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Educational aims

This qualification aims to provide you with:

  • a general understanding of business organisations, their structures and cultures, wider considerations such as environments, markets and processes, and how all these work together to contribute to organisational success
  • an ability to analyse how businesses are organised, develop strategies, handle risk and take decisions, and the impact of these factors on your working life
  • an insight into essential business functions such as marketing, accounting and finance, and their relevance to working life
  • relevant and practical skills, in particular IT, numerical, study and thinking skills
  • the necessary skills to engage in a process of lifelong learning, including progression to higher awards, and to develop yourself as a reflective practitioner.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of the diploma, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • the structure and dynamics of business/organisation environments, including how organisations analyse, and respond to, their environments
  • business organisations and how they operate and develop; the nature, structure and functioning of organisations; different approaches, in a work context, to organisational analysis and change
  • key organisational functions, their nature, interactions and contributions to organisational success and development
  • your own learning, its role and impact in the workplace.

Cognitive skills

You will be able to:

  • use established ideas, concepts and techniques, drawn from the study of business/organisations, to analyse a wide range of work-related problems and issues
  • identify and assess different perspectives on, and approaches towards, business/organisational issues to inform decision making
  • reflect on, evaluate and apply experiential learning in differing professional contexts.

Practical and/or professional skills

You will be able to:

  • use and adapt relevant business knowledge and skills to practically engage with a range of problems and issues in the workplace
  • use specific business knowledge, analytical and evaluation skills, and methods as a basis for significantly enhancing your future working lives.

Key skills

You will be able to:

  • communicate arguments, ideas and issues effectively, using appropriate styles and language, to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • read and interpret information (including numerically based) presented in a variety of forms and perform relevant tasks of analysis and evaluation
  • apply ICT skills to search for, identify and present information appropriate to a variety of business/organisational activities
  • plan and manage your learning towards the achievement of established aims and objectives, including the recognition of knowledge limitations
  • engage in reflective, adaptive and collaborative learning.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will learn independently, using printed teaching texts; directed readings from textbooks and papers; and online activities and resources.

We will support your learning with self-assessment questions and exercises, included in the teaching texts; feedback and guidance from a tutor, including, depending on location, support via tutorials, telephone or email; online forums; and study guides. We will assess your learning with tutor-marked assignments (TMAs), interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs), end-of-module assessments (EMAs) and formal examinations.

You will develop your cognitive skills by engaging with analysis and design exercises. These skills are assessed by questions in the TMAs and exams that ask for the application of concepts in given situations. You will be asked to provide evidence of using these skills in your place of work and will be encouraged to reflect on your learning and plan for improvement. You will be supported in developing these skills by guidance provided in the study materials, together with feedback from your tutor and place of work supervisor. Online forums are an integral resource in several modules and you are expected to take part in online discussions moderated by your tutor who will give guidance as needed. Some of these discussions will form part of your assessment. Assessment of your written communication skills will be integral to the programme.

You will be encouraged to draw together the skills you acquire through the modules with those you practice in your place of work. Assessment will mainly be based on the evidence you will provide of applying skills in your everyday working environment.