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Career development and employability

Qualification dates
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Whatever your career, this module lets you use your workplace as a context for learning and apply what you’ve learned to improve your practice at work. You’ll also develop critical thinking skills and increase your understanding of researching workplace issues. Preparing personal, professional and academic development plans will support your development as an independent learner and help you to align your personal and career aspirations. You must have access to a work environment, performing a paid or voluntary role to use as a basis for your study.

What you will study

This module gives you the opportunity to achieve 30 credits towards your higher education qualification goal using work-related activities as a basis for your studies. You will achieve this by working through resources, activities and assignments with support from your tutor, your work colleagues and your fellow students. There are four study blocks in the module covering learning at work; critical thinking and reflective practice; carrying out research in the workplace; personal, academic and career development planning; and understanding the workplace context and your role within it.

You will learn

This module aims to help you:

  • develop your ability to learn from the workplace through reflective practice
  • apply your skills, understanding and knowledge within the workplace
  • develop your understanding of your work context and your role within it
  • gain the skills necessary to carry out research at work
  • understand the concept of professionalism and enable you to map your existing skills and knowledge against relevant occupational standards
  • evaluate, plan and develop your personal, academic, professional and employability skills and align your own development needs with the business objectives of your organisation.

Entry requirements

This is a key introductory OU level 1 module. OU level 1 modules provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, to help you progress to modules at level 2.

You are responsible for obtaining permission to use your workplace as a basis for your studies prior to registering for this module.

In order to successfully complete the module you must:

  • be engaged in suitable full-time or part-time employment – either paid or voluntary
  • have permission to carry out work-based learning tasks in your work setting
  • confirm that the work you submit is based on your practice in that setting
  • have regular access to a computer connected to the internet.

Further detailed information will be sent to you once you have registered for the module.

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

What's included

You will receive a copy of the module reader, The Manager’s Good Study Guide. Additional resources and support will be made available from the module website, online forums, The Open University library and selected external websites and journal papers.

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

Throughout your module studies, you’ll get help and support from your assigned module tutor. They’ll help you by:

  • Marking your assignments (TMAs) and providing detailed feedback for you to improve.
  • Guiding you to additional learning resources.
  • Providing individual guidance, whether that’s for general study skills or specific module content.
  • Facilitating online discussions between your fellow students, in the dedicated module and tutor group forums.

Module tutors also run online tutorials throughout the module. Where possible, recordings of online tutorials will be made available to students. While these tutorials won’t be compulsory for you to complete the module, you’re strongly encouraged to take part.


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 T122 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

Career development and employability (T122) starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2024.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2026.

Course work includes:

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment