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Science project course: science in society project

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  • Points: 30
  • Code: SXN390
  • Level: 3
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Student reviews

Excellent course, well worth doing!

You should be advised that this is essentially a review of literature in the field of science in society. There is a theme within the module that picks up from the second level module S250:Communication; Risk; Ethics; and Decision making (CRED). You should familiarise yourself with CRED since it is a major component of SXN390.

This module will develop your analytical and synthesis skills such that you will be better prepared to undertake a research degree. You will come up with a project title and objectives, you will manage your project from start to finish with guidance from your tutor (you will have a similar relationship with your tutor as that of student/supervisor akin to a research degree). Your tutor will provide you with excellent support and will critically evaluate your work with the aim of developing your academic skills. You will finally present your work in the format of a scientific paper, which is part of the EMA.

In order to gain a top grade, you will need to ensure that you really do put the work in; this is a very time-demanding module that requires excellent time and project management skills. You will develop the skill of extracting information from key peer reviewed literature (and other sources) and develop the skill of scrutinising that literature looking for inconsistencies in data etc.

As you flow through your project, you will undertake a series of TMAs with the aim of developing skills within your chosen area of research that will, hopefully, provide you with a very well-polished EMA at the end. The TMAs build on each other and are not independent of the EMA; the EMA therefore is a culmination of all your developing effort built through the TMAs.

If you are serious about undertaking a research degree after your OU first degree, then I thoroughly recommend this module, since it will provide you with an insight into the activities of a research degree student. If you intend to complete your academic studies after this module, I still recommend SXN390 because it develops many transferrable skills that employers seek.

The module is unlike other modules; you truly become a 'research student' that does not have the same level of 'hand-holding' as you get from other 3rd level modules.

I loved this module and gained a distinction. This gave me a real sense of achievement and satisfaction and not to mention a great deal of confidence. It is possible to do well, if you are prepared to put the effort in!

Nigel Patrick Fox

Course starting: February 2014

Review posted: December 2014

I thoroughly enjoyed this module. I liked taking responsibility for my own work and producing an end product. The most difficult part was finding a topic with sufficient impact on society that had the required element of controversy.

There were many negative comments on the SX forums this year regarding the perceived hoops that we were made to jump through and many felt too much time was spent getting formatting of references correct, producing a project plan and log to the detriment of the actual research of their project. I can only say that I am used to working this way and it suited me and my methods, and an element of planning is necessary to drive the project forward.

A skills assessment was also part of the first TMA and it makes you take stock of what you can do and what areas require improvement. The project guide was extremely useful (one or two amendments were posted on the module page) and gave detailed directions of what was required.

I had an absolutely brilliant tutor who had endless patience, was fully supportive and whose comments were fully justified and completely constructive. We were made aware of when she was unavailable but queries were answered very promptly. I was very sad when I finished my project and submitted it as it was my last ever module. I can highly recommend doing a module like this.

Dawn Marion Reynolds

Course starting: February 2014

Review posted: December 2014

Excellent course. Being able to choose a subject of personal interest made research and completion of project easier. More about researching and writing a project rather than the actual content itself. Many useful research skills gained.

Course starting: February 2005

Review posted: October 2006

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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.

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