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Managing in the workplace

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If you’ve completed vocational study at Framework for Higher Education level 3 and you want to move into undergraduate study, this course is for you. It is a version of our course Managing in the workplace (B121) specifically designed for people working in delivering public services. This introductory Level 1 course introduces management ideas and uses activities to build on your existing knowledge and skills. You’ll use your own workplace experiences to develop an academic understanding of management and valuable study skills, which you’ll demonstrate by writing about management and reflecting on your own skills as a learner.

Please note that this course has a compulsory entry qualification - see Entry for more information.

Register for the course

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No current presentation - see Future availability

This course is expected to start for the last time in April 2014.

What you will study

This course begins with a brief outline of the type of learning and subject areas that it covers. It then helps you to assess your own learning style and preferences, so that you will know how to tackle the work ahead.

You will look at six areas of management. These include:

  • strategy and the organisation
  • marketing
  • finance
  • leadership, management and motivation
  • managing people
  • monitoring and evaluation.

Using a textbook, you’ll carry out various activities asking you to compare the theories that you are reading about with what you see around you in your workplace. Some of the activities may be similar to those you have done in your previous work-based learning. Some of them will be new, and have been designed to help you develop your academic skills. These include: critical reading; note-taking for a range of purposes; recognising and evaluating arguments; and learning how to write clearly.

By the end of the course you’ll have developed a new, more theoretical understanding of how and why managers do what they do in organisations. You’ll build a toolkit of management concepts, theories and models that you can use to tackle workplace issues. You’ll also feel more confident in embarking on further undergraduate study.

Vocational relevance

This course is directly relevant to you if you have completed a course at level 3 in the vocational qualifications framework that contains a significant component of business administration or management. If you’re unsure if your qualification fits this description, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.


You must have a NVQ level 3 qualification in management, business administration or customer care, or an equivalent vocational qualification that contains a significant business-or management-related component to study this course. Check to see if you have the necessary entrance qualifications here.

This is an introductory Level 1 course. Level 1 courses provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, to help you progress to courses at Level 2.

It is an ideal first course if you are thinking of studying at university level, and might want to go on to an undergraduate certificate, diploma or a degree in business studies or management. It is of particular value if you have completed or are just about to complete a competency-based qualification, and now wish to gain further understanding of the academic theories underpinning this area.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:

  • help to determine your study requirements and how to request the support that you need  
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
  • using a computer for OU study
  • equipment and other support services that we offer
  • examination arrangements
  • how to contact us for advice and support both before you register and while you are studying.

Study materials

What's included

Course guides, textbook, supplementary readings, website and online forums.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this course as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2007 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.6 or later.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You’ll have a tutor who will help you with the study material, mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. We also offer group tutorials which you are encouraged but not obliged to attend. Where your tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the course.

Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


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

You can choose whether to submit your tutor-marked assignment (TMA) on paper or online through the eTMA system. 

Your end-of-module assessment (EMA) must be submitted online.

Future availability

The details given here are for the course that starts in October 2013 and April 2014 when it will be available for the last time.

How to register

We regret that we are currently unable to accept registrations for this course. Where the course is to be presented again in the future, relevant registration information will be displayed on this page as soon as it becomes available.

Distance learning

The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information read Distance learning explained.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.
Course facts
About this course:
Course code BXS121
Credits 30
OU Level 1
SCQF level 7
FHEQ level 4
Course work includes:
1 Tutor-marked assignment (TMA)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

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