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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.

Qualifications

T847 is an optional module in our:

Postgraduate Loans 

If you study this module as part of an eligible qualification, you may also be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan available from Student Finance England. For more information, see Fees and funding.

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

Module code
T847
Credits

Credits

  • 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.
30
Study level
Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
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

You will be assigned a tutor with broad knowledge and skills relevant to your research topic to advise you as you develop ideas for your research and carry out and write up your project. You will also have access to advice through our online forums and be able to iterate versions of your work (such as ideas for your research) through wikis and online tutorials. Communication with your tutor will be mainly through email, telephone and real time online tutorials.

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

Assessment

The assessment details can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

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

Course satisfaction survey

See the satisfaction survey results for this course.

Future availability

The MSc professional project (T847) starts once a year – in November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in November 2020.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Essential Documents website.

    Entry requirements

    You must already hold one of the following postgraduate diplomas before you take this module to complete your MSc:

    Note: in the case of the MSc in Advanced Networking, MSc in Computing, MSc in Environmental Decision Making, MSc in Environmental Management, MSc in Systems Thinking in Practice and the MSc in Technology Management 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.

    Register

    Start End England fee Register
    01 Nov 2018 Apr 2019 £1360.00

    Registration closes 30/09/18 (places subject to availability)

    Register
    This module is expected to start for the last time in November 2020.

    Future availability

    The MSc professional project (T847) starts once a year – in November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in November 2020.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    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

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module.  Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided from a hardware device e.g. DVD drive or USB stick or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a desktop or laptop computer with Windows 7 or higher.

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones. 

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students. 

    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. Find out more about our services for disabled students.