The MSc professional project

This will be the capstone module of your chosen MSc. This is your opportunity to research a topic of your choice in what is likely to be a professional employment-related setting. Acting as an informed investigator you will design, conduct, analyse and report on your chosen research project, applying relevant conceptual, theoretical and methodological material at all stages of your work. You will be expected to carry out your research in a rigorous fashion and to an appropriate academic standard. Spanning only six months, this online module provides a challenging but valuable opportunity to engage in – and learn from – a research scenario of your choosing.


T847 is an optional module in our:

This module can also count towards F56, which is no longer available to new students.

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

The module consists of three blocks.

Block 1 takes you through the process of ideas generation for your research, and then explains how you evaluate the feasibility, and define the aims and objectives for your project.

Block 2 explores some of the significant features of process of designing and conducting research and introduces you to methods for data collection and analysis.

Block 3 is concerned with data analysis and how you organise and present your work.

An integral feature of all three blocks is wiki-based activities and real time online tutorials. These act as preliminary activities for the assignments that follow, thus allowing you to test out your ideas and plans before these become a set feature of your research (i.e. through presentation in your assignment). In fact, the relatively short timescale that’s available to design and deliver your project means that your active participation in opportunities for interaction with fellow students and with your tutor is essential.

You will learn

Your project will develop in three phases: developing your research; designing and doing your fieldwork; and analysing your data and presenting your findings. Undertaking the project will enable you to:

  • investigate a subject (idea, issues, problem, etc.) of professional relevance to you and which may also be of relevance to an organisation, such as your employer/sponsor
  • develop your knowledge of recent research in your chosen subject and of relevant conceptual and theoretical material
  • become competent in selecting and working with research methods appropriate to your project
  • develop the capacity to plan, organise and carry out an intensive independent study at postgraduate level
  • develop skills in the written communication of research work at postgraduate level.

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.


The assessment details can be found in the facts box.

Each tutor-marked assignment (TMA) covers one phase of the overall research process for your chosen project: developing your project; designing and doing your research; and analysing and presenting your findings. The end-of-module assessment (EMA) brings these three TMAs together and involves writing the material that knits your project into a cohesive, coherent and consistent whole of an appropriate standard for a masters-level qualification.

Course work includes

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

Future availability

The MSc professional project (T847) starts once a year – in November.

This page describes the module that will start in November 2022.

We expect it to start for the last time in November 2022.


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 may study The MSc professional project (T847) only as part of one of the following qualifications:

    You must have completed Stage 1 (120 credits) before starting T847. However, we will allow you to register while you’re waiting for the result of your final Stage 1 30-credit module.

    Note: There are two routes to your MSc. If you prefer a more research-oriented MSc, you should consider taking the 12-month, 60-credit Research project (T802). (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.)

    Both project modules offer a rigorous approach to solving complex real world problems and enable you to gain essential skills for undertaking research in your own organisation or wider contexts. T847’s study is of reduced scope in comparison with T802, with the necessary constraints this implies, but does provide the flexibility to complete your qualification with a further 30-credit module. T802’s longer study allows more depth and develops your academic research skills further.

    You need to consider whether the expectations you have for what you can gain from this module are reasonable or whether it would be more appropriate for you to take the longer research module, T802. For example, the time constraints and assessment requirements of T847 mean that it is not possible to undertake a lengthy period of field research and highly unlikely that you will not have the time to delve deeply into the design and application of research methods, or produce a fully developed, publication ready, research report.

    If you are studying towards more than one masters degree, you will need to complete a separate project for each qualification.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of this module, please speak to an adviser.

    Preparatory work

    It is highly recommended that you spend time before the module start date thinking through ideas for your research and – very importantly – investigating the practicalities of pursuing a particular line of investigation and enquiry. As this module is only six months in duration there is very little leeway for changes of topic or for correcting errors in research design once the module has started.


    Start End England fee Register
    01 Nov 2022 Apr 2023 £1505.00

    Registration closes 30/09/22 (places subject to availability)

    November 2022 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

    Future availability

    The MSc professional project (T847) starts once a year – in November.

    This page describes the module that will start in November 2022.

    We expect it to start for the last time in November 2022.

    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

    Learning material is provided. This is entirely web-based although it’s possible for you to print out material should you wish to. Online databases for literature searching will be accessible via the OU Library website. Specific resources that the module team consider valuable aids as you work your way through the module (such as examples of research of relevance to your discipline) are also accessible via the module website. You will need to use online forums, wikis and podcasts.

    You will need

    As the module is entirely web-based there are no set books but you may find books on research methodology (i.e. approaches to, and specific methods and techniques for, data collection and analysis) of significant value. For your research block you will need to access academic books and journals relevant to your research topic. You may wish to obtain some material which is expensive to buy, so it is recommended that you explore at an early stage if you can borrow, or photocopy, material from a nearby local university or company library. 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 (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 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 are 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 that can be given to meet your needs.

    Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future.

    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.