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MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (fast-track)

This MBA module is framed within the complex and challenging nature of twenty-first century management. Its dual aims are to help you build on your current understanding of management and enable you to develop and improve your practice of managing. This module is a seven-month programme of professional development which requires your active engagement with a wide variety of materials, activities and resource to enlarge your knowledge of the functions of management and make a real difference in your own context of managing.

Vocational relevance

The module is designed for professionals from a wide range of contexts and backgrounds who need actively to engage with the challenges of twenty-first century management, to develop their management skills and knowledge of management frameworks, theories and tools and to use these appropriately in order to make a real difference in their own practice.


BXFT716 is a compulsory module in our:

BXFT716 is an optional module in our:

In certain circumstances this module can also count towards C02, D64, F03, F38, F40, F54, F60 and F72 which are no longer available to new students.

Normally you must have completed BXFT716, SD815, SEH806, S807, S808, S809, S819, or S827 before progressing to the MSc project module (S810) or the MSc project module for MSc in Professional Science (SXB810).

Postgraduate Loans 

If you study this module as part of an eligible qualification, you may be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan. For more information, see Fees and funding.

Excluded combinations

Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with an adviser before registering.


Module code


  • 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.
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 postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.

OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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What you will study

Through learning about different management functions within organisations you will develop a better understanding of the context in which your own practice takes place. You will gain confidence in understanding how different parts of organisations operate and in having successful conversations across these areas, including:

  • organisational structure, power and politics, and change management
  • managing people and organisations
  • managing financial resources
  • marketing management
  • operations management

Over the course of your study you will learn, develop and consolidate your understanding of the principal management functions and how each area is interrelated with each other these areas are interrelated. This will provide you with a foundation that will enable you to move successfully to strategic and specialist areas in your MBA studies.

The module aims to:

  • develop your understanding of the core and current frameworks, theories and tools and to assess their relevance to the issues of twenty-first century leading and managing
  • increase your awareness of different perspectives on, and approaches to, managing and leading in different organisational and cultural contexts
  • develop your ability to engage critically with management frameworks, theories and tools helping you to select and adapt techniques and approaches appropriate to own management context, in order to shape your own management practice
  • develop your awareness of the wider global context in which business and management takes place, and increase your ability to work confidently across sectoral and national boundaries
  • develop interpersonal and conceptual skills that will help you to use ideas and frameworks to make sense of, and to work with, organisational complexity
  • challenge your own thinking and practice by reflecting upon it critically in the light of the ideas you encounter, and through debates with others
  • enhance your ability to plan and implement change which will have real impact within your own organisational context.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Your learning will take place within a tutor-facilitated group of approximately 16 students. Your tutor is responsible for providing individual tuition, professional advice and support, mentoring, assessment and regular feedback on your performance throughout the module. You will learn by working online with your group and individually in structured activities supported by a wide range of resources including specially designed books, a world-class online library and a residential school. Activities generally require online participation over two to six week periods and contribute to your reflective practice and your assessment.

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


The assessment details can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Tutor-marked assignments are scheduled at regular intervals (approximately every three to four weeks) throughout the module and are based on the work you do during the relevant block. Extensive guidance is given on all assignments submitted.

Residential School

Satisfactory participation at a compulsory four-day residential school in the UK or 21-day online equivalent is required. The residential school has long hours (one day runs from 09:00 to 20:30) but with regular breaks. Students participating in the online version should expect to spend about 1.5 hours per day on various tasks and activities. 

The school is an opportunity to meet other managers and tutors and to work in small groups on cross functional management problems. Skills development includes problem solving, team working, applying module concepts to real situations and working on self development and professional development.

Both versions of the residential school (face to face and online) have been devised to deliver the essential learning outcomes for BXF716, however it is fair to say that past experience shows that the majority of students prefer to attend a face-to-face school if they can. The cost of the residential school (excluding travel) is included in the module fee. 

At the face to face residential school you will need to carry out online research and so you should endeavour to bring a portable device such as a laptop, PDA or smart phone to the school in order to participate in these activities.

Course work includes

6 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
Embedded residential school

Future availability

MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (fast-track) starts twice a year – in April and October. This page describes the module that will start in April 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in April 2019.


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.

    Entry requirements

    This is a compressed version of the standard version of the module (B716) which is designed for those students who wish to complete their MBA studies in two years. You will need to be prepared to study 20 to 25 hours a week on average (compared to 12 to 15 on the standard version).  This is intensive study which equates to studying seven to eight hours a day for three days a week. Whilst much of the study will relate to work issues, it requires extra time beyond normal job hours. Before applying to BXFT716 you should consider very carefully if you have the full support of your employer (and your family and friends) and you will be able to commit to this amount of time on a weekly basis for the duration of the module and over the next two years. 

    This module is not available for standalone study. To study for this module you should have declared one of the following postgraduate qualifications as your intention:

    • Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration (C66)
    • Professional Diploma in Management (D64)
    • Postgraduate Diploma in Business Adminstration (E80)
    • MBA (Masters of Business Administration) (F61)
    • MBA (Technology Management) (F69)

    Normally, to register for this module you must have a UK honours degree or equivalent professional qualification, and have a minimum of three years’ experience in a managerial, professional or technical role. Usually this means that you are at least 25 years old as it is unusual (but not impossible) to be able to satisfy the experience requirement under this age.

    Experienced managers who do not meet the academic requirement can be accepted onto this module if they first complete the Professional Certificate in Management (S01) (previously coded C31) which has open entry.

    If you have the equivalent of a UK bachelors degree without honours you may be permitted to progress on to the MBA or other masters qualification by taking the first module of the Professional Certificate in Management, Managing 1: organisations and people (B628). If you wish to study this module outside the EU you will need to register on the online version BZX628. Alternatively if you have an official Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score of 640 or above, and the equivalent of a UK bachelors degree, you will be allowed to progress directly on to the MBA. If you think either of these possibilities may apply to you, please speak to an adviser.

    You will also need an appropriate facility in English language, sufficient to be able to work effectively at postgraduate level; generally this means capability equivalent to an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.5. To assess your English language skills in relation to your proposed studies you can visit the IELTS website. If you are unsure whether your skill level in English is adequate you may find it helpful to look at our Skills for OU Study site.

    If you encounter any problems while attempting to register, please call The Open University Business School information team on +44 (0)300 303 7222 or email us to progress your registration.


    Start End England fee Register
    06 Oct 2018 Apr 2019 £5800.00

    Registration closes 20/09/18 (places subject to availability)

    06 Apr 2019 Oct 2019 £5800.00

    Registration opens on 23/10/18

    This module is expected to start for the last time in April 2019.

    Future availability

    MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (fast-track) starts twice a year – in April and October. This page describes the module that will start in April 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in April 2019.

    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.

    Residential school

    This module includes one or more compulsory residential schools. You’ll have to pay for your own travel to and from the venues. If you are unable to attend the residential school, an online alternative is available.

    Ways to pay

    We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

    That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options. To find out more see Fees and funding.

    Study materials

    What's included

    As well as the individual tuition provision you will have access to regular opportunities for engagement with other students, university library access, an extensive variety of specially-written resources presented in different media (print and online) and designed exclusively for this module, audio-visual material, published articles, case-studies and a set of interactive tools to help you develop your management thinking abilities.

    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

    Elements of this module are delivered online and include the use of real-time online discussions and an interactive whiteboard space; consequently time spent using a computer and the internet will be extensive. If you use assistive technology or have a hearing or speech impairment and have concerns about accessing this type of virtual environment and materials you can visit the system provider's website for information and contact The Open University to discuss it further before registering.

    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. 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.