Strategic management in life sciences and healthcare
This leading-edge online module introduces you to the strategic, business and operational aspects of the life science industry. The module equips you to understand the challenges and conventional wisdom within this industry with a particular focus on research and innovation. You will learn techniques to develop coherent and credible alternative future scenarios including an understanding of strategic option development, portfolio management and strategic resource allocation. You will also acquire research, analytical and critical judgement skills enabling you to deal with important issues such as finance, complexity and risk.
03 Oct 2015
Registration closes 10/09/15 (places subject to availability)Click to register
October 2015 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
What you will study
This module will explore the following four topics:
the structure of the pharmaceutical industry and introduce you to the research skills needed to study this area
research evaluation, including the fundamentals of finance, scientific uncertainty, portfolio management and risk
the regulation of the life sciences industry
the application of core strategic analysis techniques.
You will learn
You will learn about the life sciences industry, strategic groups and current trends, drug pipelines and resultant competitive/collaborative nature of the industry. You will learn about the basics of finance and how to apply finance basics to decision making in the real world. You will learn about portfolio dynamics, risk and strategic decision making under uncertainty and how to evaluate/price companies on their strategic rather than just financial value. You will learn about the regulation of the life sciences industries and scenario planning. You will also develop key postgraduate research skills.
You will learn how to access online resources, how to research and interpret pharmaceutical and science/health care industry data and pertinent topics such as drug pipelines, competition, safety/regulatory issues.
Normally you must have completed either this module 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).
To register for any of the science masters courses you must normally hold a UK honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in science or a science-related subject. If you have other study or experience that you believe equips you to study at postgraduate level you can still apply, but must supply evidence of that study or experience. Your case will be referred to our MSc in Science Admissions Panel. For further advice, contact the postgraduate science team.
You will also need good computing skills (e.g. able to search the Web, use email and use word processing packages).
All teaching is in English and your proficiency in the English language should be adequate for the level of study you wish to take. We strongly recommend that students have achieved an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 7. To assess your English language skills in relation to your proposed studies you can visit the IELTS website.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.
S811 is an optional 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.
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.
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
This module is delivered wholly online; consequently time spent using a computer and the internet will be extensive. It includes extensive use of electronic library resources and the use of real-time online discussions and an interactive whiteboard space. 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.
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.
Website, online study guides, online tutor support, online forums and access to the literature through the Open University Library.
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.
Materials to buy
- Ringland, G. Scenario Planning The Choir Press £29.99 - ISBN 9781909300545
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. Electronic communication will be used extensively. All study activities will be completed online.
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.
S811 is an online module within which you will work in groups using a variety of communication methods, including scheduled online forums. Some of this group work is linked to assessment.
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.
Students also studied
Students who studied this course also studied at some time:
The details given here are for the module that starts in October 2015 when we expect it to be available for the final time.
How to register
To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.
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.