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Science - Nuclear Energy, Short Course

  • Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 6 months
University rank #501 (WUR) Online
Nuclear energy is back in the news as governments around the world increasingly commit to building new nuclear reactors. Ranging from fission to fusion, this Science - Nuclear Energy course at The Open University UK explores the scientific and technological background to nuclear energy, the biological effects of radiation and the cost of producing electricity. 


The Science - Nuclear Energy course at The Open University UK is one of a series of 100-hour flexible online courses introducing fascinating topics in science. It allows you to learn about this topic just for interest and enables you to try out a new area of study before you commit yourself to further study. You can register and begin this course at any time and will have at least 6 months to complete it.

This course explores the scientific and technological concepts relating to atoms, nuclei, radioactivity and energy production in power stations to give an appreciation of the advantages and disadvantages of obtaining energy in this way. Building on these foundations, you will go on to learn more about the role of geology in waste storage and disposal issues, and the difficulties of disposing of highly radioactive waste. 

The idea of burying nuclear waste deep underground for many years until its radioactivity has reduced to a safe level is being investigated by a number of countries, and a portion of your study will focus on the example of the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada, USA. You will learn more about the scientific considerations of storing nuclear waste underground and consider other issues, such as the political questions, which make Yucca Mountain’s future uncertain.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date A student can apply at any time for this programme, there is no deadline.
  • Programme intensity Part-time
    • Average part-time duration 6 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode

Programme Structure

  • You will explore some of the main issues nuclear energy poses to health and safety, focussing on the biological effects of radiation and how it can be both detrimental and beneficial. 
  • You will apply this knowledge to consider the contemporary environment, looking at whether nuclear energy is economically advantageous and also looking forward to potential future developments in nuclear technology.

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Academic Requirements

  • In this course you will meet a wide range of scientific and technological subjects and will have to be prepared to understand some basic science, e.g. physics, biology, chemistry and geology. 
  • Mathematically, you should be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide positive and negative numbers and understand the use of brackets in numerical calculations.  
  • The structured teaching will take you to a level at which you are happy to use maths as a tool in a range of scientific contexts. 
  • A maths skills ebook is provided to help you with, for example, fractions, percentages, reading graphs and tables, and scientific units as required.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    165 GBP/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 165 GBP for the full programme and a duration of 6 months.
  • EU/EEA

    165 GBP/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 165 GBP for the full programme and a duration of 6 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.


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