The Open University’s learning programmes are all about boosting your business success

The Open University


• Our expertise in management education,
combined with
leading edge multimedia
materials, personal support and work based
learning means we offer a flexible approach
which we call supported “Open Learning”

• Our services range from professional
skills updating, vocational qualifications
and masters degrees to bespoke

• More than 50,000 organisations and
over 75% of FTSE
100 companies
sponsor staff on our courses

• Our Business
School is among the
world’s top 1% of business schools
with international accreditation:

 The Open University's international accreditation

The Open University knows the 'one size fits all' philosophy doesn't work
The Open University: find out more

The business landscape is changing rapidly and the question you should be asking yourself is “do you have the skills to manage these changes?”

When it comes to training and development we know that the ‘one size fits all’ philosophy doesn’t work when it comes to business which is why The Open University (OU) takes time to understand your organisation’s unique challenges and culture, and to find out the most productive manner for your employees to learn.

This enables us to design bespoke learning programmes that help overcome business problems and deliver them exactly when and where it suits you, so your organisation will see results fast.

At The Open University we work with all types of organisations and know how to help people put into practice new skills that bring real business results.

Thomson Reuters for example, had a large number of new managers both staff from within the organisation that had moved into a management roles and those new to the organisation.

They recognised that the levels of management expertise and knowledge within this group needed to be bolstered and therefore sought a learning programme to develop the knowledge of management practices which could be instantly integrated into their workplace experience. 

The Open University was able to build the capability of first level managers to carry out core management responsibilities in a business context.

It also raised first level managers’ awareness of their capability needs, gaps and strengths and gave managers in remote locations the opportunities to build their capability through use of collaborative and blended learning techniques.

“The Open University has worked with us to design the eLearning and discussion groups, facilitate them around the globe, and support us as we embed this new approach, providing both challenging and helpful feedback along the way”
Karen Reilly, Management Development Manager, Thomson  Reuters

Making the most of market opportunities

Business development is more important than ever, however strategic change can be profoundly unsettling due to the nature of the unknown. Therefore you need to equip your employees with the tools to capitalise on all opportunities, to make informed, rational and confident decisions and to bring a skilled perspective to challenging situations.

Businesses are now in a position where they need to plan based on the real world situation rather than optimistic aspirations. By seeing things through eyes that have had the privilege of education and training will help manage the changes that need to be made and will ensure effective action is taken. Charles Darwin’s sentiment rings true when he noted “it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

Meet new challenges with greater confidence

Having a solid understanding of the issues that affect your business is paramount to ensuring stability. Growing the knowledge base within your business will improve the efficiency of staff and dramatically increase levels of confidence and professional aptitude. This is what resulted when West Lothian College and The Open University collaborated to create a groundbreaking Health and Social Care Management Programme in close consultation with NHS Lothian and West Lothian Council .

The pilot programme offered diploma level qualifications accessible by distance learning, interactive workshops and online interaction. The common themes that were addressed in this programme included communication, leadership, managing diversity, motivation, change management and conflict resolution.

As a result the managers saw their staff’s confidence grow significantly. They had a greater belief in their abilities, were better able to plan actions and furthermore were more reflective and open and had a better view of the ‘bigger picture’.

“The Health and Care Management programme has shown that it can support our managers in having a real influence on the future shape of our care services.”
David Kelly, Director of West Lothian

Make training budgets work harder and smarter

IBM Greenock and The Open University jointly launched a new pilot course called ‘Make your experience count.’ The aim was to enable employees to reflect on their work experience gained in IBM and, through a structured process, consider what they have learned during that period. It offered a wide range of learning opportunities and wanted employees to gain credit for this learning and embark on further study to help to develop their careers.

Through an allocated tutor, additional face-to-face support sessions and monthly meetings with the workplace mentor, students on the pilot course felt enriched by the learning experience.  The course gave learners the opportunity to gain credits towards higher education qualifications by drawing on their prior learning experiences. They engaged with online course materials and completed assessments to help them to describe and reflect upon prior learning, take stock of their skills and plan for personal and career development.

“This course forms the foundation of a long and fruitful relationship for IBM,
The Open University and most importantly for IBM employees.”
Robin Gordon, Strategy Manager, IBM Greenock Campus

Why The Open University?

Without the need to leave the workplace, Open University courses can improve the day-to-day performance and career horizons of most professional and managerial staff. We pride ourselves on our attributes of choice, flexibility, quality and support which all leads to our clients enjoying immediate results. But don’t just take our word for it:

“I chose The Open University to progress my studies because of the flexibility; to enable me to balance my work life whilst studying at the same time. It does take a lot of time and dedication, but the perseverance is worth it when you see the final results. It was so satisfying to complete my dissertation and obtain an MSc in Computing for Commerce and Industry.”
Carolyn Jenkins (studied computing, UK)
“I feel that both I and my employer benefited from my studies from day one. I could work on real work issues and implement solutions immediately while studying, rather than being removed from the workplace as is the case with full-time degrees. I started asking different questions and became more effective when making decisions. I was also more confident in building social networks and relationships.”
Andre Simonian (studies an MBA, Netherlands)
“It was excellent for so many reasons. It developed me both as a person and employee but also taught me a wealth of techniques and processes to help me in my job. Best of all, I was able to bring what I’d learned into the office and apply it in my job.”
Paige Bramley, Project Development Manager, Derwent Community Team

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