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Develop a purpose driven approach in the workplace

This course is designed to help you develop the skills needed to reflect on your working life and contribute even more effectively to the strategic direction of your organisation. By improving your own sense of purpose, you can identify ways to promote an engaging, forward-looking culture within your organisation that supports purpose-led approaches to work related problems.

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 four units:

Unit 1: Starting with you
The course starts by focusing on you, and finding purpose in life – particularly in your professional life. To help explore the notion of purposefulness, you'll be introduced to the Japanese notion of ikigai. 

Unit 2: Purposeful organisations
Having previously focused on the individual, the course then moves on to discuss organisational purpose, and how leaders help to articulate this and engage the wider team in that purpose. 

Unit 3: Purpose in action
In this unit you'll look at four case studies which highlight some of the key characteristics of purpose-led organisations. These include Bark House, Innocent, Microsoft and the John Lewis Partnership. 

Unit 4: The value of purposefulness
The final unit brings all the threads together and offers some practical ways in which you can develop a healthy sense of purpose in your working life. 

All the information you need to complete the course is provided within each unit. Links to other material and resources are provided so that you can explore topics further as you wish. You'll explore several examples of purposefulness, some of which are from organisations, others will be drawn from your own experience. You'll be encouraged to take the time to reflect, and the more effort you put into thoughtful reflection, the more value you will derive. 

You will learn

By studying this course you will be able to: 

  • define the meaning of purposefulness, both at an individual and an organisational level
  • articulate the importance of purposefulness for all organisations, large and small
  • understand a range of ways in which you can build a sense of purposefulness for yourself and for your team
  • engage with colleagues around the notion of purposefulness
  • reflect on key learning and apply this to your professional practice.

Learner support

This course was designed to be independently studied with no tutor support. StudentHome is a dedicated website that provides general study support and there is a computing helpdesk. 

Teaching and assessment


There an end-of-course quiz to test your knowledge and understanding. 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 10 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 £150.00

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 end of course quiz are delivered entirely online. 

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 BGXS010 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.