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Developing a strategic view

This course is for managers who are or are likely to be involved in the process of strategy in their organisation. It will cover strategic analysis, the identification and choice of strategic options and address the challenges and pitfalls of implementing strategy. It takes a dynamic and hands on approach and through activities and case studies participants will be challenged to think about how to apply strategic frameworks and concepts to their own work context. By the end of the course you should be equipped with the tools and techniques to be effective in thinking and acting strategically. 

Standalone study only

You will not be awarded credits for studying this course. It is available for standalone study only and cannot be counted towards an OU qualification.

Short course

Short course code
This is a non-credit bearing course.
Study method
Distance Learning
Short course cost
See Registration
Entry requirements
See Entry requirements

What you will study

Developing a strategic view engages with the craft of strategy; that is, how to analyse a strategic situation, identify and choose a competitive market position, and create the strategic options and environment to ensure the chosen strategy works. As such, the course objectives are twofold: first, to explore conceptual frameworks and techniques that will assist you in analysing competitive situations and strategic dilemmas and gain insight into strategic management; and second, to help you acquire practical, applied knowledge and skills in dealing with strategic challenges and opportunities.
This course emphasises the perspective and role of the strategic manager in ensuring organisational success. The strategic manager’s role is unique in that he or she must be attuned to both the external (market) and internal (organisational) forces that shape firm performance. They must also have both a firm grasp of current business realities and a clear sense of emergent or potential business possibilities. For this reason, strategic managers must have an understanding not only of economic, social and political processes and dynamics outside the firm but also of managerial, operational and cultural processes and environments inside the firm.
In this course, we introduce a wide variety of strategy frameworks and tools in order to help you develop the skills and mindset needed to be a successful manager with overall responsibility for the performance of a company or a business unit within a company. This module aims to develop your understanding and know-how in strategic planning, analysis, formulation and implementation. The goal is to increase your effectiveness in thinking and acting strategically. 
The course features the distinctive strengths of The Open University (OU) from its years of expertise in work-based learning:
  • The convenience of accessing its clearly presented and sequenced materials, activities and support whenever suits you and wherever you have access to the dedicated website – if you prefer, you can print key materials to work on them offline.
  • The support of an expert learning adviser who can clarify study materials, answer questions and help you relate the course to your specific needs.
  • A work-based activity helping you to connect the course to your individual and organisational context and needs. A learning adviser will review your work-based activity and provide personal feedback.
  • Certification of completion from the OU for those who complete the course. You can use this to demonstrate your continuing professional development (CPD) activity to your employer and/or professional body. (NB The course does not carry academic credit points.)

You will learn

After completing this course you should be able to:
  • Form a conceptual bridge between strategic ideas and actions
  • Analyse the competitive environment of your business
  • Generate strategic options in response to organisational challenges and opportunities 
  • Understand how to implement strategy.

Professional recognition

Successful completion of the course enables us to recognise your achievement of the course learning by issuing an OU certificate that you can use to document your commitment to continuing professional development in your personal portfolio, or to provide evidence to employers or professional body.

Learner support

Expert, confidential learner support is available when you need it from a learning adviser. Other support is available via the course forum, StudentHome website and computing helpdesk.

If you have a disability

The course is delivered online and makes use of a variety of online resources. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet you are advised to contact us about support which can be given to meet your needs.

Work-based activity

The work-based activity for this course has been designed as an integrated ongoing activity that you submit at the end of your study. It will allow you to reflect on your learning and how to use it in your professional work.

Outside the UK

This course has been written primarily for a UK context, but will have relevance to other contexts.

Course length

This course will require around 25 hours to complete.


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

    Entry requirements

    Although there are no formal academic requirements to study any of our CPD courses, you are expected to have some experience in the field and the course assumes a familiarity with the subject.

    You can register and begin at any time during the life of the course. You can study at your own pace and submit your work-based activity at any date before the final submission date for the course.

    Please note that depending on when you register, you will have at least 6 months to submit your work based activity. Information about your final submission date is available when you register for the course. If you feel 6 months may not be sufficient time for your study and submission, please contact us to discuss your study options, including current final submission date before you register.

    Course length

    This course will require around 25 hours to complete.


    Start End England fee Register
    At anytime Flexible - see Entry requirements for more detail £305.00 Register

    Ways to pay

    Credit/Debit Card – We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron.

    Sponsorship – If this course is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could ask your employer to sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. Your sponsor just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.

    The fee information provided here is valid for short courses starting in the 2021/22 academic year. Fees for short courses starting in the 2022/23 academic year or later may increase in line with the University’s strategic approach to fees.

    What's included

    All learning materials, exercises, study support and the work-based activity are delivered entirely online.

    Computing requirements

    You'll need a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of 64-bit Windows 10 (note that Windows 7 is no longer supported) or macOS and broadband internet access.

    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.