Professional Diploma in Management (BZR700)

The Diploma develops functional and general skills needed by experienced managers who want to advance their careers and extend their abilities to meet the latest developments in business practice.
The Diploma is made up of two parts, both of which must be completed for you to be awarded the qualification. Part 1 of the Diploma comprises the Certificate.
This is made up of one 12-month courses:

BZR700 Managing Performance and Change
Teaching is provided in Russian at LINK regional centers. Given successful completion, students are awarded Professional Diploma in Management of the British Open University. Successful completion of the Diploma allows direct entry into Stage 2 of the MBA.

Diploma Program Course Information
BZR700 Managing Performance and Change

This course provides the tools and techniques you need to improve performance in your team, department, organization or project. It brings cross-functional perspectives – from markets, operations, finance and accounting, and people – to bear on complex management problems. The first two blocks focus on understanding and measuring performance, and on improving performance. Block 3 develops more advanced skills in areas such as change management. At the end, you will be better able to make appropriate management decisions and interventions. All blocks involve project work, culminating in the final assignment, a full project proposal and investigation. The course includes a residential school (either face-to-face or online), printed texts, video, CD-ROMs and computer conferencing.

The course’s first learning objective is to enable you to understand how different disciplines contribute to more generic management tasks and projects. The second learning objective is to enable you to understand how course frameworks apply to your own work and organization. You will be asked to reflect on how ideas are applied in your own organization, and from time to time you will carry out a more substantial task based on your own organization. The third learning objective is to extend your understanding of management problems beyond your own organization and sector. To make this learning possible there are structured activities throughout the course, using online conferencing.
There are three blocks of study, each organized round a theme. Structured work building towards a project is integrated throughout the three blocks. There is also an end of course examination.

Block 1 Understanding performance starts with the question ‘What do we mean by performance? This is approached from the perspectives of markets, finance, operations, information, and people. The block goes on to consider the value of performance measurement, how different kinds of performance might be measured and evaluated, and the problems associated with performance evaluation.

Block 2 Improving performance again considers different perspectives on performance, but this time the emphasis is on strategies for improvement.

Block 3 considers two related themes, Managing projects and change. It introduces frameworks for understanding and implementing change. The first part of the block considers common drivers for change and approaches to implementing and managing it. The second part looks at the management of projects, taking the human and political aspects into account as well as the technical aspects.

While many of the study sessions are specific to finance, operations, information, markets or people, the study guide provides material and activities designed to help you understand how these perspectives work together. By the time you have completed the course you should:

Understand how different disciplines contribute to more generic management tasks and projects
Have extended your understanding of management problems beyond your own organization
Have developed your analytical, reflective and decision-making skills
Be able to hold informed conversations with functional specialists and understand how to draw effectively on their expertise.
Be better able to make appropriate interventions and decisions in the management of teams, projects and departments.
Have an improved awareness of and ability to contribute to a strategic view of organizational objectives
Understand how course frameworks apply to your own work and organization.
Be better prepared for future study either with the Open University Business School or elsewhere, and for lifelong learning more generally.

The project will enable you to:

Undertake and report on an in-depth investigation of an issue of performance management of your own choosing, resulting in recommendations for a program of action.

Apply course concepts and theory in a practical context.
Integrate several of the disciplines you have studied.
Demonstrate empirical investigative skills.

Your project report will include sections designed to be useful to a ‘client’ (such as a senior manager in the organization), and will also discuss the learning you have gained and relate it to the theoretical frameworks you have studied.

The course will enable you to practise:

application and evaluation of course concepts from at least two of the perspectives
selecting investigative methods
collecting data, including primary data
basic data analysis
relating the findings of your analysis to course frameworks
making feasible and appropriate recommendations
reflecting on the finished project – an appreciation of its strengths and weaknesses
producing a clear exposition of the wider learning you can transfer from the project process and findings to other management situations.

You will use your computer to submit assignments and to work collaboratively with other students on tasks based on concepts and assignments presented in the course. You will have access to a website that offers resources for and news about the Professional Diploma.

The Professional Diploma in Management will be of particular interest to middle-level managers in large organizations and those who have a leadership role in smaller organizations. It offers an opportunity to step back from your own situation and focuses on themes of understanding and improving performance and managing projects and change.

To enter the Professional Diploma you must hold our Professional Certificate in Management or an approved equivalent qualification. You also need to have personal knowledge and experience of managing in an organization. The course lasts for twelve months. If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact your Regional Centre.

Residential school
Attendance at a residential school is compulsory for the award of the Professional Diploma in Management. You can choose to attend either a 2.5-day face-to-face residential school or an online version. The online activity runs over a period of three weeks. The cost of the school is included in the course fee.

Support from your tutor
You will have a tutor who will help you with the course material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. Your tutor will offer tutorials that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where tutorials are held depends on the distribution of students taking each course. Your Regional Centre will provide you with both general and certain specialist help with your studies. Ask your Regional Centre if you need to know more before you decide whether to register.