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Analysis and design of enterprise systems: an object-oriented approach

This module is an introduction to object-oriented software development – its principles, benefits, techniques and practical applications. You will acquire practical skills in applying object-oriented analysis and design, and explore many established techniques and current issues in object-oriented software development. The module covers topics such as domain modelling, requirements analysis, specifying the software, design, design patterns, implementation in Java, testing and component-based architectures. UML notation is used throughout. Although this is not a programming module, Java technology is used throughout to explore issues related to design and implementation.


Start End Fee
- - -

No current presentation - see Future availability

This module is expected to start for the last time in November 2014.

What you will study

The module introduces key aspects of the object-oriented software development and discusses current issues in the object-oriented approach – particularly novel development processes, patterns, components and architectures. The module is primarily for:

  • analysts, software designers and programmers who need skills in object-oriented software development
  • managers and project leaders who need to understand the object-oriented approach to software development
  • anyone engaged with software systems who is interested in learning about object-oriented software development.


There are no entry requirements, but we do assume that you have already studied to HNC/HND level or have equivalent experience from your employment. You should have experience of programming and programming environments, as the module gives no introduction to the basic concepts of programming and algorithms. You need a basic knowledge of the use of a personal computer and an internet browser. Contact the Postgraduate Technology & Computing (PTC) Office (telephone +44 (0)115 971 5566, or email us) if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

You do need to have a reasonable standard of spoken and written English to study successfully with us. Poor language skills will make study more difficult, and it will take longer. The normal requirements for English language skills are explained on our website.

If you have any doubts about whether your level of English is good enough for you to study this module you may find it helpful to look at our Skills for OU Study site.

Discount for Open University Graduates

If you are a graduate of The Open University (holding either an undergraduate or masters degree), you are eligible for a discount of £100 towards the cost of this module. You can claim this discount when you register, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.


M885 is an optional module in our:

This module can also count towards C02, C69, D69, E10, E19, F05, F26, F37 and F43, which are no longer available to new students.

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 our Student Registration & Enquiry Service before registering.


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.

If you have a disability

The module makes extensive use of diagrams. Part of the assessment requires access to electronic material. The study materials are available in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) from the dedicated website. Therefore, you might need to spend considerable amounts of time using a personal computer and the internet. If you have a computer with screen reading and synthetic speech facilities you will need to check that these will work with the study material and chosen software well in advance of starting the module.

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.

Study materials

What's included

Module books, supplementary texts, dedicated website and optional online forums.

You will need

Access to the internet is essential, since some study materials are available only on the module website. You also need to use the internet to submit your assignments to your tutor. In this module, you are not required to use a specific UML case tool. You can use any UML tool that you are familiar with, or even a graphical editor, as long as you manage to export UML diagrams into your TMAs. You will be provided with a list of free tools that you may wish to consider.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this module as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2008 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.7 or later.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information (including details of the support we provide).

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. You will be able to contact your tutor by telephone, email and post. There is a student online forum. 


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

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) 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.

You will take your examination in one of the University’s examination centres.

To prepare for the assignments, you may wish to take the Safari tutorial. Safari is an interactive online tutorial on searching, evaluating and managing information. Once in Safari, go through the tutorial, focusing on Sections 3, 4, and 5 – Planning a Search, Searching for Information and Evaluating Information. You should spend about an hour on this activity. If for some reason you cannot currently access Safari, you will be able to complete this activity at the start of the module.

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in November 2014 when it will be available for the last time. A 30-credit module – Software development (M813) –  is available from May 2015.

How to register

We regret that we are currently unable to accept registrations for this course. Where the course is to be presented again in the future, relevant registration information will be displayed on this page as soon as it becomes available.

Distance learning

The Open University is the world's leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you're at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you'll be supported throughout your studies - your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information about distance learning at the OU read Study explained.

Course facts
About this course:
Course code M885
Credits 15
OU Level Postgraduate
SCQF level 11
FHEQ level 7
Course work includes:
3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
No residential school

Student Reviews

“I found the course very interesting. I had tried to find the time to look properly at UML in the...”
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“M885 serves as a reasonably good introduction to the concepts surrounding object-oriented technology. It is, however, largely theoretical in nature...”
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