The computing and IT project

The computing and IT project (TM470) enables you to explore computing, information and communications technologies in substantial depth and it is the compulsory final module for our computing and IT qualifications. It offers you practical experience of independent learning and reflective practice. You'll apply advanced principles and techniques to produce a solution to a problem which you have defined and write up your experience and findings in a substantial report. You'll also be responsible for choosing your own topic, carrying out the project and writing it up, with the help of a supervisor to advise and guide you.

Course facts
About this course:
Course code TM470
Credits 30
OU Level 3
SCQF level 10
FHEQ level 6
Course work includes:
3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

What you will study

You will gain skills and experience in formulating and completing an individual project of your choice in any area of computing and IT that you have studied at this level. Your tutor will advise and guide you, but you will be expected to produce your work independently, without close supervision. The emphasis is on you being a reflective practitioner, developing not only the technical aspects of your project but also justifying your approach and reviewing and thinking about what you have learnt. You'll be expected to make use of the study materials and software associated with the OU level 3 modules you have previously studied.

The main elements of your project will be:

  • choosing a project topic – the topic must be based on the OU level 3 modules you have studied and we will need to know which area you want to work in before the module starts in order to assign you a tutor
  • getting information and finding out about developments in your topic area
  • producing a detailed proposal and project plan – this will include choosing suitable methods, setting realistic goals and deciding what resources you will need
  • carrying out the project itself – it could take many forms – a software system, a critical analysis and report, or an investigation and set of recommendations are just a few examples
  • writing up and evaluating the project – this will include a reflective evaluation of your approach to the project and its completion.

There are guidance notes and resources but no teaching materials associated with the module. You will draw on a range of sources (technical papers, books, manufacturers' literature, and the internet) to investigate your topic. Your report should demonstrate your ability to assess your own developments or other topics you have investigated, using appropriate methods to measure and compare them.

Throughout your project you will be set tasks through tutor-marked assignments (TMAs), which will help you to plan and progress the various phases of the project. You will also submit a final project report.

Vocational relevance

The module will give you the opportunity to demonstrate the skills and carry out the activities for a project which meets the relevant accreditation requirements of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and the Engineering Council.

Entry

This is designed to be the final module of your qualification as you will make use of the study materials and software associated with the OU level 3 modules you have previously studied or are studying.

Normally, the minimum requirement to register for this project module is that you have commenced your study of one of the following OU level 3 computing and IT modules:

  • Cisco networking (CCNA) part 2 (TM357)
  • Communications technology (TM355)
  • Data management and analysis (TM351)
  • Interaction design and the user experience (TM356)
  • IT systems: planning for success (TM353)
  • Software engineering (TM354)
  • Web, mobile and cloud technologies (TM352)
  • or have completed one of the discontinued modules M359, M362, M363, M364, M366, T320, T324 or T325.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

Preparatory work

You will need to inform us of your chosen project area by completing and returning a form available from the website. We will provide details of how to access the website and download the form after you register for the module.

You also need to think about a topic for your project. You can view some previous project titles on the website. There will be an online forum where you can discuss your choice of topic with an experienced tutor. It will also help if you refresh your knowledge of the OU level 3 modules on which you are going to base your project.

Study materials

What's included

You'll have access to a module website, which includes:

  • a week-by-week study planner
  • course-specific module materials
  • podcasts
  • assessment details and submission section
  • access to student and tutor group forums.

Computing requirements

A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

A desktop or laptop computer with either an up-to-date version of Windows or macOS.

The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have support from a tutor who will guide your studies and provide you with feedback on your assignments. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your project individually with your tutor. There will be no face-to-face tutorials for this module – all contact with your tutor will be online or by telephone.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs). You must also submit the end-of-module assessment (EMA) online.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone. The Accessibility Statement below outlines what studying this module involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Mode of study

All of this project module's guidance notes and resources are online. There are no teaching materials. Guidance notes and resources are composed of pages of text and include links to external resources, online forums and online tutorial rooms. You will draw on a range of sources (technical papers, books, manufacturers' literature, and the internet) to investigate your topic. You will need to spend considerable amounts of time using a computer and the internet.

Tuition strategy

You will also be responsible for choosing your own topic, carrying out the project and writing it up, with the help of a supervisor to advise and guide you.

Practical work

The amount of online practical work you will undertake depends entirely on your choice of project.

Finding information

You will be required to search for, and make use of, third-party material online that you will use in your project. These resources depend entirely on your choice of project.

Assessment

This module has three Tutor-Marked Assignments (TMAs), which must be submitted online via the OU electronic TMA system and an End-of-Module Assessment (EMA) submitted online.

Feedback

You will receive feedback from your tutor on your submitted Tutor-Marked Assignments (TMAs). This will help you to reflect on your TMA performance and use this feedback to carry on with your project. You should refer to it to help you prepare for your next assignment or to write the final report, the EMA.

Schedule

All University modules are structured according to a set timetable and you will need time-management skills to keep your studies on track.

Future availability

The computing and IT project (TM470)starts once a year – in February (places are limited and in high demand, so enrol early). This page describes the module that will start in February 2021. We expect it to start for the last time in February 2025.

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2025.