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Management practice

This module introduces management ideas and uses activities to build on your existing knowledge and skills through the application of management theory. You'll develop your understanding of management practice in your work, and in the wider context of organisations. You'll critically evaluate your workplace context in relation to management practice and review your knowledge and skills. This module is suitable for anyone who has undertaken 150 hours of workplace learning in the last three years and wants to develop an academic understanding of management disciplines such as operations, marketing, strategy, and their own management practice.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

Browse qualifications in related subjects


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
To enable you to make international comparisons, the information provided shows how OU levels correspond to the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ).
1 4
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Entry requirements

Student Reviews

This module kept me very busy. At the time it felt a bit tedious and I didn't immediately feel I...
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As others have said this was extremely time consuming for 30 credits, but I have actually learned valuable management theories...
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What you will study

This module is delivered almost exclusively online but you will receive one reference text: The Manager’s Good Study Guide which you will refer to throughout your studies. The module website forms the spine of B123, guiding you through various activities some of which will involve reading sections of the reference book, looking for and reading articles, watching video clips and listening to audio recordings.

The opening sessions set out how you'll learn throughout the module and introduce the idea of using academic theory in the workplace.

You'll be introduced to a range of theories about management and be given an opportunity to apply them to your practice setting. Areas covered will include:

  • the role of the manager
  • making sense of your organisation (strategy)
  • leadership and management
  • managing resources: people
  • managing budgets
  • managing processes
  • planning and risk assessment/planning and change management
  • connecting with your customers (marketing).

By the end of this module you'll have developed a new, more theoretical understanding of how and why managers do what they do in organisations. You'll have drawn upon previous knowledge and understanding gained from workplace practice and be able to relate it to relevant management theory. You'll have learnt how to evaluate the effectiveness of your workplace practices and begin to make suggestions for improvement. 

You might like to try this diagnostic quiz to help assess if you are ready for studying management practice.

Vocational relevance

This module is directly relevant to you if you have undertaken 150 hours of workplace learning in the last three years and now want to develop your understanding of the role of the manager as part of your aim to achieve an undergraduate degree (BA Honours), foundation degree, or certificate of higher education. Please see the 'Entry requirements' for examples of activities that might provide workplace learning. 

Outside the UK

This module is relevant to business students in both a UK and a non-UK context as it has been written from an international perspective. 

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and who you can ask for advice and guidance on your academic study. We will also offer group online tutorials that allow you to talk in real time to your tutor or other students over the internet, and include additional features such as an interactive whiteboard and the ability to share web pages.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


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

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Future availability

Management practice starts twice a year – in April and October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2019 and April 2020 when we expect it to start for the last time.


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

    Course work includes:

    2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    End-of-module assessment
    No residential school

    Entry requirements

    To take this module you will need to have undertaken 150 hours of learning within a workplace setting. Previous study on OU modules could enhance the workplace learning you bring to this module and help you to reflect on it. However, prior learning will have been undertaken through other work experiences. 

    Please note that it's not the work experience itself that should be used as a basis to study this module, it is the knowledge and skills that have been developed and improved through working and most importantly the reflection on work practices. You do not currently need to be in work. If you’ve been placed in a workplace setting of any kind within the last three years you are likely to have had good opportunity to develop the requisite learning.

    The list below suggests a range of experiences that could provide workplace learning for use within the module – but it is important to note that these are only examples. We invite learners to consider the workplace contexts they have been part of – and how learning has been achieved within those contexts.

    Types of activity that might provide workplace learning include: 

    • in-house training course/programme organised by your employing organisation (that have some correspondence with topics of academic study/HE level learning);
    • external training course related to your job role;
    • study for a qualification (at NQF level 3 or above) related to your role or professional development;
    • induction programme to a new work role;
    • continuing Professional Development (CPD) as part of professional updating;
    • work-based project;
    • informal learning or development process informed by agreed appraisal targets;
    • formal accredited courses of study (with an external provider) (e.g. BTEC, Prince2);
    • mentoring;
    • shadowing others’ work;
    • managing the work of others;managing resources (time, budgets, systems, machinery, etc.).

    Before registering for this module you might like to try this diagnostic quiz to see if you are ready for studying management practice.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.


    Start End England fee Register
    05 Oct 2019 Mar 2020 £1506.00

    Registration closes 12/09/19 (places subject to availability)

    04 Apr 2020 Sep 2020 £1506.00

    Registration closes 12/03/20 (places subject to availability)

    This module is expected to start for the last time in April 2020.

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a computer, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

    Ways to pay for this module

    Open University Student Budget Account

    The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

    You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

    • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
    • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

    Joint loan applications

    If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

    As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

    Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

    Employer sponsorship

    Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU courses are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to complete. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

    More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

    • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
    • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your module.  

    Credit/debit card

    You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

    We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron. 

    Mixed payments

    We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).

    For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser.

    Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2020. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 24/08/2019.

    What's included

    Reference book: The Manager’s Good Study Guide; a module website made up of an online study planner that guides you through the study material including activities and forums.

    You will need

    You will need a headset with a microphone in order to take part in the on-line tutorials.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

    If you have a disability

    The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying B123 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

    To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our Disability support website.