MSc project: researching in context

This module is the capstone of multiple masters qualifications, during which you’ll complete a small research project, arriving at results and reporting them appropriately to a relevant audience. While it will ground your journey in your experience and align with your enthusiasms, you’ll appreciate the breadth of research in diverse contexts (e.g. academic, professional or for public policy). It also provides a social and ethical context to enquiry.


T803 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

Block 1 emphasis includes an appreciation of hands-on issues in research and an introduction to the history and range of research techniques. You’ll learn from theory, case studies and examples at this stage.

By Block 2, the tuition will focus on targeted research design and delivery. A narrower, more goal-oriented focus is expected at this point. The learning here is all focused on improving your research project.

Block 3 is dedicated to finalising the report: the end-of-module assignment (EMA). Your EMA will usually represent the end of your MSc journey; we expect it will be something you can be proud of.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Throughout your module studies, you’ll get help and support from your assigned module tutor. They’ll help you by:

  • Marking your assignments (TMAs) and providing detailed feedback for you to improve.
  • Guiding you to additional learning resources.
  • Providing individual guidance, whether that’s for general study skills or specific module content.
  • Facilitating online discussions between your fellow students, in the dedicated module and tutor group forums.

Module tutors also run online tutorials throughout the module. Where possible, recordings of online tutorials will be made available to students.

Course work includes

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

Future availability

MSc project: researching in context (T803) 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 2030.


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

T803 is the final module of multiple STEM masters degrees. You must have completed the first 120 credits (Stage 1) of your MSc to study T803; however, you may register on T803 while awaiting your final Stage 1 module result.

Preparatory work

Our open course, Succeeding in postgraduate study, introduces the nature of masters-level study. It offers essential preparation for pursuing your learning at this level – and it’s free.


Start End England fee Register
01 Nov 2024 Apr 2025 £1660.00

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

This module is expected to start for the last time in November 2030.

Future availability

MSc project: researching in context (T803) 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 2030.

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

The study material is wholly online. Online databases for literature searching are accessible via the OU Library website. Further resources (such as examples of research of relevance to your discipline) are also available via the module website. In addition, you’ll use online forums and have access to special video materials during your study.

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

The core study material is on the module website, so you must spend considerable time online using a computer. In addition, some material might not be fully accessible using a screen reader (mathematical and scientific materials could be particularly difficult to read).

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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