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.

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 practice.


B870 is a compulsory module in our:

B870 is an optional module in our:

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
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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 critically reflecting on your potential in 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 texts. 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 represents a week of study. You will be required to study between 12 and 15 hours per week for six months. Satisfactory participation at the compulsory residential school is required. The residential school is offered in face-to-face and online options. In the intensive face-to-face and online school you should expect to spend 6 to 8 hours a day on tasks and activities, while if you opt for the less intensive online version, you should expect to spend about 1 to 2 hours per day on tasks and activities.

Please note that if you start this module in November, the school is likely to be towards the end of the following February/early March. If you start in May, the school will likely be towards the end of August/early September. (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 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.

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

Future availability

Managing in a changing world starts twice a year, in May and November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2024 and May 2025. 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 in the Open University Business School Masters degree programme. You’ll be eligible to register for this module by satisfying the following academic, work experience and language requirements.

Academic requirements
There are three ways to meet the academic requirements:

1: Bachelors degree with honours
You'll need to have a bachelors degree with honours awarded by a UK university or equivalent.

2: Bachelors degree without honours
You'll need to have a bachelors degree without honours awarded by a UK university or equivalent, and you'll need to have completed either:

  • the discontinued OU module Managing 1: organisations and people (B628)
  • three of our Business Management microcredentials*
  • the GMAT examination and achieved a result of 640 or higher.
3: No Bachelors degree
If you don’t have a bachelors degree, you'll need to have completed either:
  • the discontinued OU Professional Certificate in Management (S01)
  • six of our Business Management microcredentials*

*See our Microcredentials page for further information.

Work experience requirement
You’ll need to have gained a minimum of three years’ experience in a managerial, technical or professional role.

Language requirement
Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 6.5 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see their website for details.


Start End England fee Register
02 Nov 2024 Apr 2025 £3360.00

Registration closes 10/10/24 (places subject to availability)

03 May 2025 Oct 2025 £3360.00

Registration closes 17/04/25 (places subject to availability)

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

Future availability

Managing in a changing world starts twice a year, in May and November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2024 and May 2025. 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 residential school. There’s no additional cost for this, but you must pay for your travel.

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 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.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

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.

To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our disability support pages.

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