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Managing change in the digital world

This course will take you through a range of different aspects of managing change and shows you how to plan in advance for change – even when the exact nature of that change is unknown. It is aimed at people with some previous knowhow around management and leadership and some experience of change. This course also assumes an appreciation of the need to change both personally and professionally and an interest in implementing change in a way that puts people at the centre. 

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

Short course cost

Entry requirements

What you will study

The course comprises eight units: 

Unit 1: The need for a human-centred approach 
This unit introduces the course. It focuses on the ever increasing rate of change in recent times and the need for effective change management using a human-centred approach.


Unit 2: Managing in uncertain times
The second unit looks at the concept of management and managing in uncertain times by introducing uncertainty and exploring three key themes: representations and realities; traditional and contemporary; and unitarism and pluralism. You'll also have the opportunity to apply aspects of these themes to yourself and your job role.


Unit 3: Human-centred change management
This unit goes into more detail about what a human-centred approach to management is and more specifically change management. You'll learn about organisations that have both survived and thrived when faced with what were to others, overwhelming levels of uncertainty and how a human-centred approach helped enable that.


It is easy for the unsuccessful to credit the successful with being lucky and being in the right place at the right time. You'll learn about the common characteristics of those organisations that survive and thrive when faced with adverse trading conditions.

Unit 4: Challenges facing contemporary managers
In this unit the focus is more on you, as the manager that is having to design and implement change, and the challenges and tensions associated with that. Challenges aren’t always easy to see, even in yourself and can be even more difficult to deal with.


Unit 5: Identifying the need for change
Not every event that can affect an organisation can be predicted but that doesn’t mean that organisations shouldn’t try. It is important that organisations frequently scan their external and internal environments so that they can take a strategic, human-centred approach to change management rather than just making small tactical changes that have the potential to demotivate and disrupt.


Unit 6: Implementation of change
This unit introduces you to a range of enduring concepts aimed to enable effective change management. It then asks you question the relevance of these models particularly in relation to a human-centred approach to management.


Unit 7: Business continuity and crisis planning
You'll have learned that organisations that thrived in uncertain times are experienced in planning for uncertainty and developing plans that will enable the organisation to continue its business. A lot can be learned from looking at organisations such as the National Health Service (NHS), an organisation that must always continue working and whose work can involve coping with dealing with major incidents at a moment's notice.


Unit 8: The future of change management
You'll learn from industry sectors well versed in dealing with disasters. The unit ends by taking a look at key factors in successful change implementation as a final way of inspiring you and your organisations to embrace change and implement it in a human-centred way

You will learn

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • explain the importance of a human-centred approach to management
  • identify and evaluate some of the complex challenges and tensions facing contemporary managers
  • understand a variety of change management models and how you might apply them
  • reflect on insights from change management and apply them to your own work practice. 

Learner support

Expert, confidential learner support is available when you need it from a learning adviser, who will respond to you directly. Other support is available via the course forum, dedicated website and computing helpdesk.

Practice-based assignment

There is a practice-based assignment (PBA) which you complete at the end of the course to demonstrate how you have applied, or are intending to apply, the theories and models you have learnt. Once completed and successfully passed you will receive a digital badge and a course completion certificate which you can download as a record of your learning.


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

There are no formal academic requirements. If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact us.

Course length

The course is made up of eight units and will require around 20 hours to complete.

You can begin at any time during the life of the course and study at your own pace.


Start End England fee Register
At anytime before registration end date Jan 2025 - see Entry requirements for more detail £250.00

Registration closes 31/07/2024


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 2024/25 academic year. Fees typically increase annually. For further information about the University's fee policy, visit our Fee Rules.

Can you study an Access module for free?

Depending on eligibility and availability of places, you could apply to study your Access module for free.

To qualify, you must:

  1. be resident in England
  2. have a household income of less than £25,000 (or be in receipt of a qualifying benefit)
  3. have not completed one year or more on any full-time undergraduate programme at FHEQ level 4 or above or successfully completed 30 credits or more of OU study within the last 10 years

How to apply to study an Access module for free

Once you've started the registration process, either online or over the phone, we'll contact you about your payment options. This will include instructions on how you can apply to study for free if you are eligible and funded places are still available.

If you're unsure if you meet the criteria to study for free, you can check with one of our friendly advisers on +44 (0)300 303 0069, or you can request a call back.

Not eligible to study for free?

Don't worry! We offer a choice of flexible ways to help spread the cost of your Access module. The most popular options include:

  • monthly payments through OUSBA
  • part-time tuition fee loan (you'll need to be registered on a qualification for this option)

To explore all the options available to you, visit Fees and Funding.

What's included

All learning materials, exercises, study support and practice-based assignment are delivered entirely online. 

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.

Functionality may be limited on mobile devices. For example, voice recorder activities, which are common in language short courses, may not work on iOS/Apple devices.

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.

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.

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this  Accessibility Statement outlines what studying BGXCS003 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.