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Systems Thinking in Practice

This certificate may change the way you think about the situations you face. You will learn to think more holistically, understanding the roles other people play, taking account of the interconnectedness of all the components making up the problem situation and working more collaboratively. You will find out how to relate the ideas of key systems thinkers to your own practice. The discipline of systems thinking gives you the tools to challenge your approach to complex situations; to assess how all the different components within a situation are related; to consider the roles other people play; to recognise that each person brings with them their own perspective on a situation and to work with those multiple perspectives.

Key features of the course
• Deepens your understanding of the nature of complex and messy problem situations and how they can be tackled
• Helps you develop new ways of thinking about and approaching situations that cross multiple discipline and skill boundaries
• Provides skills to think more holistically and work more collaboratively to avoid systemic failures.

This certificate is the first stage of a study programme that progresses to a postgraduate diploma and finally a masters degree. You can step off at any point, or study the whole programme.

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

Entry requirements

To start this programme, you should normally hold a UK bachelors degree, or equivalent. It may be possible to demonstrate your ability to study at postgraduate level by successfully completing a module and linking your studies to the programme at a later date.

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.

Our badged open course, Succeeding in postgraduate study, will introduce you to the nature of Master's level study. It offers essential preparation for pursuing your learning at this level – and is free.

Duration

Minimum - 1 year.

Most students study this qualification in one to two years. The minimum time to complete is one year. There is no maximum time to complete but we cannot guarantee that the same selection of modules will continue to be available. Modules can count towards the certificate for a maximum of eight years after we have stopped presenting them.

Number of credits

60 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
The knowledge and skills developed through this postgraduate certificate course will provide benefits in a wide variety of economic sectors to you as well as to your employers or other organisations. Applications exist in any organisation where complex processes exist and where a change is required, including, for example, health services, environmental and development management, manufacturing and IT. Managers at all levels will find the ability to approach complex problems from a systems perspective to be a useful addition to their management and leadership skills portfolio. If you are self-employed you may also find the knowledge developed enables you to take a more objective and innovative view of the systems you have already created and how to change these for the future.

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
Email: ireland@open.ac.uk

Subjects taught

Modules
To gain this qualification, you need either both 30-credit core modules:
Core modules
Managing systemic change: inquiry, action, and interaction (TU812)
Thinking strategically: system tools for managing change (TU811)

Or one 30-credit core module plus a 30-credit optional module from the following list:

Optional modules
Capacities for managing development (T878)
Conflict and development (T879)
Continuing professional development in practice (U810)
Data management (M816)
Development: context and practice (T877)
Digital forensics (M812)
Information security (M811)
Institutional development (TU872)
Making environmental decisions (T891)
Managing for sustainability (T867)
Managing technological innovation (T848)
Project management (M815)
Software development (M813)
Software engineering (M814)
Strategic capabilities for technological innovation (T849)

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules B820, B821, B822, B823, B825, B856, B857, BZX820, BZX821, BZX822, BZX823, BZX825, H807, H808, T835, T837, T839, T840, T846, T850, T851, T852, T853, T860, T861, T862, T863, T882, T883, T889, T890, T894, TD866, TU870, TU871, TU875, TUXX870, TUXX871, TUXX872, TUXX875, TXX861, TXX863, UYL810.
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.

The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.

Comment

On completion
On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Certificate in Systems Thinking in Practice entitling you to use the letters PG Cert SysPract (Open) after your name.

You may continue your studies and add a further 60 credits to your postgraduate certificate to gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Systems Thinking in Practice (E28) and a further 60 credits to gain an MSc in Systems Thinking in Practice (F47) .

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
If you have already completed some successful study at postgraduate level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this Open University qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible as it may affect your choice of OU modules. If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete your qualification with us.

Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!