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Fully funded short courses

The Open University, in partnership with the Department for the Economy, is offering a limited number of fully funded short business courses for those whose employment has been affected by COVID-19.  Completing a short business course enables you to build a new skill set or offer continued professional development in your career. For more information on how short courses could benefit you, visit the following link:  The benefits of a short course


The fully funded short courses will be offered to individuals who have met any of the criteria at any point during the pandemic:

  • Have been furloughed;
  • Been made redundant;
  • Have a reduced hours contract;
  • Self-employed with a reduction in earnings;
  • At high risk from coronavirus (shielding for instance)
  • A recent graduate unable to gain employment in a preferred area.

Applicants must also be both:

  • A resident in Northern Ireland
  • Over 18 years of age 

How to apply

  1. Complete the following expression of interest form. Applications close on the 19 May 2021 at 4pm. We strongly encourage you to apply as soon as possible. 
  2. After submitting the expression of interest form you will receive confirmation that your application has been received on screen automatically.  This will NOT be sent to your email address. Due to the volume of applications we expect to receive, we may not be able to send individual emails on outcome of decision. If you have not been informed of a decision by 27 May, please email:
  3. Please ensure you fully complete the expression of interest form, including your date of birth, email address and a contact telephone number


Courses available

Commercial Awareness

Through studying we hope to encourage your curiosity about the place you work in and how you and the organisation could be more successful.

Finance for non-financial managers

This course is designed to help managers understand how the decisions they make will affect the financial performance of their organisation. 

Develop your leadership style

This course will enable you to understand how leadership is demonstrated within your own organisation and how your own leadership practice can be developed.

Developing a strategic view

This course is for managers who are likely to be involved in the process of strategy in their organisation.

Managing change

In this course you will learn about strategies, skills and techniques to help you be more successful as a change manager.

New manager's toolkit

This course will help you learn about some of the basic principles and techniques of management and help you develop your own effective management style.

Project management

This short course takes you through the cycle of a project, from early conception and defining the scope through to the evaluation and lesson learned.

A wooden cut out of a man climbing stairs while a human hand holds the last block

Coaching for performance

This innovative Open University short course will help you develop practical skills and knowledge in performance-based coaching in the workplace. 


Key Information

  • If you have already been awarded a fully funded place with us you may not be awarded a further place on these short business courses
  • First choice places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. For this reason, please select two other short business courses that you would like to study in the expression of interest form. We are expecting a large volume of applications and we will endeavour to offer you ONE course, subject to demand
  • There is no limit on the number of people who can apply from any one organisation (where this is applicable)
  • All of the courses will require approx. 25 hours to complete with the exception of coaching for performance course that will take approx. 50 hours to complete. The majority of this study will take place during June 2021
  • Courses will start on 2 June via a 60 minute introductory webinar. Please select preferred time via the expression of interest form. Should you be successful, please save this date
  • You will NOT be awarded credits for studying these courses. They are for standalone study only and cannot be counted towards a further Open University qualification
  • For those seeking accredited courses or those who are not eligible for the fully funded courses outlined above, please follow the link to our courses page where you can view the wide range of undergraduate, postgraduate and microcredential courses we offer: