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Professional communication skills for business studies

Personal and corporate success in business relies on effective communication. Professional communication skills for business studies will help you acquire skills to distinguish you from your peers. This practical introductory OU level 1 module will empower you to undertake more insightful case-study analysis, write successful essays, and produce influential documents. From proposals to company reports, you’ll work with a wide range of texts from business studies modules and the wider business world, deepening your subject knowledge while developing your written communication skills – helping you to succeed in the field of business studies and business in general.

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Module code
Study level
1 7 4
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Am I ready?

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What you will study

This module is for students of business studies who want to develop specialised reading and writing skills for business study purposes. On the module, you will study a range of business related material that has been especially designed to develop your knowledge and your reading and writing skills. Topics include areas of human resource management; finance and accounting; marketing and a number of business analysis methods. Some of the study materials are authentic texts from the business world, others have been adapted or designed for the module. Different styles of writing from business studies and business are introduced. Through examining successful examples of student writing and work-related documents, and reflecting on what makes these texts successful, you’ll learn to write case studies, essays and reports.

This is a practical skills development module with numerous activities aimed at practising reading and writing for business studies and business. The focus of the module is on written English. Online communication is an important component of the module, enabling you to discuss the materials, contribute writing for comment from other students, and read and comment on fellow students’ work, exchanging ideas and experience. You can submit drafts of your work by email (i.e. certain assignments) and receive feedback on your writing from your tutor. For each of the three major types of writing, there is an assignment in which to apply the skills and use the knowledge you develop during the module.

The outcome of this module is of a level comparable to C1 as defined by the Council of Europe. See Common European Framework of Reference for Languages for further details.

Outside the UK

This module may be particularly relevant if you’re a business studies student living in Europe for whom English is a foreign language.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor to help you with the study material and mark and comment on your work. You will be able to ask your tutor for advice and guidance and if you are new to The Open University, your tutor will be particularly concerned to help you with study methods. An important element of the module is the feedback you receive from your tutor on the writing that you do as part of the module. Feedback provides the basis for your writing development as you work your way through the material, and you will be able to contact your tutor by email or phone throughout.

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 will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in April 2015 and October 2015. This module is then expected to be available once a year.


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

Course work includes:

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

Course satisfaction survey

See the satisfaction survey results for this course.


This is a key introductory OU level 1 module. OU level 1 modules provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, in preparation for study at OU level 2.

Professional communication skills for business studies can be taken alongside, before or after An introduction to business and management (B100) (or its equivalent). It is also suitable for students who have taken Managing in the workplace (B121) (now discontinued), or who are considering starting a business-related module. It may also be of interest to learners on some more advanced-level business studies module. It is suitable for students from other language backgrounds who have a sound knowledge of everyday English and want to develop business specific language in reading and writing.

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

Preparatory work

If you have already studied on a business studies module, either at The Open University or elsewhere, it would be good preparation to review your assignments and the materials from that module. The clearer you can be about the skills you want to develop, the more effective your participation in Professional communication skills for business studies will be. If you have not previously studied business but are working in a business setting, a review of the reading and writing tasks that you need to do each day will be good preparation. The development of your communication skills will depend on your active involvement in learning and this can begin before the module starts.


Start End England fee Register
03 Oct 2015 Mar 2016 £1350.00

Registration closes 10/09/15 (places subject to availability)


You may need to apply for some payment or funding options earlier. Please check the Fees and Funding information or contact us for information.

This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2016.

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 you register.

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.

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

Employer sponsorship

Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU qualifications are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to achieve one. 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 qualification 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 modules.  

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 that is 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 2016. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

This information was provided on 29/07/2015.

What's included

Access to module website.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this module as the study materials and activities are accessible via a web browser. Any other computer-based activities you will need to carry out, such as word processing, using spreadsheets, taking part in online forums, and submitting files to the university for assessment, are specified in the module materials. If any additional software is needed for these tasks it will either be provided or is freely available.

We recommend either of the following:

  • Windows desktop or laptop computer running Windows 7 or later operating system
  • Macintosh desktop or laptop computer running OS X 10.7 or later operating system.

A netbook, tablet, smartphone or Linux computer that supports one of the browsers listed below may be suitable. The screen size should be at least 1024 (H) x 768 (W) pixels. If you intend to use one of these devices please ensure you have access to a suitable desktop or laptop computer in case you are unable to carry out all the module activities on your mobile device.

We recommend a minimum 1 Mbps internet connection and any of the following browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 9 and above
  • Apple Safari 7 and above
  • Google Chrome 31 and above
  • Mozilla Firefox 31 and above.

Note: using the latest version for your browser will maximise security when accessing the internet. Using company or library computers may prevent you accessing some internet materials or installing additional software.

See our Skills for OU study website for further information about computing skills for study and educational deals for buying Microsoft Office software.

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 and musical notation and mathematical, scientific, and foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. Other 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. Find out more about our services for disabled students.