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Career development and employability

Qualification dates
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Whatever your chosen career, this key introductory OU level 1 module will enable you to use your workplace as a context for learning, and develop your ability to apply your learning to improve your practice at work. You will also develop your critical thinking skills and increase your understanding of how to research workplace issues. The preparation of personal, professional and academic development plans will support your development as an independent learner and help you to align your personal and career development aspirations. You must have access to a realistic work environment and be performing a role – whether paid or voluntary – that you can use as a basis for your studies.

What you will study

This module gives you the opportunity to achieve 30 credits towards your higher education qualification goal using work-related activities as a basis for your studies. You will achieve this by working through resources, activities and assignments with support from your tutor, your work colleagues and your fellow students. There are four study blocks in the module covering learning at work; critical thinking and reflective practice; carrying out research in the workplace; personal, academic and career development planning; and understanding the workplace context and your role within it.

You will learn

This module aims to help you:

  • develop your ability to learn from the workplace through reflective practice
  • apply your skills, understanding and knowledge within the workplace
  • develop your understanding of your work context and your role within it
  • gain the skills necessary to carry out research at work
  • understand the concept of professionalism and enable you to map your existing skills and knowledge against relevant occupational standards
  • evaluate, plan and develop your personal, academic, professional and employability skills and align your own development needs with the business objectives of your organisation.

Entry requirements

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, to help you progress to modules at level 2.

You are responsible for obtaining permission to use your workplace as a basis for your studies prior to registering for this module.

In order to successfully complete the module you must:

  • be engaged in suitable full-time or part-time employment – either paid or voluntary
  • have permission to carry out work-based learning tasks in your work setting
  • confirm that the work you submit is based on your practice in that setting
  • have regular access to a computer connected to the internet.

Further detailed information will be sent to you once you have registered for the module.

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

What's included

You will receive a copy of the module reader, The Manager’s Good Study Guide. Additional resources and support will be made available from the module website, online forums, The Open University library and selected external websites and journal papers.

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 an up-to-date version of Windows or macOS.

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 whom you can ask for advice and guidance. If you are new to the OU, you will find that your tutor will be particularly concerned to help you with your study methods. We offer a mixture of tutorial support through online forums, by phone and face to face. Face-to-face tutorials are provided depending on the number and distribution of students taking the module.

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) and end-of-module assessment (EMA) 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.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying T122 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

Career development and employability (T122) starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2020.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2023.

Course work includes:

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

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