MSc project: researching in context

This is the capstone module 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.

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What you will study

Block 1 emphasis includes an appreciation of hands-on issues in research. You’ll delay jumping into your research until Block 2 to allow for a more skills-focused emphasis on research techniques. You’ll read less but do more at that 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, with less critical reflection.

Block 3 is specifically dedicated to finalising the report – the end-of-module assignment (EMA) – with textual elements marked for the first and only time.

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. While these tutorials won’t be compulsory for you to complete the module, you’re strongly encouraged to take part. If you want to participate, you’ll likely need a headset with a microphone.

Course work includes

2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Future availability

MSc project: researching in context (T803) starts once a year – in November.

This page describes the module that will start in November 2023.

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 a masters-level project module completed as part of a postgraduate qualification.

    It takes a multi-disciplinary view of technology strategy, so you don’t need to have previously studied any of the topics.

    Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.

    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 2023 Apr 2024 £1580.00

    Registration opens on 10/04/23

    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 2023.

    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, wikis and podcasts 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 (11 'Big Sur' 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). If you use hardware or software to assist you and have concerns about accessing the material, contact us about support.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.