You are viewing information for England.  Change country.

Transforming professional practice

This module comprises a guided enquiry into advanced healthcare practice and leads to recommendations for improvement in your healthcare context. During this module you will undertake an investigation of both evidence and experience. Enquiry focuses on one of three possible improvements within practice skill, service to clients or system development. You will explore the most effective means to disseminate the best practice that you have discovered, through publication, presentation at conference, preparation of a consultation paper and the making of a case for change to others.

Vocational relevance

This module is relevant to a wide range of people in health and social care settings: if you are already or wish in the future to engage in project-working with others, if you are charged with leadership and change agency roles, if you hope to innovate in practice or if you aspire to coach or advise others in their professional development. The module offers valuable opportunities to develop the communication and knowledge dissemination skills that are so important to those who advance professional practice. The module enables you to enhance your reflective practice abilities and will appeal to those who see personal and collegiate reflection as an important vehicle for continual improvement in practice. Because no assumptions are made with regard to the health or social setting, or the system within which the practitioner works, the module will also assist those working overseas, and in the voluntary sector (beyond the statutory provision in health or social care).


K829 is a compulsory module in our:

Some postgraduate qualifications allow study to be chosen from other subject areas. We advise you to refer to the relevant qualification descriptions for information on the circumstances in which this module can count towards these qualifications because from time to time the structure and requirements may change.

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
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.

Request your prospectus

Explore our subjects and courses.

Request your copy today

What you will study

Your work for this module will be more self-directed than in your earlier modules, but you will continue to have access to a study group and a tutor to help shape your enquiries over the coming year. You will work with your tutor to plan your enquiries and need to update them regularly on your current activity.

Scholarship involves a demonstration of your ability to enquire, design, analyse, debate, argue and recommend in ways that demonstrate rigorous thought and a good command of issues and information. You will need to demonstrate what you already know and do, and advance a vision for further improvements that benefit the beneficiaries of your healthcare improvement activities (e.g. patients/clients of your service). To help you achieve this, you are led through five study blocks of work during the one-year module:

  • Enquiry, conception and design
  • Review of relevant evidence
  • Analysing experience
  • Reviewing progress
  • Making the case to others.

Your enquiry will be conceived as an investigation of existing data and as a series of disciplined practice reflections and discussion, the review of literature and discourse with colleagues interested in healthcare improvement (personal and collective experience). Your review of experience will be drawn from your day-to-day practice and discussions with colleagues in your context. This module does not require you to design and conduct a research project (there are no questionnaires, interviews or data-gathering instruments to design) nor should your work be designed so as to require submission to a research ethics committee. Rather it relies on heightened skills of speculative reflection and debate associated with work that you conduct with others. It will be necessary therefore to select an enquiry that relates closely to your day-to-day healthcare improvement practice and to engage in reflection at a deeper level than you may currently be accustomed to. The study guide will instruct you in the relevant techniques to enable this. Working in this way, and combining what you learn from your review of evidence with current experience, you will be assisted to make a coherent case for improvement.

The study materials provide a scaffold that enables you to complete your enquiries and prepare work that you can demonstrate to others. The tutor-marked assignments and the end-of-module assessment constitute an exhibition of your enquiries those that illustrate disciplined powers of reflection and analysis. You will need to be well organised, focused and consultative in order to meet the assessment deadlines and complete your enquiries alongside other professional work. You will work on study blocks Review of relevant evidence and Analysing experience in parallel.

You will learn

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • systematically conduct enquiries in the literature, reflections on your own practice and local contexts, making appropriate records of your learning in ways that demonstrate scholarship
  • disseminate your knowledge and skills in ways that are relevant to the development of practice now and in the future
  • present clear observations, arguments and conclusions about your chosen aspect of practice, so that others could either replicate or build on your scholarship
  • defend the advancement of practice within your enquiry, making the case to an appropriate authority.

Transferable skills

On successful completion of your module you will be able to:

  • work collaboratively
  • manage uncertainty
  • translate concepts into practice
  • demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems
  • utilise information technology
  • retrieve, interpret and utilise data (qualitative and quantitative), information and evidence.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Although the study guide provides detailed guidance on the scholarly activity associated with this module and the online resources guide you on the different ways of formatting work for dissemination, you will work closely with your tutor to:

  • identify and focus your chosen enquiry
  • evaluate what the evidence review has taught you
  • examine and refine reflective practice techniques
  • make arguments based on supporting information
  • formulate a case.

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 will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and end-of-module assessment (EMA) online through the eTMA system.

The end-of-module assessment (EMA) must be submitted online.

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.

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.

Entry requirements

It is a requirement that you have:

  • a degree (FHEQ Level 6 / SCQF Level 9), conferred by a UK university or other recognised degree-awarding body
  • successfully passed Leading healthcare improvements (K827) and Researching and evaluating healthcare practice (K828)
  • access to a setting related to healthcare

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

Preparatory work

Work designed to focus your plans on an appropriate aspect of practice should be conducted at the start of the module and with the guidance of your tutor. You will however benefit from considering aspects of practice you have explored in previous study that lend themselves to further enquiry.


Start End England fee Register
03 Oct 2015 Oct 2016 £1526.00

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

This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2024.

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.

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

Module texts and dedicated 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. 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.