Preparing for T802 website. It provides essential information, including advance copies of module materials; how to prepare and submit your synopsis; and submission deadlines (you’ll find a link to this website from your StudentHome page).

1You’ll need to decide whether to propose your own topic or select a topic from a list of topics suggested by OU academic staff. Note that the OU staff topics might not be available in every subject area.

It’s important you allow plenty of time to read the material on the Preparing for T802 website and for preparing your synopsis. This preparation will help you make a good start on this research project module and understand how it’s different from the taught modules you’ve already completed.

You might also need to talk to your employer or other organisations about accessing data/people you need for your proposed research.

The T802 Future Studies forum on the Preparing for T802 website is the place for any questions about this module in general or any questions about your research ideas.


Start End England fee Register
01 Oct 2024 Oct 2025 £3320.00

Registration closes 25/07/24 (places subject to availability)

01 Feb 2025 Apr 2026 £3320.00

Registration closes 28/11/24 (places subject to availability)

This module is expected to start for the last time in February 2025.

Future availability

Research project (T802) starts twice a year – in February and October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2024 and February 2025.

We expect it to start for the last time in February 2025.

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 the learning material provided is online. You’ll have access to a module website, which includes:

  • a study planner
  • course-specific module materials
  • assignment details
  • access to online forums.

You will need

There are no set books but you may need books relevant to the research methodology you use. Note that useful material can be obtained without cost from semi-permanent online sources.

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

You need to consider if there are any constraints in obtaining the type of information you need for your research. Otherwise, there are no further constraints beyond those encountered in obtaining your diploma.

The core teaching material for this module will be delivered online via the module website, so you will need to spend considerable amounts of time using a personal computer and the internet. If either your sight or manual dexterity is seriously impaired, you may find using the web challenging. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet and have concerns about accessing this type of material you are advised to contact us about support that can be given to meet your needs.

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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