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Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration

This innovative course is designed to develop a wide range of interdisciplinary skills that you can apply in your own workplace as you develop. You will gain a solid foundation in core management disciplines, including human resource management, organisational behaviour, accounting and finance, marketing and operations – learning to apply your knowledge to analyse, synthesise and evaluate a wide range of situations. You will explore economic, environmental, social and technological change issues; corporate governance; markets and customers; managing resources and operations; financing organisations; management and development of people; developing information technologies for application in business and management within a global knowledge-based economy, and development of appropriate business policies and strategies within a changing context to meet stakeholder interests. 

Key features of the course

  • A valuable qualification for practising managers who aspire to higher positions 
  • Includes an elective module from a wide choice of options, enabling you to adjust the curriculum to suit your professional interests
  • Takes you two thirds of the way to our triple-accredited MBA.

Diploma

Course code
E80
Credits

Credits

  • 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.
120
How long it takes
18 months–5 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.

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Course details

Modules

You should complete the modules in the order shown. 

To gain this qualification, you need 120 credits as follows:

60 credits of compulsory modules from either:

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.

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Register
60 04 May 2019 FINAL
MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (fast-track)* (BXFT716)

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

Register
60 06 Apr 2019 FINAL

*This version is for the accelerated study route and should only be selected if you intend to complete your MBA in two years. See how long it takes for more information. 


plus
45 credits of compulsory modules:

Compulsory modules Credits Next start
The dynamics of strategy (BB835)

This module will help you gain an understanding of the frameworks of strategy and help you to use these imaginatively within your organisation.

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Register
30 04 May 2019
Corporate finance (BB831)

This module will show you how best to finance a company, what dividend policy to choose, how to appraise projects, and how to value companies.

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Register
15 04 May 2019

You can take Corporate finance (BB831) and the 15-credit optional module at the same time, or study the optional module once you have completed BB831. If you have previously taken the non-credit bearing versions of these modules, B831 and B835, and passed the strategy and finance examination, you may count these in place of BB831 and BB835.

plus
15 credits from the following list:

Optional modules Credits Next start
Managing financial risk (BB841)

This module explores the nature of the risks that confront all institutions and how exposure to that risk can both be measured and managed.

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Register
15 04 May 2019
Sustainable creative management (BB842)

This module explores creative, innovative and sustainable ways of developing and managing organisations and offers practical approaches for developing yourself, your team and your organisation.

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Register
15 04 May 2019
Marketing in the 21st century (BB844)

This module explores the issues that emerge from marketing planning and uses current theories and examples to show how organisations deal with environmental challenges.

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Register
15 04 May 2019
Strategic human resource management (BB845)

This module explores the different aspects of human resource management and helps you understand and influence decisions regarding the management of human resources within organisations.

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Register
15 04 May 2019
Entrepreneurship: experience and perspective (BB846)

This module looks at the challenges of creating and developing entrepreneurial ventures and helps you develop your own venture or engage with other entrepreneurial organisations.

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Register
15 04 May 2019
Management beyond the mainstream (BB847)

This module looks at some important limitations of mainstream management thinking and explores a variety of alternatives to it – some longstanding, some recently developed.

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15 04 May 2019
Leadership and management in an intercultural context (BB848)

This module examines the conceptions of leadership and management in different cultures and the expectations these raise in different cultural settings.

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Register
15 04 May 2019
Supply chain management (BB849)

This module provides analysis of important concepts and practices in supply chain management, taking into account issues such as globalisation, sustainability and risk management.

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Register
15 04 May 2019
Managing in the digital economy (BXM871)

A route to credit for learners holding Certificates of Achievement from the four Open University MOOCs that comprise the FutureLearn Digital Economy program.

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Register
15 06 Jul 2019

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 40 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.
We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 8th June 2018.

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.

Credit transfer

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


On completion

On successful completion of 120 credits' worth of required modules you will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration entitling you to use the letters PG Dip Bus Admin (Open) after your name.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 

Entry requirements

You will need a minimum of three years’ experience in a managerial, professional or technical role, so that you have a practical business base on which to build your learning. 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.

There are two main routes into the postgraduate diploma:

1. If you already hold an honours degree awarded by a UK university, or equivalent, you can begin your studies by taking MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716) or the fast-track version of this module (BXFT716).

Various higher education and professional qualifications are considered equivalent to an honours degree. Please contact us if you hold a qualification that you believe is an equivalent level to a UK degree, to ensure that it meets the requirements for admission.

2. If you are experienced in managerial work but do not have an honours degree or equivalent you need first to gain our Professional Certificate in Management (S01). This is designed to be studied over one year and is also a valuable qualification in its own right.

If you have the equivalent of a UK bachelors degree without honours you may be permitted to progress on to the postgraduate diploma by taking just the first part of the Professional Certificate in Management (S01): Managing 1: organisations and people (B628). Alternatively if you have an official Graduate Management Admissions 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 postgraduate diploma.

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.

Please contact us if you need any advice about entry to the programme. The Open University Business School Masters Programme Committee is responsible for judging whether applicants’ qualifications meet the requirements for admission.

How long it takes

The minimum time to complete this qualification is 18 months, the maximum time is five years. Please note, however, that if your goal is the MBA, (which must be completed within seven years) so if you extend your diploma studies to five years you will need to complete the 60 credits required for the MBA over a two year period.
 
 

Career relevance

The Open University Business School is one of an elite group of schools worldwide accredited by the three leading international accrediting bodies - AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS - hallmarks of quality of teaching, learning materials and qualification impact. It is home to more than 25,000 successful MBA graduates in over 100 countries.

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Employers value postgraduate business qualifications as an indication of high level business and management skills. These skills are in demand, increasingly so in times of economic uncertainty, and employers want practical experience, a thorough grasp of business, and the ability to lead at a strategic level. Careers surveys shows that students studying postgraduate business qualifications can expect their salary to increase, and have a positive impact on their career progression, as well as bring improvements to their organisation or business.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.