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Space Science & Tehnology

This postgraduate qualification is designed for those with an academic or professional interest in space science and the technology that underpins this discipline. It equips students with the skills to carry out scientific investigations using space-based instrumentation, both individually and as a team. Students learn how to use a programming language in support of space science applications and develop other skills that are relevant to further research or employment in the space sector. The qualification also requires students to conduct an indepth research project on a topic in space science or space technology.

Key features of the course
• Develops skills in conducting science in the space environment through the use of robotic experiments

• Explores current debates in space and planetary sciences using data from space missions

• Develops technical and professional skills according to individual needs and interests

• Culminates with an in-depth individual research project in space science or space technology.

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 (SpST) (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 it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. 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

Entry to this qualification will typically require a minimum of an honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in one of: physics, astronomy, geosciences, chemistry, engineering or mathematics. Space science (S818) should be studied as the first module in the qualification and the compulsory MSc project module for MSc in Space Science and Technology (SXS810), as the final module in the qualification. Any prior entry requirements (pre-requisites) on constituent optional modules will need to be met separately, where these may apply. For further advice, email the Science Postgraduate Team.


3 - 7 years.

This qualification can be completed within three years, and up to a maximum of seven years of the start of the first module.

Number of credits

180 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
This qualification is directly relevant to scientific and technical careers in the space sector. It is particularly relevant to roles that are concerned with acquisition, handing and interpretation of data obtained by space-based instrumentation.

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:

60 credits from the compulsory module:

Compulsory module Credits
Space science (S818) 60


30 credits from List A:

List A: Optional modules Credits
Managing technological innovation (T848) 30
Project management (M815) 30
Strategic capabilities for technological innovation (T849) 30


30 credits from List B:

List B: Optional modules Credits

Finite element analysis: basic principles and applications (T804) 30
Manufacture materials design (T805) 30
Software development (M813) 30
Software engineering (M814) 30 FINAL


a 60-credit compulsory module:

Compulsory module Credits

MSc project module for MSc in Space Science and Technology (SXS810) 60

You should note that the University's unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!