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Managing for sustainability

This module will increase your understanding of delivering and supporting sustainability management. You will develop a multidisciplinary perspective on resources, sustainability and health and safety management which will incorporate strategy, policy, data collection and knowledge management. It will introduce you to a systemic approach for studying organisational operations and methods for quantifying and optimising resource use and energy use while using tools to reduce environmental, societal and financial risk. You will also learn how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness with which your organisation can incorporate sustainability issues and to identify future trends and drivers for change in this area. This module is delivered entirely online.


T867 is a compulsory module in our:

T867 is an optional module in our:

This module can also count towards M03, 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.

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What you will study

This module is divided into three online study blocks.

Block 1: Issues for sustainable resource management

The first block outlines what resources are, how to plan for their usage, what outside influences affect decisions on what resources to use. It explains what sustainability is and how to develop a sustainability strategy, how to write both an environmental and health and safety policy and the issues surrounding corporate social responsibility. The block finishes by considering the integration of health, safety and environmental responsibilities within an organisation.

Block 2: Technical and management tools

The second block helps you to deal with data, how you can collect it and what can be used to measure the sustainability of an organisation. The block considers financial issues, environmental auditing, health and safety auditing, environmental impact assessment, life cycle assessment and multi-criteria decision analysis.

Block 3: Planning for emergencies and communicating with stakeholders

The final block concentrates on communication and why it is important, how to manage information and how to involve stakeholders. This includes how to manage and use data for reporting to both the public and for board-level discussions. The block also demonstrates various environmental management systems and tools for accreditation, e.g. ISO 14001, and considers integrated risk management issues such as emergency planning, analysing incidences and evaluating long term trends.

Finally the module considers new developing environmental and health and safety areas which may become important to organisations in the future.

This module is delivered entirely online and encourages interaction between the organisation you work for and your study materials. To help you understand the issues, all the information you need is provided within the module or signposted to appropriate outside sources. The module also includes interviews from senior representatives of many professional bodies (including the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), Institution of Occupational Health and Safety (IOSH) and Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)) on many of the issues associated with resources and sustainability, and with experts and practitioners in various subjects (such as life cycle assessment, health and safety, and stakeholders and communication).

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 whom you can ask for advice and guidance. You will be able to contact your tutor by telephone and email. You also can keep in touch with other students via an online forum.

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

Professional recognition

Environmental Management accredititation

Both institutions offer student membership to those registered on the MSc in Environmental Management or the Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management.

Course work includes

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

Future availability

Managing for sustainability (T867) starts twice a year – in May and November.1 This page describes the module that will start in November 2019 and May 2020. We expect it to start for the last time in May 2024.

1From 2021, Managing for sustainability (T867) will start only once a year – in May.


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

    This module can be taken on its own or as a module of a qualification. If you are taking it as part of a postgraduate qualification, you must have adequate preparation for study at this level, usually demonstrated by a bachelors degree (or the equivalent) from a UK university.

    Your spoken and written English must be 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.


    Start End England fee Register
    01 Nov 2019 Apr 2020 -

    Registration now closed

    01 May 2020 Oct 2020 £1400.00

    Registration closes 09/04/20 (places subject to availability)

    01 Nov 2020 Apr 2021 Not yet available

    Registration closes 08/10/20 (places subject to availability)

    01 May 2021 Oct 2021 Not yet available

    Registration opens on 01/10/20

    This module is expected to start for the last time in May 2024.

    Future availability

    Managing for sustainability (T867) starts twice a year – in May and November.1 This page describes the module that will start in November 2019 and May 2020. We expect it to start for the last time in May 2024.

    1From 2021, Managing for sustainability (T867) will start only once a year – in May.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

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

    Study materials

    What's included

    All the study texts and audio-visual material will be delivered via the module website. There will be some work involving provided spreadsheets.

    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

    Written transcripts of any audio components are available, as are printable versions of the online text based material. Some online material may not be fully accessible using a screen reader and mathematical and scientific materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. 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.