Taught course

Business Administration

Open University · The Open University Business School

Entry requirements

All entrants to the postgraduate diploma are expected to have a minimum of three years’ experience in a managerial, professional or technical role. Usually this means that you are at least 25 years old as it is unusual (but not impossible) to be able to satisfy the ‘experience’ requirement under this age. There are two main routes into the postgraduate diploma: If you already hold an honours degree awarded by a UK university, or equivalent, you can start your studies with the Stage 1 module MBA stage 1: management – perspectives and practice (B716) . If you are experienced in managerial work but do not have an honours degree or equivalent you need first to gain our Professional Certificate in Management (S01), This is designed to be studied over one year and is a valuable management qualification in its own right. If you have the equivalent of a UK bachelors degree without honours you may be permitted to progress on to the postgraduate diploma by taking just the first part of the Professional Certificate in Management (S01): Managing 1: organisations and people (B628) . Alternatively if you have an official Graduate Management Admissions 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 postgraduate diploma. Please contact us if you need any advice about entry to the programme. The Open University Business School Masters Programme Committee is responsible for judging whether applicants’ qualifications meet the requirements for admission. 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. The postgraduate diploma is in two stages and typically takes two years to complete; this period is based on a regular study of 12-16 hours per week, which experience shows us is the practical limit for a full-time manager balancing study with career and family responsibilities. You are allowed up to a maximum of five years to complete your postgraduate diploma. If your goal is to gain the MBA you will need to complete the postgraduate diploma over a shorter period as all the study for the MBA must be completed within seven years. As the diploma is an integrated programme with later modules building on earlier study, you need to complete the modules in a set order although you can vary the pace at which you progress through the Stage 2 modules. Stage 1 Stage 1 consists of the module MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716) . This 60-credit module takes 12 months to complete. It is an integrated module covering all the core disciplines which make up the foundations of our MBA curriculum. You must pass Stage 1 before proceeding onto Stage 2. Stage 2 Your first Stage 2 module will be the 30-credit module The dynamics of strategy (BB835) which you study over six months. You then study the 15-credit module Corporate finance (BB831) again studied over six months, and alongside this a 15-credit elective module. We anticipate that you will normally study these two 15-credit modules at the same time although it is also possible to study the elective module once you have completed BB831.

Months of entry

October, April, February

Course content

This innovative course is designed to develop a wide range of interdisciplinary skills that you can apply in your own workplace as you develop. You will gain a solid foundation in core management disciplines, including human resource management, organisational behaviour, accounting and finance, marketing and operations - learning to apply your knowledge to analyse, synthesise and evaluate a wide range of situations. You will explore economic, environmental, social and technological change issues; corporate governance; markets and customers; managing resources and operations; financing organisations; management and development of people; developing information technologies for application in business and management within a global knowledge-based economy, and development of appropriate business policies and strategies within a changing context to meet stakeholder interests.

You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007), Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.

The Open University is the world's leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you're at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you'll be supported throughout your studies - your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

Fees and funding

Costs are paid per unit not per qualification.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
48 months
part time
48 months

Course contact details

0300 303 5303