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Managing for sustainability

This module will increase your understanding of delivering and supporting sustainability management. You will develop a multidisciplinary perspective on resources, sustainability and health and safety management which will incorporate strategy, policy, data collection and knowledge management. It will introduce you to a systemic approach for studying organisational operations and methods for quantifying and optimising resource use and energy use while using tools to reduce environmental, societal and financial risk. You will also learn how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness with which your organisation can incorporate sustainability issues and to identify future trends and drivers for change in this area. This module is delivered entirely online.


T867 is a compulsory module in our:

T867 is an optional module in our:

This module can also count towards F12 and M03, 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

This module is divided into three online study blocks.

Block 1: Issues for sustainable resource management
The first block outlines what resources are, how to plan for their usage, what outside influences affect decisions on what resources to use. It explains what sustainability is and how to develop a sustainability strategy, how to write both an environmental and health and safety policy and the issues surrounding corporate social responsibility. The block finishes by considering the integration of health, safety and environmental responsibilities within an organisation.

Block 2: Technical and management tools
The second block helps you to deal with data, how you can collect it and what can be used to measure the sustainability of an organisation. The block considers financial issues, environmental auditing, health and safety auditing, environmental impact assessment, life cycle assessment and multi-criteria decision analysis.

Block 3: Planning for emergencies and communicating with stakeholders
The final block concentrates on communication and why it is important, how to manage information and how to involve stakeholders. This includes how to manage and use data for reporting to both the public and for board-level discussions. The block also demonstrates various environmental management systems and tools for accreditation, e.g. ISO 14001, and considers integrated risk management issues such as emergency planning, analysing incidences and evaluating long term trends.

Finally the module considers new developing environmental and health and safety areas which may become important to organisations in the future.

This module is delivered entirely online and encourages interaction between the organisation you work for and your study materials. To help you understand the issues, all the information you need is provided within the module or signposted to appropriate outside sources. The module also includes interviews from senior representatives of many professional bodies (including the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), Institution of Occupational Health and Safety (IOSH) and Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)) on many of the issues associated with resources and sustainability, and with experts and practitioners in various subjects (such as life cycle assessment, health and safety, and stakeholders and communication).

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Throughout your module studies, you’ll get help and support from your assigned module tutor. They’ll help you by:

  • Marking your assignments (TMAs) and providing detailed feedback for you to improve.
  • Guiding you to additional learning resources.
  • Providing individual guidance, whether that’s for general study skills or specific module content.
  • Facilitating online discussions between your fellow students, in the dedicated module and tutor group forums.

Module tutors also run online tutorials throughout the module. Where possible, recordings of online tutorials will be made available to students. While these tutorials won’t be compulsory for you to complete the module, you’re strongly encouraged to take part. If you want to participate, you’ll likely need a headset with a microphone.


The assessment details can be found in the facts box.

Course work includes

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Future availability

Managing for sustainability (T867) starts once a year – in May.

This page describes the module that will start in May 2022.

We expect it to start for the last time in May 2022.


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 can be taken on its own or as a module of a qualification. If you are taking it as part of a postgraduate qualification, you must have adequate preparation for study at this level, usually demonstrated by a bachelors degree (or the equivalent) from a UK university.

    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 overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.


    Start End England fee Register
    01 May 2022 Oct 2022 £1475.00

    Registration closes 07/04/22 (places subject to availability)

    May 2022 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

    Future availability

    Managing for sustainability (T867) starts once a year – in May.

    This page describes the module that will start in May 2022.

    We expect it to start for the last time in May 2022.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

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

    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 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
    • access to the module student forum.

    There will be some work involving provided spreadsheets.

    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

    Written transcripts of any audio components are available, as are printable versions of the online text based material. Some online material may not be fully accessible using a screen reader and mathematical and scientific materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. 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.