You are viewing information for England.  Change country.

Management practice

Qualification dates
Start End

This module introduces management ideas and uses activities to build on your existing knowledge and skills through the application of management theory. You'll develop your understanding of management practice in your work, and in the wider context of organisations. You'll critically evaluate your workplace context in relation to management practice and review your knowledge and skills. This module is suitable for anyone who has undertaken 150 hours of workplace learning in the last three years and wants to develop an academic understanding of management disciplines such as operations, marketing, strategy, and their own management practice.

What you will study

This module is delivered almost exclusively online but you will receive one reference text: The Manager’s Good Study Guide which you will refer to throughout your studies. The module website forms the spine of B123, guiding you through various activities some of which will involve reading sections of the reference book, looking for and reading articles, watching video clips and listening to audio recordings.

The opening sessions set out how you'll learn throughout the module and introduce the idea of using academic theory in the workplace.

You'll be introduced to a range of theories about management and be given an opportunity to apply them to your practice setting. Areas covered will include:

  • the role of the manager
  • making sense of your organisation (strategy)
  • leadership and management
  • managing resources: people
  • managing budgets
  • managing processes
  • planning and risk assessment/planning and change management
  • connecting with your customers (marketing).

By the end of this module you'll have developed a new, more theoretical understanding of how and why managers do what they do in organisations. You'll have drawn upon previous knowledge and understanding gained from workplace practice and be able to relate it to relevant management theory. You'll have learnt how to evaluate the effectiveness of your workplace practices and begin to make suggestions for improvement. 

You might like to try this diagnostic quiz to help assess if you are ready for studying management practice.

Entry requirements

To take this module you will need to have undertaken 150 hours of learning within a workplace setting. Previous study on OU modules could enhance the workplace learning you bring to this module and help you to reflect on it. However, prior learning will have been undertaken through other work experiences. 

Please note that it's not the work experience itself that should be used as a basis to study this module, it is the knowledge and skills that have been developed and improved through working and most importantly the reflection on work practices. You do not currently need to be in work. If you’ve been placed in a workplace setting of any kind within the last three years you are likely to have had good opportunity to develop the requisite learning.

The list below suggests a range of experiences that could provide workplace learning for use within the module – but it is important to note that these are only examples. We invite learners to consider the workplace contexts they have been part of – and how learning has been achieved within those contexts.

Types of activity that might provide workplace learning include: 

  • in-house training course/programme organised by your employing organisation (that have some correspondence with topics of academic study/HE level learning);
  • external training course related to your job role;
  • study for a qualification (at NQF level 3 or above) related to your role or professional development;
  • induction programme to a new work role;
  • continuing Professional Development (CPD) as part of professional updating;
  • work-based project;
  • informal learning or development process informed by agreed appraisal targets;
  • formal accredited courses of study (with an external provider) (e.g. BTEC, Prince2);
  • mentoring;
  • shadowing others’ work;
  • managing the work of others;managing resources (time, budgets, systems, machinery, etc.).

Before registering for this module you might like to try this diagnostic quiz to see if you are ready for studying management practice.

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

What's included

Reference book: The Manager’s Good Study Guide; a module website made up of an online study planner that guides you through the study material including activities and forums.

You will need

You will need a headset with a microphone in order to take part in the on-line tutorials.

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.

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 on your academic study. We will also offer group online tutorials that allow you to talk in real time to your tutor or other students over the internet, and include additional features such as an interactive whiteboard and the ability to share web pages.

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).

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying B123 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

Management practice starts twice a year – in April and October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2019 and April 2020 when we expect it to start for the last time.

Course work includes:

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

Student Reviews

See what other students thought.