Institution / Open University In Ireland
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Development Management

If you have responsibility for development projects, programmes or policies, are thinking about moving into development work, or are a professional – an engineer, health worker, educationalist, banker, for example – working in a development context, this diploma will enable you to develop skills that enhance your ability to bring about good change. Whatever the setting of your work – in a national, international or inter-governmental agency, a government or non-governmental organisation, a public or private enterprise – you will find yourself exploring matters that are key to that work, and reflecting critically on development management theory, policy and practice – including your own.

Key features of the course
• Addresses development in diverse fields such as health and well-being, livelihoods, education, the environment, war and resettlement, and infrastructure
• Develops key skills such as strategic thinking and planning, relationship building, mapping and modelling, negotiation and brokering
• Connects theory with practice, testing and developing both
• The opportunity to top up to the MSC in Development Management in just one more year.

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 for advice 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.


Minimum 1 year.

Most students study this qualification in two years by studying the four six-month modules in succession, though some take a six-month break at some point in their studies. The minimum time to complete is one year, by studying two modules at the same time for two six-month periods. We do not recommend this, but it might suit you if you have no other major time commitments during that period.

There is no maximum time to complete but we cannot guarantee that the same selection of modules will continue to be available. The exception to this is if note 1 in the course details applies to you, in which case you must complete your studies by 31 December 2019.

Number of credits

120 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
This diploma addresses the needs both of those who label themselves development managers, and those, such as engineers, health workers, educationists, agriculturalists, bankers, scientists, who need the capacity to manage development if they are to do their work effectively.

Managing development gets ever more complex, as more agencies become involved, new goals emerge, complementing and confronting existing goals, and the right of ‘beneficiaries’ to participate in their own development is increasingly asserted. This diploma addresses the challenge of this complexity. The core modules give practitioners – whether development managers or not – the opportunity to strengthen their policy development and project management skills. They put inter-organisational relationships at the heart of development management, offering a framework for analysing existing relationships and for making strategic decisions about relationships that are required. They cover skills – in particular mapping and modelling, negotiating and brokering – that contribute to the building of relationships. The diploma thus equips practitioners to negotiate good change more effectively.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.

Further enquiries

Tel: (01) 678 5399
Fax: (01) 678 5442

Subjects taught

We recommend that you study the optional module Development: context and practice (T877) first, if your interest is in international development. We also recommend that you study Capacities for managing development (T878) before Institutional development (TU872).

To gain this qualification, you need 120 credits as follows:

90 credits of compulsory modules:

Compulsory modules

Credits Next start
Capacities for managing development (T878) 30 01 May 2017
Conflict and development (T879) 1 see note below 30 01 May 2017
Institutional development (TU872) 30 01 May 2017

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules TU870, TUXX870, TUXX872, TUZX870, TUZX872


30 credits from the following list:

Optional modules

Credits Next start
Business, human rights law and corporate responsibility (W822)
30 04 Nov 2017 FINAL
Development: context and practice (T877) 30 01 May 2017
Making environmental decisions (T891) 30 01 May 2017
Managing systemic change: inquiry, action, and interaction (TU812) 30 01 Nov 2017
Problem solving and improvement: quality and other approaches (T889) 30 01 May 2017
Project management (M815) 30 01 May 2017
Thinking strategically: systems tools for managing change (TU811) 30 01 May 2017

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules B713, B800, B820, B822, B856, B880, B882, BXX822, BZX822, BZX713, BZX820, D820, D830, D831, D832, D833, D837, D860, D861, ET821, T860, T861, T863, T890, TD866, TU871, TU875, TXX860, TXX861, TXX863, TUXX871, TUZX871, TUXR873, TUXX875

1 This module (T879) is not compulsory if you:
•started your studies for this diploma before May 2015 and/or
•have already completed the discontinued module TU875 as an optional module for this qualification.

If either point above applies, to gain your diploma you must complete the other two compulsory modules and gain 60 credits of optional modules from the list above + TU875, or from the 60-credit module MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716). This must be completed before 31 December 2019.

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 40 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.


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

Once you have completed the postgraduate diploma, you can gain the MSc in Development Management (F11) by completing a further 30 credits of study from the postgraduate diploma modules and a 30-credit development management project.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!