Degrees and courses for international students
You are viewing information for England.  Change country or region.

Transforming professional practice

This module comprises a guided enquiry into advanced healthcare practice and leads to recommendations for improvement in your healthcare context. During this module you will undertake an investigation of both evidence and experience. Enquiry focuses on one of three possible improvements within practice skill, service to clients or system development. You will explore the most effective means to disseminate the best practice that you have discovered, through publication, presentation at conference, preparation of a consultation paper and the making of a case for change to others.

Vocational relevance

This module is relevant to a wide range of people in health and social care settings: if you are already or wish in the future to engage in project-working with others, if you are charged with leadership and change agency roles, if you hope to innovate in practice or if you aspire to coach or advise others in their professional development. The module offers valuable opportunities to develop the communication and knowledge dissemination skills that are so important to those who advance professional practice. The module enables you to enhance your reflective practice abilities and will appeal to those who see personal and collegiate reflection as an important vehicle for continual improvement in practice. Because no assumptions are made with regard to the health or social setting, or the system within which the practitioner works, the module will also assist those working overseas, and in the voluntary sector (beyond the statutory provision in health or social care).


K829 is a compulsory module in our MSc in Advancing Healthcare Practice (F52), which is no longer available to new students.

Excluded combinations

Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with an adviser before registering.


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 postgraduate modules correspond to the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ).
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

Download a brochure

Explore our subjects and courses.

Download your copy today

What you will study

Your work for this module will be more self-directed than in your earlier modules, but you will continue to have access to a study group and a tutor to help shape your enquiries over the coming year. You will work with your tutor to plan your enquiries and need to update them regularly on your current activity.

Scholarship involves a demonstration of your ability to enquire, design, analyse, debate, argue and recommend in ways that demonstrate rigorous thought and a good command of issues and information. You will need to demonstrate what you already know and do, and advance a vision for further improvements that benefit the beneficiaries of your healthcare improvement activities (e.g. patients/clients of your service). To help you achieve this, you are led through five study blocks of work during the one-year module:

  • Enquiry, conception and design
  • Review of relevant evidence
  • Analysing experience
  • Reviewing progress
  • Making the case to others.

Your enquiry will be conceived as an investigation of existing data and as a series of disciplined practice reflections and discussion, the review of literature and discourse with colleagues interested in healthcare improvement (personal and collective experience). Your review of experience will be drawn from your day-to-day practice and discussions with colleagues in your context. This module does not require you to design and conduct a research project (there are no questionnaires, interviews or data-gathering instruments to design) nor should your work be designed so as to require submission to a research ethics committee. Rather it relies on heightened skills of speculative reflection and debate associated with work that you conduct with others. It will be necessary therefore to select an enquiry that relates closely to your day-to-day healthcare improvement practice and to engage in reflection at a deeper level than you may currently be accustomed to. The study guide will instruct you in the relevant techniques to enable this. Working in this way, and combining what you learn from your review of evidence with current experience, you will be assisted to make a coherent case for improvement.

The study materials provide a scaffold that enables you to complete your enquiries and prepare work that you can demonstrate to others. The tutor-marked assignments and the end-of-module assessment constitute an exhibition of your enquiries those that illustrate disciplined powers of reflection and analysis. You will need to be well organised, focused and consultative in order to meet the assessment deadlines and complete your enquiries alongside other professional work. You will work on study blocks Review of relevant evidence and Analysing experience in parallel.

You will learn

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • systematically conduct enquiries in the literature, reflections on your own practice and local contexts, making appropriate records of your learning in ways that demonstrate scholarship
  • disseminate your knowledge and skills in ways that are relevant to the development of practice now and in the future
  • present clear observations, arguments and conclusions about your chosen aspect of practice, so that others could either replicate or build on your scholarship
  • defend the advancement of practice within your enquiry, making the case to an appropriate authority.

Transferable skills

On successful completion of your module you will be able to:

  • work collaboratively
  • manage uncertainty
  • translate concepts into practice
  • demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems
  • utilise information technology
  • retrieve, interpret and utilise data (qualitative and quantitative), information and evidence.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Although the study guide provides detailed guidance on the scholarly activity associated with this module and the online resources guide you on the different ways of formatting work for dissemination, you will work closely with your tutor to:

  • identify and focus your chosen enquiry
  • evaluate what the evidence review has taught you
  • examine and refine reflective practice techniques
  • make arguments based on supporting information
  • formulate a case.

You'll have access to informative and engaging live online tutorials covering module related subjects and learning support, over a range of dates and times. We aim to record all online sessions to enable students the flexibility to access these at a convenient time.

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


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

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and end-of-module assessment (EMA) online through the eTMA system.

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

Course work includes

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

Future availability

Transforming professional practice (K829) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that starts in October 2021, the last time it will be presented. 


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.

    Entry requirements

    You should note that successful completion of Leading healthcare improvements (K827) and Researching and evaluating practice (K828) are both prerequisites for undertaking this module. As K827 and K828 are now discontinued, the exception is if a successful application for credit transfer is made to substitute for either K827 or K828.

    It is a requirement that you have:

    • a degree (FHEQ Level 6 / SCQF Level 9), conferred by a UK university or other recognised degree-awarding body
    • access to a setting related to healthcare
    • spoken and written English of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.

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

    Preparatory work

    Work designed to focus your plans on an appropriate aspect of practice should be conducted at the start of the module and with the guidance of your tutor. You will however benefit from considering aspects of practice you have explored in previous study that lend themselves to further enquiry.


    Start End Fee Register
    02 Oct 2021 Jun 2022 Not yet available

    Registration closes 09/09/21 (places subject to availability)

    October 2021 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

    Future availability

    Transforming professional practice (K829) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that starts in October 2021, the last time it will be presented. 

    Additional costs

    Study costs

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

    Study materials

    What's included

    You'll have access to a module website, which includes:

    • a week-by-week study planner
    • course-specific module materials
    • audio and video content
    • assignment details and submission section
    • online tutorial access.

    The module texts and dedicated website will enable you to complete your enquiries and prepare work that you can share with others.

    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 an up-to-date version of Windows or macOS.

    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

    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. Alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future.

    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 Disability support website to find more about what we offer.