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    A postgraduate qualification .

Postgraduate Diploma in Computing for Commerce and Industry

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Made up of
120 credits


Please note that this qualification is only available until 31 December 2016. In order to claim this qualification you must have completed the required 120 credits by this time. This qualification is not available to new students. If you have any questions about your eligibility for this qualification please contact the Qualifications and Ceremonies Centre on +44 (0)1908 653003 or by email.

If you are a new student please note a new programme of postgraduate computing qualifications is available to study from November 2013.

Information technology is the key source of competitiveness for all sectors: it can open new markets, increase performance and drive productivity. Increasingly, professionals in industry are expected to have a broad range of information technology and business skills. They are also expected to cope with the challenges posed by the latest trends in the software industry, such as remote and collaborative working, standardisation of technologies, and outsourcing.

We offer a range of postgraduate and post-experience modules with case-study-driven learning, which provide extensible knowledge that can be applied to lead technological and organisational change in the business environment. The modules can be studied on their own as part of a personal programme of professional updating, or as building blocks towards a postgraduate diploma course and then an MSc degree.

This diploma course is the broadest in our programme, you can choose modules from across the range of computing topics and may also include a module from The Open University Business School or technology management postgraduate programmes. This is a qualification for the generalist or non-standard specialist, where specific job functions demand a range of skills and knowledge, and where our modules can extend and deepen your knowledge.

Planning your studies

There are no entry requirements for the diploma modules, but you must be suitably prepared for study at professional level. You are expected to have studied to at least HNC/HND level, or to have had equivalent practical experience. Individual module descriptions will tell you more about the requirements.

There are no compulsory modules and you can take your chosen modules in any order. We recommend that you start with only one module in the first six-month study period. After this you will have a clearer understanding of the demands that study will make on you, and can decide whether you wish to take more than one module at a time. If you find that you have time to study modules totalling 30 credits in every study period, you can obtain a diploma in two years.

All postgraduate computing diploma modules (codes beginning with ‘M’) and some of the technology modules (codes beginning with ‘T’) are available with electronic submission and marking of assignments and so can be studied anywhere in the world. You should check the availability of the modules in this diploma you would like to study if you are studying outside the EU.

We are currently reviewing our postgraduate computing programme which will include making changes to the selection of modules available. If there are specific modules that you are keen to study we recommend that you take these as early as possible in your study programme. Modules can count towards this diploma for a maximum of eight years after we have stopped presenting them.

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 40 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Career relevance and employability

Nearly 20,000 students from over 7000 organisations have experienced for themselves how modules from our programme can improve their personal effectiveness and increase the performance and competitiveness of their employers.

The modules are designed for practising professionals and managers in the fields of computing, manufacturing engineering and related services, who need to update or extend their skills and knowledge in specific areas, allowing them to gain recognised qualifications to develop their careers.

BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT offers exemption from some of its membership requirements for holders of an appropriate MSc in computing from The Open University. For more details view or download our Recognition leaflet 3.7 Computing. BCS regulations are on their website.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.


For this 120-credit postgraduate diploma, you require:

90 credits from the following optional modules:

Postgraduate optional modules Credits Next start
Analysis and design of enterprise systems: an object-oriented approach (M885)

This introduction to the object-oriented approach to software, its principles, benefits, techniques and practical applications, gives you practical skills in applying object-oriented analysis and design.

See full description.

15 Nov 2014 FINAL
Databases in enterprise systems (M888)

Describes how relational databases can be used to maintain persistent data in software systems.

See full description.

15 May 2014
Managing the software enterprise (M882)

Explore the acquisition, management and development of complex software systems for organisations, from procurement and maintenance to managing resources, change, quality and risk.

See full description.

15 May 2014 FINAL
Project management (M865)

This project management module is particularly applicable to technological fields, exploring project initiation, risk, estimating and contracts, planning, human factors, project execution and standard methods.

See full description.

15 May 2014 FINAL
Relational database systems (M876)

Get to grips with database technology: principles, benefits, techniques and practical applications. Learn about relational concepts and SQL – and produce your own simple relational database.

See full description.

15 Nov 2014 FINAL
Software requirements for business systems (M883)

Investigate requirements engineering – a disciplined approach to eliciting, analysing, communicating and agreeing requirements as the essential first step in the development of software.

See full description.

15 Nov 2014 FINAL
Web systems integration (M887)

Explore technologies vital for the development of internet-based applications in the context of systems integration – a new development paradigm revolutionising software production.

See full description.

15 May 2014 FINAL

Subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules M873, M874, M877, M879, M880, M881, M886, M889, M891, T822, T823

AND another 30 credits chosen either from the above list or from these modules:

Postgraduate optional modules Credits Next start
Advanced routing - CCNP 1 (T824)

This module provides the knowledge, understanding and skills to deploy and manage internal and external routing protocols for large scale inter-networks using Cisco equipment.

See full description.

30 May 2014
Business operations: delivering value (T883)

The module aims to equip managers with the skills to make the business processes in their organisation more effective in meeting the needs of stakeholders.

See full description.

30 May 2014
Managing for sustainability (T867)

This module will increase your understanding of delivering and supporting sustainability management in your workplace or support your personal interest in this subject.

See full description.

30 May 2014
Manufacture materials design (T881)

This module approaches manufacturing processes, selection of materials and design of components as facets of the same task: making something that serves its purpose efficiently.

See full description.

30 May 2014 FINAL
MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716) *

This MBA course will enable you make a real difference within your management practice and provide a good grounding in the core disciplines of management.

See full description.

60 May 2014
Network security (T828)

This module will give you the knowledge,understanding and practical experience of managing a secure communication across a large-scale inter-network using Cisco equipment and attend the compulsory day school.

See full description.

30 Nov 2014
Problem solving and improvement: quality and other approaches (T889)

This module focuses on the practical application and deeper understanding of many of the methods and techniques associated with modern quality management and systems thinking.

See full description.

30 May 2014

Subject to rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules B700*, B713*, B822, B823, BZX700*, BZX713*, BZX822, BZX823, T833, T834, T835, T837, T850, T851,T852, T853, T862, T882

* 60-credit module but counts as only 30 credits towards this diploma 

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.

Credit for previous study elsewhere

If you have already completed some successful study at postgraduate level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this Open University qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible as it may affect your choice of OU modules. If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete your qualification with us.

Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Computing for Commerce and Industry entitling you to use the letters PGD CCI (Open) after your name.

If you obtain 60 credits or more at distinction grade you will qualify for the award of the diploma with Distinction.

Once you have completed the postgraduate diploma, you can gain the MSc in Computing for Commerce and Industry (F05) by taking a 60-credit research project in a topic related to your work or interests.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.

How to register

If you want to study for this qualification, read the description and check you meet any specific requirements (for example, some of our qualifications, require you to be working in a particular environment, or be sponsored by your employer). Then select the module you wish to study first and ensure it is suitable for you before following the registration procedure for that module. During the registration procedure you will be asked to declare which qualification you are studying towards.

See a full list of modules available for this qualification