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Managing uncertainty through policy implementation

In this course you'll read case studies and watch videos that illustrate how societal challenges and policies will shape our future societies. You'll also have the opportunity to consider how policies and the broader macroenvironment affect your organisation, and you'll learn to use machine learning software to collect data and evidence. 

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

Policies deeply affect organisations, communities and individuals. With the world in the middle of the worst pandemic in living memory, the role of public policies and the importance of public services in our lives have become clearer than ever.

Organisational strategies are deeply affected by government policies and societal challenges. Governments can change the rules and frameworks in which organisations operate while, as we have seen in the last years, societal challenges are exacerbating and changing. Organisations then need to be flexible enough to respond with their strategies to these changes. Being able to understand the contexts in which organisations are placed is fundamental to their effectiveness. Artificial intelligence, and in particular machine learning, can be used as a tool to do so.

The course comprises eight units:

Unit 1: Policies and organisations
The course begins by looking at the definition of policies and how policies can affect organisations’ strategies.

Unit 2: Issues in our society
This unit reflects upon some potential challenges in the post-COVID-19 era and explores in more depth how future challenges can potentially affect organisations.

Unit 3: Policies and the role of evidence
You'll explore the role of evidence and science in informing public policies. It also reflects on how evidence and science can affect organisations.

Unit 4: How to collect evidence
An evidence-based manager uses scientific literature as a means of answering questions, inspiring strategy decisions and forming long-term plans. This unit explores how to be a good evidence-based manager.

Unit 5: Evidence for artificial intelligence and machine learning
This unit reflects on the role of machine learning in providing evidence and provides the opportunity to use a machine learning open software to search and collect evidence.

Unit 6: Artificial intelligence and public policies
You'll explore how artificial intelligence can be used by public sector organisations and governments to address societal issues. In this unit you'll also reflect on the potential risks of misusing artificial intelligence.

Unit 7: Macroenvironment and your organisation
This unit explores the tools and models that can be used to analyse how macroenvironment factors can affect organisations.

Unit 8: Reflecting on your journey
The final unit combines all the information learnt during the course and reflects on your learning journey.

You will learn

By studying this course, you'll be able to:

  • define public policies and investigate their importance
  • critically think about how public policies can affect your organisation
  • identify societal challenges and policies in a post-COVID-19 era
  • critically reflect on the effects of these challenges upon your organisation and/or professional life
  • identify, collect and assess evidence useful for your organisation
  • critically think about the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • determine the benefits and risks of using artificial intelligence in your organisation.

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 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 BGXC007 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.