You are viewing information for England.  Change country.
Business strategy diagram

Professional Diploma in Management

The Professional Diploma in Management will be of particular interest to those aspiring to middle level managerial roles in large organisations and those who have a leadership role in smaller organisations.

The key to effective management and leadership lies in developing a critical understanding of your organisation and the practices of those who work in it, including your own. To respond quickly and flexibly to rapidly changing markets and environments managers need a broad integrated picture of how their organisations work; they need to consider compromises, tensions and interdependencies between operational, accounting, marketing, information, financial and ‘people’ issues. The professional diploma will help you meet this challenge, focusing on the management of teams, departments and projects; the skills of the reflective practitioner are an important theme throughout.

The study programme affords the opportunity to stand back from your current situation in order to concentrate on themes of understanding and improving performance, managing projects and change. The emphasis is on your own professional development. Everything you study is related to the management roles and responsibilities you exercise. The elements of the programme – study texts, activities and assignments, online resources, and personal and group support – ensure that you can apply newly learned skills and techniques in very practical ways immediately. You can build on your experience and make direct links to your management development needs wherever you are in the world, whatever the size of your organisation and whether it is in the commercial, non governmental or public sector.

The professional diploma is not only a recognised qualification in its own right but also Stage 1 of our MBA (F61). Once you have gained the professional diploma you can go on to study Stage 2 of our MBA.

Key features of the course

1–4 years
Read more about how long it takes


Course 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.
How long it takes
1–4 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Course cost
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

Request your prospectus

Explore our subjects and courses.

Request your copy today

Course details


For this 60-credit professional diploma you require:

Postgraduate compulsory module Credits Next start
MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716)

This MBA module will enable you make a real difference within your management practice and provide a good grounding in the core disciplines of management.

See full description

60 07 Nov 2015

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules B700, BZX700

The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.

Credit transfer

For this qualification, we do not allow you to count credit for study you have already done elsewhere.

On completion

On successful completion of the required module you can be awarded a Professional Diploma in Management entitling you to use the letters Dip Mgmt (Open) after your name.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.

Entry requirements

To study for the professional diploma you must already hold the Professional Certificate in Management (S01) (previously coded C31) or a qualification accepted by the University as equivalent.

You will already have some first-hand experiential knowledge of managing some part of an organisation.

You must complete this qualification within four years.

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 20 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 6.5 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see their website for details.

Career relevance

The Professional Diploma in Management is a generalist qualification in the core aspects of management: marketing, accounting, operations, human resource management etc. It is appropriate for all sectors: private, public or voluntary/third sector; the models and ideas are sufficiently general to be useful for people in all sizes of organisation, from multi-national to individual entrepreneur. As a stand-alone qualification it is intended mainly for first-line or middle management and as the first one-third of our MBA is appropriate for all levels of manager.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.