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Development Management

This certificate addresses the needs of development managers as well as other professionals – such as engineers, health workers, educationalists, agriculturalists, bankers, scientists – who work in development contexts, local and global, with a view to bringing about good change. You'll gain a better understanding of the complex processes labelled 'development', particularly but not exclusively 'international development'. You'll also explore the theory, policy and practice of development management, encouraging both critical reflection on how development is managed at present and creative thinking on how it might be managed better. Alongside this, the certificate helps build a range of development management skills.

Key features of the course

• Explores the complexity of 'development' locally and globally

• Critically analyses development management, challenges conventional thinking, and encourages the creation of better approaches

• Builds a range of understandings and skills – conceptual, professional, and practical – for managing development

• Promotes competence in using key tools that contribute to development management practice

• Makes links between academic learning and professional practice, to the benefit of both

This certificate is part of a progressive programme of courses that also includes the Postgraduate Certificate in Conflict and Development (C67), Postgraduate Certificate in Human Rights and Development Management (C96), Postgraduate Diploma in Development Management (D37) and MSc in Development Management (F11).

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

• Knowledge and understanding

• Cognitive skills

• Practical and professional skills

• Key skills

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Development Management entitling you to use the letters PG Cert (Dev Mgmt) (Open) after your name.

You can continue your studies and add 60 credits to your postgraduate certificate to gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Development Management (D37) and a further 60 credits to obtain an MSc in Development Management (F11).

Recognition in your country

If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.

Credit transfer

You cannot count credit for study you have already completed elsewhere towards this qualification.

Entry requirements

You should normally hold a bachelors degree from a UK university (or equivalent), or have had experience of working, in a paid or voluntary capacity, in a development agency (international or local).

If you are a non-graduate we suggest that you contact us before registering on your first module.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.


6 months – 1 year

Most students study this qualification in one year by studying two modules, each lasting six months, in succession. The minimum time to complete is six months (by studying the two modules at the same time): we do not recommend this, but it might suit you if you have no other major time commitments during that period.

Number of credits

60 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance

Managers working in development contexts need the ability to appreciate the diversity and complexity of these contexts and the capacity to bring about good change. They also need the capacity to understand their own role and the roles of others in bringing about change that works. The modules making up this certificate provide an historical and interdisciplinary framework for analysing the contexts in which development interventions take place and a set of skills for planning, implementing and evaluating those interventions. They equip practitioners to make more effective contributions to the policy and practice of their organisations.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.

Further enquiries

Tel: (01) 678 5399

Fax: (01) 678 5442


Subjects taught


To gain this qualification, you need 60 credits as follows:

Compulsory modules Credits

Development: context and practice (T877) 30

Capacities for managing development (T878) 30

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules TU870, TU871, TUXX870, TUXX871

We recommend that you study Development: context and practice (T877) first, particularly if you are new to this subject.

You should note that the University's unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 20 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!