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Shaping business opportunities

This module provides you with a broad grounding in business and management practice and study. You will explore how organisations work by looking at their internal functions (operations, finance and marketing). You'll also learn about the external environment and how the economic and political context helps shape how businesses respond to global challenges. Using a blend of text, audio video and interactive online activities, you’ll develop vital skills for study and for work in business, public or voluntary sector organisations. Particular attention is paid to developing your critical thinking skills. You will also be introduced to mind mapping as a technique to help you express your ideas and creativity.

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.

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Module

Module code
B207
Credits

Credits

  • 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.
60
Study level

Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.

OU SCQF FHEQ
2 8 5
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
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What you will study

This module is divided into five sections. These comprise an introduction and conclusion (both emphasising skills development), and three substantive blocks each with a crucial theme that integrates the internal functions and external environment. 

Introduction
This introduces the rationale for the module and covers skills development around critical thinking, a skills audit, and mind mapping. We believe that developing your critical thinking skills fosters intellectual self-improvement, leads to a more creative mind-set, and allows you to become a better team player. You will also be introduced to mind mapping as a potential technique to help you express ideas and creativity.

Block 1: Big ideas in organisations
No matter the sector, innovation is a key feature of the contemporary business context. This block explores why new products and services are imperative to contemporary business practice and why investing in their development is crucial to business growth and profitability. This block will provide you with a broader understanding of how innovation infuses the current business world and how internal business functions integrate to facilitate this.

Block 2: Competing in a global context
This block examines the significance of context for organisational innovation and the implications of globalisation for internal business functions. The block will then explore the consequences of the global vs local dynamic for a range of functional areas as well as point out the need for organisations and those who work for them to adapt these internationalizing trends to local situations and contexts.

Block 3: Building long-term success
This block introduces you to the concept of fostering long-term value creation. Whilst Block 2 focused primarily on issues of geography and context, just as essential for successful organisational innovation is the impact of time. In essence, how can an innovative idea be effective in the long term as well as the short term?  Key themes recurring throughout this block focus on ‘nurturing long-term value creation’, ‘understanding the sustainability of innovations’, ‘adapting to incremental and radical change’.

Conclusion
This final block draws together the diverse themes from the preceding blocks and encourages you to reflect on what you have learned. In particular, it will make connections between the skills, knowledge and understanding that you have developed in different parts of the module and help you to reflect on how you can harness these for your personal and professional development; as well as prepare you for the end-of-module assessment (EMA).

Outside the UK

The module includes two learning events, which occur during Blocks 1 and 3. The face-to-face versions of the Day Schools are likely to run in the UK only, but all registered students will have access to an online alternative.

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

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 tutor-marked assignment (TMA), and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. If you are new to The Open University, you will find that your tutor is particularly concerned to help you with your study methods. To support your study, there will be a series of learning events which you are encouraged to attend. These events will either be delivered face to face or via an online meeting room which is a synchronous online platform used to deliver tuition.  They provide an opportunity for you to engage with members of the module tutoring team and fellow students on a series of activities that will help you to consolidate your learning and prepare for module assessments. The cost of these learning events excluding travel and subsistence, is included in the module fee.

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

Assessment

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

Shaping business opportunities starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2024. 

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Essential Documents website.

    Course work includes:

    3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    1 Interactive computer-marked assignment (iCMA)
    End-of-module assessment
    No residential school


    Entry requirements

    This module is for anyone who wants a general overview of business studies – to learn more about the world of business and how it operates. It makes as few assumptions as possible about what you already know about business or about your experience of formal academic study. However, as this is an OU level 2 module and if you have no previous experience of studying business, it is strongly recommended that you first study An introduction to business and management (B100).

    Register

    Start End England fee Register
    06 Oct 2018 Jun 2019 £2928.00

    Registration closes 13/09/18 (places subject to availability)

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

    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.

    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, Maestro (UK only), Mastercard, Visa/Delta 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 or book a call back at a time convenient to you.


    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 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 21/07/2018.

    What's included

    Access to online study materials via the module website including the Module Study Guide, an online study calendar, video, audio and multimedia material, assessment resources and library resources including e-journal articles and referencing guides.

    The B207 Blocks and Reader, an edited collection of longer readings, are provided in electronic and print formats.

    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
    • macOS 10.7 or higher

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

    To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones. 

    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 B207 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 Overcoming barriers to study if you have a disability or health condition website.