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MSc in Professional Science

The MSc in Professional Science is an innovative masters degree course designed to allow you to pursue advanced training in science, while simultaneously developing business and workplace skills highly valued by employers. This qualification enables you to explore scientific topics at postgraduate level and also have an interest in how science relates to the world of business. Most modules are taught, but there is also a compulsory project module where you will undertake a substantial piece of independent research which links science and professional skills. This degree is recognised by the international Professional Science Masters Programme.

Study Mode

Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available

Career relevance and employability

Completing this qualification will equip you with a set of key transferable skills which will be relevant for the workplace as well as providing you with a base of postgraduate level science knowledge and understanding. You will learn to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in your field of study as well as evaluating research methodologies. You will learn to deal with complex issues and make sound judgements and decisions in complex and unpredictable situations.

You will learn to communicate information and conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences including business audiences, demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level.

The nature of this qualification will develop your independent learning skills and enhance your ICT skills in locating information and communicating with others in both professional and academic contexts.

This degree is recognised by the international Professional Science Masters Programme.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU's Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.

Modules

For this 180-credit masters degree you require:

60 credits from the following optional modules

Postgraduate optional modules Credits Next start
Earth science: a systems approach (S808)

Introduces a systems approach to earth science and explores several important earth system interactions using a variety of methods and models.

See full description.

60 Jan
Imaging in medicine (S809)

Explore the diagnostic and therapeutic use of medical imaging - including X-ray; ultrasound; magnetic resonance and radionuclide - and consider the risks and social issues involved.

See full description.

60 Jan
Molecules in medicine (S807)

Examine the molecular basis of drug action in medicine, covering topics like infectious diseases (bacterial and viral), cancer, heart disease, inflammation and neuropharmacology.

See full description.

60 Jan
Radiotherapy and its physics (S819)

Explore the application of physics to the techniques of radiotherapy in medicine (focusing on cancer), and consider the effects of ionising radiation on biological tissues.

See full description.

60 Jan

or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module SD805

And a further 60 credits from the following optional modules

Postgraduate optional modules Credits Next start
Communicating science in the information age (SH804)

Consider how science is communicated between professionals and to members of the public - from academic journals to popular science books, TV and news reports.

See full description.

60 Jan
Contemporary issues in science learning (SEH806)

Investigate key issues in contemporary science teaching, including the influence of theories of learning; the purposes of science education; and using ICT to support learning.

See full description.

60 Jan
MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716)

This MBA course will enable you make a real difference within your management practice and provide a good grounding in the core disciplines of management.

See full description.

60 May

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules B713, BS811

And 60 credits from the following compulsory module

Postgraduate compulsory module Credits Next start
MSc project module for MSc in Professional Science (SXB810)

Plan and carry out an investigation of your own choice with this masters-level project course in science, and develop essential skills like report writing.

See full description.

60 Nov

Educational aims

This broad-based taught masters science degree aims to provide you with:

  • an opportunity to study in depth, at masters level, a specific area of science (from a range of choices)
  • an opportunity to combine this knowledge of science with business and professional skills that are highly valued by employers (such as use of text and electronic resources, comprehension, communication to specialist and non-specialist audiences, synthesis of information, critical understanding of complex scientific issues and their application in the world of business)
  • an opportunity to develop the skills and a critical understanding of methodological approaches essential to postgraduate study in science
  • the tools to enable you to obtain and record information and then synthesise what you have learnt into a coherent piece of writing as an extended essay, review, poster or conference contribution
  • support and guidance to develop as an independent learner
  • an opportunity to complete an extended project linking your scientific expertise to its application in a broader professional workplace context.

Learning outcomes

The qualification provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

  • a systematic understanding and critical awareness of the scientific debate within an area of science, that is at, or informed by, the forefront of the field of study
  • a comprehensive understanding of methodologies and techniques applicable to advanced scholarship in your chosen area of scientific study
  • an understanding of the challenges faced in presenting your chosen area of scientific study to organisations/individuals outside the scientific community in the business community or other workplace setting.

Cognitive skills

Be able to:

  • critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in your field of study
  • evaluate research methodologies, develop critiques and devise alternative hypotheses, as appropriate
  • deal with complex issues systematically and proficiently, and make rational judgements in the absence of complete data
  • make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations
  • demonstrate advanced scholarship in the application of knowledge.

Practical and/or professional skills

Be able to:

  • advance your knowledge and understanding in selected scientific areas
  • show evidence of initiative and personal responsibility
  • use independent learning skills required for continuing professional development.

Key skills

Be able to:

  • communicate information and conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • continue to develop relevant new skills to a high level
  • demonstrate self-direction in tackling and solving problems
  • act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level
  • use ICT to locate information and to communicate with others, including others in a professional workplace context.

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