Skip to content The Open University

Student and tutor module reviews

Science project course: frontiers in chemistry

see module description

  • Points: 30
  • Code: SXM390
  • Level: 3

Student reviews

This course is hard work, but it's really worthwhile doing to gain familiarity with the academic literature and develop your skills in synthesising and evaluating information.

Having a good tutor makes a world of difference - this module above all is one where you need to be looking at the feedback on the TMAs, not just the mark, so you can put it all into practice in the final submitted project.

5000 words is nowhere near enough though - it's short compared to equivalent courses elsewhere.

Don't underestimate the importance of the skills audit, project plan and log. You may not like that sort of stuff - I don't! - but if you want a good mark, take it totally seriously and go overboard on doing it perfectly. With only 3 TMAs, each worth a third of OCAS, you haven't got much margin for error.

Course starting: February 2013

Review posted: July 2014

This is a brilliant course. At the beginning you may feel out of your depth but it is worth persevering as slowly but surely everything starts to come together. I cannot recommend this course highly enough. Your tutor becomes more valuable than in any other course and it is vital that you contact them regularly. At the end when you see that finished project you will get such a sense of achievement that all the hours of hard work are worth it. Be aware that you need to put a lot of hours in but it is still possible to do this course alongside another.

Course starting: February 2007

Review posted: January 2008

Please note

Each of the views expressed above is an individual's very particular response, largely unedited, and should be viewed with that in mind. Since modules are subject to regular updating, some of the issues identified may have already been addressed. In some instances the faculty may have provided a response to a comment. If you have a query about a particular module, please contact your Regional Centre.


Module satisfaction survey

The figures below are taken from a survey of students who sat the exam/completed the end-of-module assessment for the February 2014 presentation of SXM390. The survey was carried out in 2014.

31 students (a response rate of 38.8%) responded to the survey covering what they thought of 10 aspects of the module.

Please note that if the percentage of students who responded to this module survey is below 30% and/or the number of responses is below 23 it means that only a small proportion of students provided feedback and their views as shown here may not be fully representative of all students who studied the module.

See this page for the full text of questions and more information about the survey.

% Count
Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of this module 90.3 28
Overall, I am satisfied with my study experience 83.9 26
The module provided good value for money 83.9 26
I was satisfied with the support provided by my tutor/study adviser on this module 90.3 28
Overall, I was satisfied with the teaching materials provided on this module 88.9 24
The learning outcomes of the module were clearly stated 93.5 29
I would recommend this module to other students 83.9 26
The module met my expectations 80.6 25
I enjoyed studying this module 74.2 23
Overall, I was able to keep up with the workload on this module 77.4 24
Faculty comment: "The S390 Module Team would like to warmly thank all students for their feedback and comments via the recent survey. Although S390 has been running successfully for many years (especially SXG390, which started in 2003 and is the longest-running strand), we always look seriously at the feedback from students for common patterns/issues with a view to making incremental changes each year to improve the learning experience for future cohorts of S390 students. So your feedback is both valuable and useful, as it's an essential part of this reflective and evolutionary process undertaken by the Module Team. What you have experienced in studying S390 is a module that has evolved since its early days via exactly the sort of feedback with which you have provided the Module Team.Although there are great many positive scores and comments, naturally we focus on clusters of critical scores and feedback to ensure that we capture areas that have caused difficulty for students and that we may be able to 'fix' for future cohorts. And to ensure that we don't miss anything important we look at areas across all six strands, as well as within individual strands,. For example, we note that across all strands the aspect that gained the lowest overall score was "The module provided good value for money". And in detail, three-quarters of the students in some strands felt that the module was good value for money, and yet in other strands this figure was just over half. Given that all students get the same version of the Project Guide etc, we need to understand why these inter-strand differences exist and (more importantly) what we can do to make improvements.On a wholly positive note it was pleasing to see that the vast majority of students were satisfied with the support provided by their tutor, and also satisfied with the quality of the module.Finally, here's a comment that is broadly typical of how many students felt about S390, and also encapsulates the Module Team's view: "I feel this module is reflective of the true world of science and academia more than many I have encountered throughout my studies, and it was a fitting end. I completely understand why it is recommended this is the final module you study in your degree. Overall I really enjoyed this module even though it was very challenging and at times overwhelming, but I felt I learned so much through the experience.""
Enter a module code to find a review

To send us reviews on modules you have studied with us, please click the sign in button below.