Online Microcredential in Business & Management

Management of Uncertainty: Leadership, Decisions and Action

Develop greater leadership skills and learn to make effective decisions in conditions of radical uncertainty.

471 enrolments

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The Open UniversityThe Open University

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Discover how to make effective decisions when faced with radical uncertainty

This microcredential will support you in developing the skills, capabilities and perspectives needed in a world of radical uncertainties.

You’ll develop new ways of engaging with radical uncertainties, think critically about how uncertainties are distributed in societies and organisations, develop greater resilience in the face of radical uncertainty and unexpected events, and grow your own capacity for leadership and action.

Enhance your problem-solving skills and find opportunity in business uncertainty

Brexit, climate change, COVID-19, social and political change, terrorism, disruptive technologies and shifts in geopolitical power are just a few of the sources of radical uncertainty organisations around the world are facing. There is increasing awareness that agility and innovation in the face of uncertainty and the unexpected are vital capabilities.

For many in leadership and management positions, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the hazards of the unexpected, while others have shown remarkable innovation and agility, seizing the opportunities that uncertainty can create.

Learn how to make effective decisions using real-world examples

This microcredential will provide you with the insights to lead, make timely decisions, and take effective action when faced with issues that arise from radical uncertainty.

You’ll benefit from the expertise and insights of both academic experts and senior leaders from multiple disciplines and sectors, as well as major research network, Challenging Radical Uncertainty in Science, Society and the Environment (CRUISSE).

Learn from real senior leaders’ experience of radical uncertainty

Combining over 30 years of research and expertise in the challenges of decision making and acting in conditions of radical uncertainty, this course draws on management theory, psychology, philosophy, sociology, and economics.

Under guidance from The Open University, you’ll apply ideas in the course directly to uncertainties you face in your work and reflect on these in collaboration with other learners. You’ll apply what you learn to your own challenges in a final project that reflects on your learning and future development.

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 by subject matter experts.

Is this microcredential suitable for those in senior leadership and managerial roles in business, the public sector or third sector?

Yes. This course will support those in, or aspiring to, more senior roles to develop how they engage with uncertainty and build a foundation to continue developing leadership skills and capabilities.

What skills will you learn?

  • Critical analysis
  • Perspective taking
  • Personal resilience
  • Engaging with uncomfortable knowledge
  • Tolerance of ambiguity and ambivalence
  • Ethical awareness
  • Leadership
  • Influencing
  • Management
  • Planning for uncertainty
  • Decision making
  • Strategic thinking

What you will achieve

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

  • Identify the ways in which as individuals, organisations and societies we construct certainty and avoid uncertainty
  • Apply multiple perspectives on uncertainty and tools for engaging with uncertainty whilst still being able to act
  • Reflect critically on the uses, limitations and dangers of big data, artificial intelligence, and models, in contexts of uncertainty
  • Demonstrate a critical and ethical awareness of how uncertainty is socially distributed in society and in organisations and how your actions as a manager/leader can impact this
  • Reflect on and develop your own capacity for leadership under uncertainty
  • Evaluate assumptions critically, in planning, forecasting, modelling, and strategizing to support more mindful organising and greater resilience in the face of uncertainty

Are you eligible for this microcredential?

To join this microcredential you will ideally have:

  • A Bachelors degree or an equivalent level qualification
  • Experience of working in a role that exposes you to some of the significant uncertainties that organisations face
  • A strong interest in improving your capabilities in leading, managing, deciding and acting in the face of major uncertainties

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

If you do not have a degree or equivalent level qualification you may find the postgraduate level assessment challenging.

Is this microcredential right for you?

This microcredential would benefit anyone currently working, or looking to work in:

  • Senior roles in business, the public sector or third sector
  • Strategic analysis or consulting
  • New product development
  • Managing or commissioning large complex projects

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


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 11 Mar 2024

    Management of Uncertainty: Leadership, Decisions and Action

    Build the skills and capabilities required to manage and lead in the face of radical uncertainty

    12 weeks

    13 hours per week

  • After learning

    Your submitted assessment will be marked and graded by subject matter experts. You’ll continue to have ongoing access to the course materials.

What you will receive

15 UK credits at Postgraduate level from The Open University and a Certificate

Academic credits are awarded on passing the final assessment. These will be at postgraduate level 7 of the Framework for Higher Education (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) / level 11 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

I am a Professor of Organisational Behaviour who researches and advises on how consumers, bankers and leaders make decisions in conditions of uncertainty. My blog is at

Dr Layla Branicki is Senior Lecturer in HRM and Organisation Studies in The Open University Business School. Layla has a specific interest in understanding uncertainty and resilience.

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?

Enrolment for this microcredential is closed. We aim to run our microcredentials every few months. Register to find out more about this microcredential and future start dates.

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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.