Online Microcredential in Business & Management

Business Management: People Management and Leadership

Gain critical people management and leadership skills to support your organisation and boost your career with The Open University.

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The Open UniversityThe Open University

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Discover tools and techniques to make you an effective, inclusive people manager

Good people management skills are vital in meeting the challenges faced by organisations of all shapes and sizes across the world.

Designed by world-class academics from The Open University, with input from industry experts with diverse perspectives, this microcredential will introduce you to frameworks and ideas that will help you become an ethical and inclusive people manager and leader. You’ll learn the critical tools and techniques needed to adapt and respond to the changing needs of your organisation, and further your career.

Learn why people management and leadership skills are so vital

Organisations are increasingly required to be more agile and find innovative solutions to challenges and opportunities. Research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) shows that people management skills will be at the heart of successful responses to the challenges and unexpected disruptions that will face organisations in the coming years.

Develop your own management and leadership identity

Through a range of engaging and interactive activities, you’ll be encouraged to reflect on your own managerial identity and explore how relationships with others inform the way you work.

You’ll develop your understanding of management as a living and changing practice and develop skills to be able to adapt to different contexts and challenges.

The microcredential will show you how to support and lead others with care, creating a culture where your team and colleagues feel motivated, included and valued. You’ll understand how coaching can sustain the development of your team and how being an effective mentor can support personal development and career aspirations.

Gain in-demand skills from experts at The Open University

This course has been created by academics from The Open University’s highly respected, triple accredited Business School, who have been pioneering innovative distance learning for over 50 years.

You’ll hear from practising managers in the retail, service, and manufacturing sectors, about their own experiences of people management and how they have set and pursued their goals and overcome challenges. These examples will help you to think more widely about your own work and how you may be able to use their learning to support your practice.

Throughout the microcredential, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your experiences with other learners, enabling you to gain unique insights and perspectives to help broaden your understanding.

You’ll be actively encouraged to apply your new skills to your own work, so you can immediately put your learning into practice and add value to your organisation.

Throughout the course you’ll take part in weekly activities to support and consolidate your learning. At the end of the course, you’ll submit an assessment which is marked and graded with personalised feedback, by subject matter experts.

Discover more of The Open University’s Business and Management microcredentials – designed to provide you with key leadership and management skills that will set you up for career success.

Choose from Marketing Principles and Practice, Improving Organisational Practice, Financial Accounting for Non-Financial Roles, Fundamentals of Management Accounting and Project Management.

What skills will you learn?

  • Analysing and framing problems
  • Influencing people
  • Informed decision-making
  • Working inclusively
  • Self-reflection
  • Organising tasks in a collaborative environment
  • Managing performance
  • Motivating others
  • Effective communication

What you will achieve

By the end of the microcredential, you’ll be able to...

  • Identify appropriate actions for your personal development and the development of others
  • Develop your own identity as a leader and manager
  • Apply different frameworks and ideas to your own practice
  • Demonstrate awareness of ethical issues in people management
  • Develop your own approach to a supportive and inclusive work culture
  • Reflect critically on the relevance of different ideas and frameworks

Are you eligible for this microcredential?

This is an introductory course, suitable for anyone interested in people management and leadership. You do not need any specific experience or qualifications to enrol but you should feel comfortable engaging with some academic content.

The course material does not assume that learners are currently working. Past experiences will be just as relevant.

The course has a global focus and delivers transferable skills for diverse sectors and organisations.

Is this microcredential right for you?

This microcredential will increase your confidence in applying people management frameworks to your work and using concepts, tools, and techniques to develop your practice. In particular, it will enhance the skills and employability of:

  • Professionals who are new to a management role but lack formal qualifications
  • Middle managers looking to develop their people management skills
  • Junior professionals who would like to progress to management
  • Self-employed people looking to develop their skills and knowledge
  • Managers who are keen to develop their employees and organisational performance


What happens before, during, and after your microcredential

  • Before learning

    You’ll have access to our online welcome area where you’ll be able to read any information relating to your microcredential.

  • Course

    From 28 Oct 2024

    Business Management: People Management and Leadership

    Gain critical people management and leadership skills to support your organisation and boost your career, with The Open University

    10 weeks

    10 hours per week

  • After learning

    Your submitted assessment will be marked and graded by subject matter experts and you’ll also receive personalised feedback on your work. You’ll continue to have ongoing access to the course materials.

What you will receive

10 UK credits at Undergraduate level from The Open University and a Certificate

Academic credits are awarded on passing the final assessment. These will be at undergraduate level 6 of the Framework for Higher Education (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) / level 10 of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.

Find out how credits work and where you can use them in our FAQs.

What is a microcredential?

Microcredentials are designed to upskill you for work in rapidly-growing industries, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree. Your microcredential can stand alone as an independent credential, and some also offer academic credit to use towards a degree.

Learn online with expert instructors

Complete online courses led by experts over multiple weeks with a dedicated group of professionals.

Complete project-based assessments

Test your understanding with online tutor-marked assessments and exercises.

Earn a professional credential

Finish your learning and pass your assessments to gain an accredited credential.

Advance further in your career

Use your microcredential as evidence of your specialised skills and progress further in your industry.

Career-focused learning by The Open University

As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Delivered by experts

Cinzia Priola is a professor of Work and Organisation Studies at the Open University and a chartered psychologist. She specialises in people management, diversity and inclusion in organisations.

Emma Bell is a researcher and educator who has published over 40 research articles, eight books and over 20 chapters about how people behave in organisations.

Dr Saoirse O'Shea is a Senior Lecturer at the Open University in the Department of People and Organisations. Their specialisms including Leadership, EDI and HRM.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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When would you like to start?

We aim to run our microcredentials every few months. Join on the date that suits you or register to hear about future runs and updates.

Not ready to join yet? Register to find out more

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We can accept payments made by card (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) or PayPal via our online system.

You will have 14 days from the day the course starts to apply for a refund. If this Microcredential has any non-refundable costs they will be stated in the ‘Overview’ section above. You can find more information in our cancellation and refund policy.

Microcredentials are designed to fit around your life and timezone.

There may be live events as part of your studies, but these will be recorded and can be watched afterwards if you aren’t online for the live broadcast.

No, microcredentials are designed to be taken anywhere in the world. You won’t need the right to study in the country where the university offering the microcredential is based.

Microcredentials are stand-alone courses designed to meet specific learner and employer needs. Those awarded by The Open University have academic credit value at either undergraduate or postgraduate level, and, if appropriate, this may be used towards selected Open University qualifications. For more details, including eligible qualifications, visit The Open University’s Counting microcredentials towards OU qualifications page.

The credit awarded may potentially be used at another university, subject to the agreement of the receiving institution.

Want to know more? Read the microcredential FAQs, or contact us.