Associate Lecturer

The Open University

Graduate Position 8 months London/Remote, UK

Uploaded 1 Nov 2021

Job Description

Module Content to Deliver

As the first module in the MSc in Space Science and Technology, this online module takes a case-study approach to space science and the methodologies of conducting scientific measurements within the space environment. 

The module focusses on developing skills relevant to further academic research or employment in the space sector including data analysis, team working, programming, scientific writing and communication. The academic content of the module includes an introduction to space missions and spacecraft, followed by four case studies: Apollo 11, Gaia, Rosetta and Mars Curiosity. Each case study will examine both the science aims and results of these missions, as well as reviewing mission design and operation. In each case study, use will be made of remote experiments or telescopes hosted by the Open STEM Laboratory. 

Students will be required to work online as a team to conduct an investigation using a robotic rover. Students will also develop programming skills using Python, and are also expected reflect on and plan their own development. Throughout the module, reference will be made to the set book which is “Spacecraft Systems Engineering” (4th Ed.) by Fortescue, Swinerd and Stark. 


Assessment is by tutor-marked assignments and an end-of-module assignment (EMA). The EMA will include assessment of the online team activity and an individual project.

Person Specification

(should be read in conjunction with the generic person specification for an associate lecturer at The Open University) 

As well as meeting all the requirements set out in the generic person specification, you should have: 

  • Knowledge of the technical considerations underpinning the design and operation of space missions.
  • Interest and knowledge of the diverse range of science topics that are covered by the case studies of the module
  • Evidence of ability to facilitate student group work
  • Experience of working online, which demonstrates your potential to support student learning
  • Effectively in an electronic environment
  • Evidence of facilitating academic literacy and research skills development in students
  • Experience of computer programming as applied to some aspect of space science (e.g. instrument control, data analysis, numerical simulation)

It would be an advantage to have: 

  • Experience of coding using the Python programming language
  • Evidence of recent teaching experience of postgraduate students
  • Evidence of competence in the use of communication tools such as synchronous conferencing to facilitate collaborative student learning
  • Experience of providing support for independent distance learners in an online environment
  • Recent research experience in an area of space science
  • Recent employment in the space sector.


A relevant postgraduate degree in an area of space science (which is taken to include: space instrumentation, Earth observation, planetary science, space plasma physics, solar physics or space-based astronomy) 


Module related details - a full explanation can be found on the website 

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