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Making Sense of Strategy, Short Course

  • Application Deadline
  • 9 months
University rank #501 (WUR) Online
The fascinating world of strategy – from its origins and development as a subject to the controversies that dominate contemporary strategic debate - is introduced in the Making Sense of Strategy programme offered by The Open University UK.


The Making Sense of Strategy programme offered by The Open University UK is relevant to anyone interested in how organisations and individuals make sense of the world and strive for success. 

You’ll develop skills in clear thinking, independent enquiry and collaborative working as you analyse and apply the ideas and approaches that have done most to influence how strategy is conceived and carried out in today’s organisations, whether commercial or not-for-profit, locally, nationally and internationally. You’ll take part in an online collaboration with other students for three weeks during February.

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material. They will mark and comment on your written work, and you can ask them for advice and guidance. We may also be able to offer group tutorials or day schools that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where your tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the module.

What you will study

Strategy is the way in which organisations and individuals orient themselves towards what they see as success in their various fields of endeavour. Traditionally this has been taken to involve formal sequences of analysis, planning and choice, and implementation of coordinated activities in pursuit of deliberate goals. Other schools of thought have argued that the wide gap between intention and achievement means that the study of strategy should focus on how winning strategies actually emerge almost in spite of such processes.

As the world grows more complex from rapid change in technology, lifestyles, markets and politics, it becomes increasingly difficult for strategists to interpret and exploit opportunities for long-term advantage with any certainty. Strategy is thus a dynamic and controversial field, but an understanding of it, and the ability to critically apply strategic thinking, is more important than ever in the twenty-first century work environment.

Vocational relevance

The focus throughout the module on developing skills (cognitive, practical and professional) closely reflects the Quality Assurance Agency’s benchmark statement expectations for business studies and clearly expresses the module’s intention to enhance the employability of its students. Although it has a significant theoretical component, the module’s emphasis on practical application of strategic models also supports employability across a range of sectors.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Part-time
    • Average part-time duration 9 months
    • Part-time variant
  • Credits
    60 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    • Teacher support
      Continuous support with feedback on request, Proactive tutoring and support

Programme Structure

6 blocks module:

  • Block 1: Introducing strategy starts by examining some common definitions of strategy and teasing out their assumptions and implications. 
  • Block 2: Analysing your environment examines the ways in which organisations make sense of their external and internal environments, and discusses the strengths and limitations of each technique. 
  • Block 3: Strategic choices continues our critical examination of models and concepts espoused by strategists working broadly within the economic rational tradition. 
  • Block 4: Collaborative analysis will extend your own analytical and decision-making skills, as you work with other students online on a case-based task. 
  • Block 5: Strategy implementation seeks to demystify what in many respects is the least well-understood aspect of strategy – putting plans into practice. 
  • Block 6: Where next for strategy? – as a dynamic field, strategy needs to address the challenges of an increasingly unpredictable world. 


The module is aimed at those who want a general overview of how modern organisations approach and carry out strategy. 

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

Academic Requirements

  • This is an OU level 3 module. OU level 3 modules build on study skills and subject knowledge acquired from studies at OU levels 1 and 2. They are intended only for students who have recent experience of higher education in a related subject, preferably at the OU.

Tuition Fee

  • EU/EEA

    2928 GBP/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2928 GBP for the full programme and a duration of 9 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.


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