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IT project and service management

Do you want to know more about the issues involved in working in a project team or service team environment in the computing industry? Then this is the module for you. You’ll have practical experience of applying project management techniques and service management concepts to case studies. There will also be opportunities for you to practise your team-working skills by collaborating with other students. By the end of your studies, you will have a better understanding of how IT projects and services are managed, and which principles, concepts and techniques can and should be applied to particular situations.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

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

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Module code
Study level
2 8 5
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
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What you will study

The first half of the module introduces you to project management with an emphasis on managing software projects. In addition to covering project management techniques and topics – such as project planning and activity planning, and managing risk and allocating resources – you will also focus on the techniques that are most relevant to software project management. This will include choosing an appropriate software development approach, estimating how much development effort will be required and measuring the quality of software. In addition to monitoring software quality, you’ll explore the tools and techniques that are necessary for monitoring the progress of projects. You will also explore some wider issues within project management, such as managing contracts, portfolios of projects and programmes.

The second half of the module – on service management – is based around the ITIL® Service Management framework. You will be introduced to the five stages of the Service Lifecycle:

  • Service Strategy involves planning new and changed services to support and achieve the goals of the organisation
  • Service Design entails designing an IT service, including the processes and policies that support the service
  • Service Transition turns a design for a service into an operational service and manages the transition as the new service becomes operational
  • Service Operation concerns itself with running services efficiently and effectively
  • Continual Service Improvement is a process that helps to create better services by identifying and implementing improvements to existing services.

Throughout this part of the module, the principles of good service management will be emphasised.

An essential part of both project management and service management is working with other people. Therefore, you will look at some of the issues that may arise when working in a team and when managing other people. There will be at least one opportunity for you to work with other students studying this module.

During the first half of the module, you will collaborate with your fellow students in a small team on a short project planning exercise. Having produced a project specification in your team, you will then work both on your own and in your team to develop the project plan and then modify this plan according to different scenarios. During the second half of the module, you will work in a small group on activities that will illustrate and put into practice some of the concepts learnt while studying the service management section of the module.

Throughout the module, audio and some visual materials will illustrate and bring the study topics to life, including case studies, interviews and panel discussion with experts in project management and service management. You will explore some of these case studies further – both individually and in small groups – by asking what-if questions and suggesting how the project or service could have been managed differently.

Vocational relevance

This module provides you with a basis for further study of project management and service management, and introduces you to many of the concepts that are tested by the BCS Professional Certification in  IS Project Management and IT Service Management.

In addition, the module helps develop important skills which are particularly relevant to the workplace, such as written communication skills, information literacy, independent learning, critical analysis and team working. In an IT context the module will provide practitioners with relevant experience, skills and insight into project management and service management.

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. Throughout your study you will use email and online forums to keep in touch with your tutor and other students in your tutor group. 

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

The details given here are for the module that starts in October 2015. We expect it 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:

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
5 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
No residential school

Course satisfaction survey

See the satisfaction survey results for this course.


This is an OU level 2 module and you need to have a good knowledge of the subject area, obtained either through OU level 1 study, or by doing equivalent work at another university, or from experience as an IT professional.

You should be experienced in using a computer for working with documents, spreadsheets and accessing the internet and you should be able to install software on your computer. The key introductory OU level 1 module My digital life (TU100) would be ideal preparation for this module.

You will also need a good standard of academic English appropriate for this level of study.

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

Preparatory work

If you are returning to study you may find it helpful to look at our Skills for OU Study website and to read a suitable book such as The Good Study Guide by Northedge, (The Open University, 2005).


Start End England fee Register
03 Oct 2015 Jun 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 2018.

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

This module and the majority of the associated study materials are presented online via the module website. The externally published module books are available in print.

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, including the externally published module books on project management and service management. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Some mathematical and scientific materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future. 

You will need to spend considerable amounts of time using a personal computer and the internet. Students with hearing or sight impairments may find some of the practical-based computer work challenging, or may need additional study support, as the activities involve accessing on screen text, viewing and creating colour images, and creating audio and video material. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in operating a computer and have concerns about accessing or creating these types of materials you are advised to contact us about support which can be given to meet your needs.

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.