Taught course

An introduction to intercultural competence in the workplace (online short course)

Open University · Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies

Entry requirements

There are no entry requirements for this course.

The course is made up of 10 units and you’ll need around 40 hours to complete the course. You can begin at any time during the life of the course and study at your own pace.

Months of entry


Course content

Intercultural competence is much more than simply learning facts about other countries. It’s a willingness to see the world through someone else’s eyes, developing deep cultural knowledge, curiosity, and empathy, all while exploring your own cultural self-awareness. Throughout this online short course, you’ll look at your own experiences and case studies from employees and employers around the world to analyse the critical role language use, identity claims, and culture can play in interactions you may have with others in a range of professional settings. You’ll explore how various cultural backgrounds within a team can result in different working preferences and communication styles and, by developing your own intercultural competence, you’ll improve your communication skills for the modern workplace, enhancing your career and beyond.

After successfully completing this short course, you’ll receive a digital badge. This can be shared on social media, added to email signatures or act as a certificate.

By the end of this course, you will:

  • understand the implications of simplistic and reductionist definitions of culture
  • be aware of how to accommodate for different communication styles
  • be able to recognise and prevent ‘othering’ and stereotyping
  • have critically evaluated narratives that appear to be objective and ‘normal’
  • understand how recognising someone’s frame of reference is crucial to mediate between cultures
  • be more aware of how your own attitude is crucial in becoming an effective and empathetic communicator at work.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • CPD
    0.4 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

The Open University