Careers Advice

Homeschool Resources for University Students: Space Edition

Check out our curated list of resources to learn about where you can find some space resources, and dive into new topics. We have also compiled tips for preparing for online study, and some soft skill resources to browse.


Life is a bit confusing right now. New regulations are coming in, people are staying at home, and your lectures have been altered drastically. It can all become a bit repetitive, and it seems like there is nowhere to find new, exciting resources. However, SpaceCareersUK is here to brighten up your lockdown.

We think that space resources are amazing, and want to bring some of them to you. If you were worried that you might be sent advanced papers of calculations, fear not. We have collected a list of resources for you to browse, as well as provided some quick tips to set you up for success if you are trying your hand at some online courses.

Preparing for online study

The first thing you want to ensure is that you are scheduling in your study as if it were any other regular course. Although you can be more flexible with your schedule compared to a regular class, you still want to ensure that you will be able to finish the course! Therefore, deciding when you are available to study, whether that is for one hour twice a week, or three hours on a Thursday, will help set you up for success.

After you’ve scheduled your study time, you want to make sure that you have the proper time management skills to keep up with your work. This involves setting up your weekly schedule to accommodate your course, setting reminders for yourself, and checking in on your progress to ensure that you’re sticking to your schedule.

With all this working from home, it is very important to make sure that you have a comfortable working environment that works for you. After all, nobody wants to (or physically cannot) work at a desk covered in clutter. Whether this is your bedroom desk, a spare desk in the study, or your dining room table, make sure your space works for you. Some of the important things are that you have all of the necessary materials for your course, a quiet area to focus, and some headphones to put on your focus playlist!

If you are struggling to find the motivation, then one idea is to find a friend who also is interested in the same area as you, and complete an online course together. This way, you can speak about the material, and help each other with some of the confusing topics.

Remember, just because you are stuck at home, it doesn’t mean you need to constantly work. The most important thing is to remember to take breaks, and make sure you pace yourself to keep your mental health in check.

Courses

If you are looking for some advanced courses where you can delve into topics, then there are a host of platforms out there for you to look into. These include:

edX offers a range of courses in various disciplines, including a hefty selection of space related courses. They have a main page linking to various space courses, astrophysics courses, astronomy courses, aerospace engineering courses, and even more niche courses such as observation theory, which delves into the principles of geodesy. Some other recommended courses for the space sector are coding courses, such as ones about python, where you can learn from scratch!The best part of these courses is that they are free, and if you want a certificate, you can normally upgrade the course. The one thing to note about these courses is that they generally have specific start dates, although they run repeats of courses continuously.

Another resource that is similar to edX is Coursera. It offers various courses, most of them for free across a range of disciplines. They have a great list of their most popular space courses, where you can learn about spaceflight communication systems!  Ultimately, Coursera is geared more towards long-term degrees, however, they do offer short courses.

Another great tool for those interested in live and on-demand content from experts across various NASA disciplines, check out NESC Academy. There are more than 700 videos and webcases, where you can access videos, downloadable course materials, and learn from those in the know. They offer materials from areas such as avionics, human factors, propulsion, and more, so this is a great resource for anyone looking to delve deeper into technical topics than the high-level edX or Coursera courses.

If you are more curious about university content, then MIT Opencourseware may be of interest to you! They recently released a lot of their material online, so you can access actual lectures and questions! Some courses have more content than others online, however, you can choose whether you want to have a peek into their Aerospace and Astronautics Department where you can learn about space policy or learn about science communication in the Comparative Studies and Media Department, and access content straight from world-renowned academics!

Soft Skills

You may find that your communication skills are getting a bit rusty, or perhaps you want to spend some time revamping your time management schedule. This may be the perfect opportunity for you to improve your soft skills. There are lists of soft skill courses listed on edX, Coursera, Future Learn, and the Open University, where you will be able to improve all sorts of skills, right down from professional resilience, through to negotiation techniques.

LinkedIn Learning also offers a free trial for their training courses that you can complete online and then share on your profile. You can then take a quiz in that area and demonstrate that you have mastered the skill, which can help boost your online presence.

We hope that you enjoy exploring the above resources, and enjoy learning more about space! Now is the perfect time to enhance your skills, or learn about something that you may have never considered before. Be sure to let the team at SpaceCareersUK know if you find any new resources that you would like to see added to the above list!

Author

Christina MacLeod

Christina is an undergraduate student studying towards an MEng in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.

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