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MBA project: leaders of change

This module offers you the opportunity to make a real change and become a leader of change. The aim is to help you develop as a reflective and independent practitioner by exploring a real business environment, that could be in a national or international context, and influence real organisational outcomes, if your recommendations are implemented. As this is the capstone module of the MBA qualification it is expected to be the last one that you'll need to successfully complete in order to gain your MBA.

Vocational relevance

The module recognises the strong emphasis placed by students and their employers on the value of effective practical application of module-based learning. This module has been designed to meet these requirements. A key aspect of this is in developing and demonstrating a capability for critical and self-directed learning and a capability to apply masters-level learning integrative to real-world problems and opportunities.

It is anticipated that the content of this module, especially the requirement to undertake and report on a practice-based project along with the professional tips and skills that students develop throughout the module will make a significant contribution in your professional practice.


B875 is a compulsory module in our:


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 main aim of the module is to assist you in completing your MBA project, and developing you as a reflective and independent practitioner.

For your MBA project, you'll firstly have to decide on an organisation you would like to use as a case study for your project, select a problem they face and propose how you would solve this problem. The next step is to choose appropriate research tools (primary and secondary, qualitative and quantitative) that will enable you to collect information in order to make recommendations as to how you will proceed with the change or how you have implemented your change. Finally, you'll provide your reflections on the skills, knowledge and competencies you have developed as well as your recommendations for implementation of your change.

In order to assist you in successfully completing your MBA project, the module will be structured into three units as follows:

Unit 1
The aim of this unit is to support you in deciding on the organisation, problem and change you will focus on in your MBA project. You'll develop planning, time and change management skills by exploring issues such as accessibility, organisational and inter-organisational elements and practical issues in order to decide which organisation may be appropriate for your project. In order to decide on a problem that you would like to explore in your chosen organisation and identify relevant change you would like to implement, you'll review current understanding and assess alternative approaches to the identified problem, applying theory.

Unit 2
In this unit you'll be introduced to different methods of data collection and ethics. You'll go through planning, time management, stages of research process and epistemological assumptions that can help you manage the research process. You will also develop an understanding of collecting and analysing data by exploring the use, collection and analysis of secondary and primary (qualitative and quantitative) data. Finally, you'll advance your knowledge of the ethical issues associated with practitioner research.

Unit 3
This unit will support you in completing and writing up your final MBA project. Time will be allocated in order to collect secondary and/or primary data and implement your change when possible. You will also have time to analyse your data and start thinking of your findings while you will explore how you can draw conclusions from your data. Finally, you will have time to concentrate on writing their MBA project and submitting your end-of-module assessment.

You will be required to study between 12 and 15 hours per week for six months.

Satisfactory participation at a three separate online schools is required. Two of these will be run over three days and one will be over 14 days. You should expect to spend about 1-1.5 hours per day on various tasks and activities.

The school is an opportunity to interact with other managers and tutors and to work in small groups. The focus is on assisting students to manage the research process and understand the complexities and requirements of conducting (primary and/or) secondary research when exploring a problem in management-based projects.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Your learning will take place within a tutor-facilitated group of approximately 16 students. Your tutor is responsible for providing individual tuition, professional advice and support, mentoring, assessment and regular feedback on your performance throughout the module. You will learn by working with your group and individually online in structured activities supported by a wide range of resources including books and a world-class online library.

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 throughout the module and are based on the work you do during the relevant unit. 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

MBA project – leaders of change 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 2028.


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 a compulsory module in the Open University Business School masters degree programme and you must have successfully completed Managing and marketing in a changing world (B870) and Creating and sustaining value (B872) before registering on this module.


    Start End England fee Register
    06 Nov 2021 Apr 2022 -

    Registration now closed

    07 May 2022 Oct 2022 £3140.00

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

    05 Nov 2022 Apr 2023 Not yet available

    Registration closes 13/10/22 (places subject to availability)

    06 May 2023 Oct 2023 Not yet available

    Registration opens on 01/09/22

    This module is expected to start for the last time in November 2028.

    Future availability

    MBA project – leaders of change 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 2028.

    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

    As well as individual tuition provision you will have access to regular opportunities for engagement with other students, university library access, an extensive variety of materials specially written and designed exclusively for this module, audio-visual material, published articles and a set of interactive tools to help you develop your management thinking abilities.

    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, 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 out more about what we offer.

    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.