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Communication skills for business and management

Qualification dates
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This multi-award-winning OU level 1 module will develop your language and skills for communicating effectively in the world of business and management. You will learn to write successful business assignments and a range of workplace documents; develop strategies to read complex texts on business topics; be able to give effective presentations and take part in business negotiations and academic discussions. The module materials use a blend of texts, audios, videos and interactive online activities to help you develop both your written and spoken business communication skills.

What you will study

This module enhances your language and communication skills needed in the world of business and management through the application of key business concepts and frameworks to real business case studies from various organisations. The activities you carry out will also raise awareness of your own use of language in business communication. 

The module has three blocks as described below: 

In Block 1: Analysing and Reporting, you will develop your communication skills through reading, analysing, writing and speaking about business case studies. You will learn to summarise business cases and you will learn to use frameworks such as SWOT and STEEPLE to analyse cases and make recommendations. You will develop your formal business language to write reports which propose solutions to business problems and you will learn how to search for information and support your ideas with evidence. 

In Block 2: Influencing, you will develop your communication skills for the purposes of persuasion, negotiation and discussion in business contexts. You will have the opportunity to listen to and engage in spoken interactions such as meetings and discussions. You will also develop the skills and language to write persuasive and influential workplace documents. You will develop your critical thinking skills for the purposes of discussion, business presentations and defending your viewpoint.

In Block 3: Collaborating, you will use case studies and workplace scenarios to develop your team working skills and consolidate the learning from the previous blocks. You will focus on the language of human resource management, marketing and finance and you will work as a team to create a presentation. You will develop the skills to present yourself effectively for a job interview and an understanding of the recruitment process. You will learn about training and professional development needs in the workplace and reflect on your own experience in a systematic way.

Throughout the module you will develop your skills of reflection through writing or speaking about your learning process. You will study this module mainly online. In addition, there are two printed resource books which contain case studies, useful tips on business communication skills and other reading texts. 

Entry requirements

This is an OU level 1 module aimed at those who want to enhance business communication skills for study and workplace. It is not suitable if you just want to improve your English language skills.

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

What's included

You'll have access to a module website, which includes:

  • a week-by-week study planner
  • course-specific module materials
  • audio and video content
  • assessment details and submission section
  • online tutorial access

You'll also be provided with two printed resource books.

Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

While you study this module you will be supported by your tutor through online tutorials and an (online) day school. Your tutor will facilitate online discussions with your fellow students in your tutor group forum and will be available for individual queries and help if you need it. Your tutor will also mark your tutor marked assignments and give you feedback on your progress.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying LB170 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

Communication skills for business and management starts twice a year – in February and October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2024 and February 2025. We expect it to start for the last time in February 2026.

Course work includes:

4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
No examination

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