MSc in Professional Science

The Open University

Program Description

MSc in Professional Science

The Open University

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.

There are a range of different study routes through this masters degree.

If you work in education
We suggest the following modules: Contemporary issues in science learning (SEH806), a science module related to your educational speciality and the MSc project module for MSc in Professional Science (SXB810).

This route would be appropriate if you are a teacher who wishes to extend your skills or if you work in public outreach for science employers. It would allow you to extend your knowledge of your field of science and also develop skills to critically assess literature on learning and teaching science; develop evaluation skills in reviewing examples of science teaching; gain experience using electronic means of communication, information searching and retrieval.

If you work in life sciences or healthcare
We suggest the following modules: Strategic management in life sciences and healthcare (S811), a science module related to your speciality (Contemporary issues in brain and behaviour (SD815); Molecules in medicine (S807); Imaging in medicine (S809)) and the MSc project module for MSc in Professional Science (SXB810).

This route would be appropriate if you work in healthcare and allied professions, biomedical or life science industries. It would allow you to extend your knowledge within your chosen field of science as well as learning about the strategic, business and operational aspects of the life science and healthcare industries.

If you have managerial responsibilities or work in a business environment
We suggest the following modules: MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716), a science module related to your educational speciality and the MSc project module for MSc in Professional Science (SXB810).

This route would be appropriate if you are a science graduate working in a range of business settings. It would allow you to extend your knowledge of your field of science and learn, develop and consolidate your understanding of the principal management functions (managing people and organisations; accounting; marketing; operations; project and change management).

If you work in science communication
We suggest the following modules: Communicating science in the information age (SH804), a science module related to your educational speciality and the MSc project module for MSc in Professional Science (SXB810).

This route might be appropriate if you work in science publishing or as journalist or science reviewer or work in the communications area of a business environment. It would allow you to extend your knowledge of your field of science and you will develop an understanding of how and why the sciences are communicated; develop skills in the study of science communication and consider ways in which contemporary communication of scientific information influences scientific citizenship.

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.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Knowledge and understanding are acquired from specially prepared teaching materials using a variety of learning approaches, which may include self-assessment questions, working with audio and visual learning materials, reference electronic texts, directed reading, electronic journals, computer conferencing, and web-based resources.

You will work independently with the teaching materials, but may form self-help groups with other students, communicating online in course or individual study group forums, by email, telephone or face-to-face. Tutors will support learning individually and within groups, electronically.

Assessment is by a combination of tutor-marked assignments requiring answers ranging from short to extended essay length, short reviews, online presentations and electronic conference participation. In addition, you will have opportunities for self-assessment within the specially developed study materials.

Cognitive, key and practical/professional skills are developed throughout the programme in parallel with knowledge and understanding in the core options of this qualification.

With SXB810 these skills are taught through the module guide, online forum and the CD-ROM as well as via the tutor and library. This is assessed via tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) 01 and 02 and the end-of-module assignment.

The University wishes to emphasise that, while every effort is made to regularly update this site, the material on it is subject to alteration or amendment in the light of changes in regulations or in policy or of financial or other necessity.

Career impact

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.

Read more about this programme on the Open University website here

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
1 - 7 years
Part time
Full time
Contact school
Contact school
Start date Aug. 2017
United Kingdom Buckingham, England
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school
Duration 1 - 7 years
Price Contact school