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Managing in a changing world

This module will encourage you to develop, as well as challenge, your current knowledge and skills in order to deal with contemporary and rapidly changing areas of management and marketing. Using both independent and collaborative approaches to learning, the module will enable you to integrate and understand ways of managing these core business functions in the face of globalisation, technological advancements and recent economic, social and political upheavals.

If you're interested in studying this module as the starting point to our MBA, join our MBA webinar session to get more information.

Vocational relevance

The module is designed for professionals from a wide range of contexts and backgrounds who need to actively engage with the challenges of contemporary management, develop their management skills and knowledge of management frameworks, theories and tools and use these appropriately in order to make a real difference in their own practice.


B870 is a compulsory module in our:

B870 is an optional module in our:

In certain circumstances this module can also count towards D37, D64, F11 and F72, which are no longer available to new students.

Excluded combinations

Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with an adviser before registering.


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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What you will study

The module provides you with the opportunity to develop and learn about managing and marketing in relation to your working life and personal practice. As an aspiring organisational decision-maker, you'll gain the knowledge and tools necessary to successfully take advantage of cutting-edge theories of management and human resource management. This will be linked to the values of collective responsibility, aesthetics and ethics. You'll become empowered to create responsible growth, across a range of private sector, public and not for profit organisations, while also critically reflecting on your own potential in terms of leadership and management practice. In addition, you'll explores the ways in which marketing can be used to more effectively help organisations to be both successful and forward thinking in a business environment that is quickly moving beyond traditional geographic, cultural and organisational boundaries.  

The module offers a developmental route appropriate for the first module of an MBA, which builds on and consolidates knowledge through a series of activities and text. You'll learn new concepts, and to question, reflect and apply these throughout the module, so that you learn to be challenging, discerning and critical practitioners in the changing workplace. The starting point is learning about core concepts of management in relation to historical (past) and contemporary (present) practices. Some concepts are illustrated through international examples, while also harnessing and applying your own experiences and practices. However, most importantly, the module prompts and encourages you to imagine alternative possibilities for what managing (as a verb) might look like. This is particularly salient in the context of current predictions suggesting that our working lives could change dramatically in the near to mid future.  

Three themes provide a coherent and strong conceptual narrative to the module. These overarching themes provide a way of relating different and disparate knowledge to a conceptually organised framework. The first theme is Representations and Realities which deals primarily with ambivalence, ambiguity and the conflicted tensions/struggles that might result from the everyday practice of managing. Representations could be theories, discourse, or the taken-for-granted common sense understandings of a topic, that sharply contrast with what happens in practice/our lived experience of everyday work. The second theme, Traditional and Contemporary, provides an opportunity to show how the world of work, and academic ideas, are constantly reshaping. This theme complements representations and realities, allowing you to imagine new realities and alternatives for the future, but also challenge those that have been dominant for some time. The third theme, Unitarism and Pluralism, challenges the idea that there is one best way and the assumption that when we speak of ‘an organisation’ we are talking about one harmonious and homogenous entity.

The module comprises 21 study sessions, each of which represent a week of study. You will be required to study between 12 and 15 hours per week for six months.

Satisfactory participation at the 14-day online equivalent of the residential school is required. In the online version you should expect to spend about 1.5 hours per day on various tasks and activities.

Please note that if you start this module in November, the online school is likely to be towards the end of the following February/early March. If you start in May, the online school is likely to be towards the end of August. (These dates are subject to change).

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Your learning takes place within a tutor-facilitated group of approximately 20 students. Your tutor provides individual tuition, professional advice and support, mentoring, assessment and regular feedback on your performance throughout the module. You'll learn by working with your group and individually online in structured activities. These are supported by a wide range of resources including specially designed books and a world-class online library. Activities generally require online participation over two to six week periods and contribute to your reflective practice and your assessment.

We aim to provide online tutorials and recordings of these will typically be made available to students. While you’re not obliged to attend any of these tutorial events, you are strongly encouraged to take part.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Tutor-marked assignments are scheduled at regular intervals (approximately every six weeks) throughout the module and are based on the work you do during the relevant block. Extensive guidance is given on all assignments submitted.

Course work includes

2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
Embedded residential school

Future availability

Managing and marketing in a changing world starts twice a year, in May and November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2021 and May 2022. We expect it to start for the last time in November 2026.


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

    This module is the first module in our Open University Business School masters degree programme. Normally, to register for this module you must have a UK honours degree or equivalent professional qualification, and a minimum of three years’ experience in a managerial, professional or technical role.

    If you're an experienced manager, who does not meet the academic requirement, you can be accepted if you hold the Professional Certificate in Management (S01) (previously coded C31). This is now discontinued.

    If you have the equivalent of a UK bachelors degree without honours, you may be permitted to progress on to the MBA or other masters qualification by taking Managing 1: organisations and people (B628). Alternatively if you have an official Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score of 640 or above, and the equivalent of a UK bachelors degree, you will be allowed to progress directly on to the MBA. If you think either of these possibilities may apply to you, please speak to an adviser.

    You will also need an appropriate facility in English language, sufficient to be able to work effectively at postgraduate level; generally this means capability equivalent to an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.5. To assess your English language skills in relation to your proposed studies you can visit the IELTS website. If you are unsure whether your skill level in English is adequate you may find it helpful to look at our Skills for OU Study site.


    Start End England fee Register
    06 Nov 2021 Apr 2022 £3140.00

    Registration closes 14/10/21 (places subject to availability)

    07 May 2022 Oct 2022 £3140.00

    Registration closes 14/04/22 (places subject to availability)

    This module is expected to start for the last time in November 2026.

    Future availability

    Managing and marketing in a changing world starts twice a year, in May and November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2021 and May 2022. We expect it to start for the last time in November 2026.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

    Residential school

    This module has a compulsory residential school. There’s no additional cost, but you must pay for your travel to and from the venue. Due to the ongoing pandemic, we may replace face-to-face events with online alternatives.

    If you can’t attend the school, there’s an online alternative.

    Ways to pay for this module

    We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

    That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

    Study materials

    What's included

    You’ll be provided with three printed module books, each covering one unit of study have access to a module website, which includes:

    • a week-by-week study planner
    • course-specific module materials
    • audio and video content
    • assignment details and submission section
    • online tutorial access.
    • online university library access.

    Computing requirements

    You'll need a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of 64-bit Windows 10 (note that Windows 7 is no longer supported) or macOS and broadband internet access.

    To join in spoken conversations in tutorials we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

    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

    Elements of this module are delivered online and include the use of real-time online discussions and an interactive whiteboard space, so time spent using a computer and the internet will be extensive. If you use assistive technology or have a hearing or speech impairment and have concerns about accessing this type of virtual environment and materials you can visit the system provider's website for information and contact The Open University to discuss it further before registering.

    Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.