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Digital transformation foundations

Discover the foundational building blocks for successful digital transformation with The Open University (OU) and industry experts, Target Internet. Whether you’re new to digital transformation or have some experience, in this course, you’ll learn the critical elements that will increase the likelihood of success. You’ll learn to define and communicate the purpose of digital transformation, develop stakeholder engagement plans, and explore effective leadership and buy-in. You’ll also learn how organisational agility, the working environment, and skills can be harnessed to drive change.

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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

Throughout this course, you’ll discover the core building blocks of digital transformation that are essential to help organisations carry out successful transformation. Practical exercises will help you to apply your new knowledge, and the social learning approach will empower you to further enhance and reflect on your understanding by sharing your thoughts and opinions with co-learners.

Delivered over four, easy-to-digest sections, you will cover: 

1: Definition and vision of transformation 

  • Stakeholder insights 
  • Defining the purpose of your transformation 
  • Identifying blockers and challenges 
  • Stakeholder mapping 
  • Stakeholder communications 
  • Communicating the transformation vision 

2: Effective leadership 

  • The importance of leadership buy-in 
  • Top-down and bottom-up buy-in 
  • The CEO as a figurehead 
  • Leadership structure 
  • Planning ways of gaining buy-in 
  • Overcoming obstacles 

3: Organisational agility 

  • The role of agility in digital transformation 
  • Agility for the short and long term 
  • The Agile Manifesto and agile working 
  • Identifying agility blockers 
  • Agility planning 
  • Continuous improvement and the agile organisation 

4: Working environment, skills, and human resources 

  • The role of the working environment in digital transformation 
  • Environment as an enabler 
  • The challenges and opportunities of hybrid working 
  • Auditing skills and identifying gaps 
  • Planning learning interventions 
  • Recruiting and retaining. 

You will learn

By the end of the course, you’ll have the skills to:

  • define what digital transformation will achieve and why it is necessary
  • understand the importance of leadership in digital transformation and devise leadership buy-in initiatives
  • review stakeholder opinions, and build stakeholder maps and communications plans
  • assess organisational agility and create plans that use it as part of continuous improvement
  • understand the challenges caused by hybrid working and how to overcome them
  • plan effective learning interventions to help achieve organisational objectives.

Vocational relevance

Digital transformation is a must-have skill in the current job market. Businesses across industries are using digital technologies to improve operations, customer experiences, and stay competitive. Professionals who can lead digital transformation are in high demand, as it's now a key differentiator for businesses and a valuable asset for career growth.

This course has been created by the OU in collaboration with industry experts, Target Internet, who deliver digital training to some of the world’s leading organisations, as well as building online learning that is used in over 100 countries worldwide.

Learner support

There is no tuition on this course and all study is self-directed. Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to enhance and reflect on your understanding by sharing your thoughts and opinions with co-learners. 

Teaching and assessment


This online course is delivered via social learning and includes video, audio, and written tutorials. You can learn at your own pace with complete flexibility. Throughout the course, you will be asked to respond to questions, reflect on your experiences and learning, and carry out short exercises to help you develop your understanding.

At the end of each section, you will be asked to answer a set of multiple-choice questions to test your knowledge. You can attempt these as often as you need to. It is important to complete them because they count towards your final score.

To receive a Certificate of Completion, you will need to complete every section and achieve at least 70% in all tests.


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

You don’t need any prior digital transformation knowledge to join this course, although any work experience will help enhance and contextualise your learning. 

It’s suitable for those who are new to digital transformation who want to build their knowledge and skillset, those who want to develop a digital transformation plan for an organisation or client, and more experienced practitioners who want to cement their knowledge of the latest trends.

The content in this course is suitable for a global audience and the skills you learn can be applied in a wide range of marketing roles, whether in the public or third sector, large corporates, or SMEs.

If you'd like to discuss the suitability of the course, please contact us.

Please note: This is one of six courses in a series that are designed to build on one another. If you’re new to digital transformation and plan to study more than one course, it’s recommended you take them in the following order:

  1. Introduction to digital transformation
  2. Digital transformation foundations
  3. Digital transformation readiness
  4. Digital transformation performance
  5. Digital transformation design thinking
  6. Data in digital transformation.

Course length

This course will take around 32 hours to complete and you can learn at your own pace. As a guide, if you set aside four hours per week, it would take eight weeks to complete.

You can begin learning at any time. You will have a minimum of six months and up to 18 months to complete the course, depending on your registration date.


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 not more 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 and activities are delivered entirely online. 

Computing requirements

You can learn from your desktop computer or laptop or take your learning with you on a phone or tablet. You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop/laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher. Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all currently supported Android and iOS versions.

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 can contact us about the support which can be given to meet your needs.