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This qualification explores some of contemporary science's most pressing issues and develops a wide range of skills associated with postgraduate study. The MSc includes taught modules and a compulsory final project module which gives you the opportunity to explore a topic in further depth, and undertake a substantial piece of independent research.

Key features of the course
• Flexible study routes to suit your professional needs and interests

• Options include Earth Science, Brain and Behavioural Science and Medicinal Chemistry

• Develops critical, analytical and research skills, boosting your career or preparing you for further studies at doctoral level.

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
• Knowledge and understanding
• Cognitive skills
• Practical and professional skills
• Key skills

On completion
On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Master of Science entitling you to use the letters MSc Science (Open) after your name. The degree will be classified as pass, merit or distinction. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.

Recognition in your country
If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.

Credit transfer
If you've successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count up to 90 credits towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. However, you won't be able to count it towards the MSc project module (S810). You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.

Entry requirements

To study for the MSc in Science you must normally hold a UK honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in science. If you have other study or experience that you believe equips you to take this qualification you can still apply, but must supply evidence of your study or experience. Your case will be referred to our MSc Admissions Panel. Depending on your previous qualifications or experience, some background study may be necessary to registering for this qualification or its constituent modules. If your first degree is not in a science subject, we would normally expect you to have completed at least 60 credits of science at FHEQ level 5, and 60 credits at FHEQ level 6, before you register for F12. For further advice, email the MSc Admissions Panel.

Please refer to individual module descriptions to ensure that you are adequately prepared before starting to study for this qualification. You will also need good computing skills and a level of proficiency in the English language that is adequate for study at postgraduate level.

If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend that you have achieved an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 7. You can assess your English language skills in relation to your proposed studies by visiting the IELTS website.


2 - 7 years.

Although in certain circumstances, it may be possible to complete this qualification within two years, we recommend that you take no more than 90 credits a year due to the demands that studying the degree will make on you. The recommended pace of study is three years. To study a 30-credit module requires 8-10 hours per week and a 60-credit module requires 16-20 hours per week of study, over a 32 week period. As S825 runs for 28 weeks, this will require 10-11 hours per week. The maximum time to complete is seven years.

Number of credits

180 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
Completing this qualification will equip you with key transferable skills which will be relevant to your career, 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 situations.

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

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

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.

Further enquiries

Tel: (01) 678 5399
Fax: (01) 678 5442

Subjects taught


To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

•A minimum of 150 credits must be from postgraduate modules
•of which, at least 60 credits must be from postgraduate core science modules (Group 2)

•and 60 credits must be from the compulsory MSc project module (S810)

You can choose your 180 credits as follows:

•A maximum of 30 credits may be from undergraduate core science modules (Group 1)

•A minimum of 60 credits must be from postgraduate core science modules (Group 2)

•A maximum of 60 credits may be from postgraduate modules in other relevant areas (Group 3)

•60 credits must be from the compulsory MSc project module (S810)

0–30 credits from undergraduate core science modules (Group 1):

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!