Level 4 Professional Diploma in Management



The Level 4 Professional Diploma in Management will be of particular interest to those aspiring to middle level managerial roles in large organisations and those who have a leadership role in smaller organisations.

The key to effective management and leadership lies in developing a critical understanding of your organisation and the practices of those who work in it, including your own. To respond quickly and flexibly to rapidly changing markets and environments managers need a broad integrated picture of how their organisations work; they need to consider compromises, tensions and inter dependencies between operational, accounting, marketing, information, financial and ‘people’ issues. The professional diploma will help you meet this challenge, focusing on the management of teams, departments and projects; the skills of the reflective practitioner are an important theme throughout.

The study programme affords the opportunity to stand back from your current situation in order to concentrate on themes of understanding and improving performance, managing projects and change. The emphasis is on your own professional development. Everything you study is related to the management roles and responsibilities you exercise. The elements of the programme – study texts, activities and assignments, online resources, and personal and group support – ensure that you can apply newly learned skills and techniques in very practical ways immediately. You can build on your experience and make direct links to your management development needs wherever you are in the world, whatever the size of your organisation and whether it is in the commercial, nongovernmental or public sector.

Planning your studies

To gain the professional diploma you must already hold the Professional Certificate in Management or a qualification accepted by the UKAP as equivalent.

You will already have some first-hand experiential knowledge of managing some part of an organisation.

You must normally complete the required credit for your qualification within four years.

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

Career relevance and employability

The Professional Diploma in Management is a generalist qualification in the core aspects of management: marketing, accounting, operations, human resource management etc. It is appropriate for all sectors: private, public or voluntary/third sector; the models and ideas are sufficiently general to be useful for people in all sizes of organisation, from multi-national to individual entrepreneur. As a stand-alone qualification it is intended mainly for first-line or middle management; as the first one-third of a masters degree in business or management (such as our MBA) and is appropriate for all levels of manager.

Educational aims

  • to equip you with the tools and techniques to implement performance improvements at a team, departmental, project or small organisation level
  • to enable you to understand how different functional perspectives work together to approach the real and complex problems of management
  • to give you an opportunity to apply a range of management concepts to an in-depth analysis of a management problem in your own organisation.

Learning outcomes

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

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this programme you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • the main managerial issues associated with key business functional areas of managing people and organisations; finance; marketing; operations management; change and project management
  • the leading and alternative theories, concepts and models in business and management
  • the critiques of and key debates within the study of business and management
  • the complex and interrelated nature of organisations and management practice; and the global context in which business and management is practiced.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this programme, you will be able to:

  • analyse and synthesise key concepts and frameworks with clarity and critical reflection
  • draw appropriately as a manager on both academic and practitioner knowledge
  • evaluate and compare possible courses of action and make appropriate decisions in the light of the context in which you are managing
  • appraise and accommodate constraints, opportunities and threats present in your management contexts.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this programme, you will be able to:

  • identify learning needs and design development plans to address them
  • communicate effectively as a manager with staff and colleagues at all levels and areas of an organisation
  • work effectively with others with openness and sensitivity to diversity
  • plan and manage your work and study time
  • develop an awareness of the impact of your own thinking and behaviour and a use this as the basis for developing your professional and personal competences.

Key skills

On completion of this programme, you will be able to:

  • apply numeracy skills and quantitative analysis to business and management
  • find, record and use information, data and evidence effectively – drawing competently on relevant professional and academic literatures
  • conduct independent inquiry, investigation and on-going reflection on your own learning in context
  • use a variety of communication media effectively
  • work both independently and as a member of a team.


 Teaching, learning and assessment methods

As well as the individual tuition provision you have access to regular opportunities for engagement with other students, university library access, an extensive variety of specially written resources presented in different media (print and online) and designed exclusively for this diploma, audio-visual material, published articles, case-studies and a set of interactive tools to help you develop your management thinking abilities.

You will learn by working with your group and individually online in structured activities supported by a wide range of resources including specially designed books, a world-class online library and face-to-face opportunities including a residential school.

Assessment will be via a number of tutor-marked assignments and an exam.

What you will study

You will gain a better understanding of your own management practice in the context of learning about different management functions within organisations. You will gain confidence in understanding how they operate and in having successful conversations across these areas, including:

  • managing people and organisations
  • accounting
  • marketing
  • operations
  • project and change management.

Over the course of a year’s study you will learn, develop and consolidate your understanding of the principal management functions. This will help you move successfully to strategic and specialist areas in your MBA studies.

The course aims to:

  • develop your understanding of the core and current frameworks, theories and tools and to assess their relevance to the issues of twenty-first century leading and managing
  • increase your awareness of different perspectives on, and approaches to, managing and leading in different organisational and cultural contexts
  • develop your ability to engage critically with management frameworks, theories and tools helping you to select and adapt techniques and approaches appropriate to own management context, in order to have a real impact on your management practice
  • develop your awareness of the wider global context in which business and management takes place, and increase your ability to work confidently across sectoral and national boundaries
  • develop interpersonal and conceptual skills that will help you to use ideas and frameworks to make sense of, and to work with, organisational complexity
  • challenge your own thinking and practice by reflecting upon it critically in the light of the ideas you encounter, and through debates with others
  • enhance your ability to plan and implement change which will have real impact within your own organisational context.

Vocational relevance

The course is designed for professionals from a wide range of contexts and backgrounds who need actively to engage with the challenges of twenty-first century management, to develop their management skills and knowledge of management frameworks, theories and tools and to use these appropriately in order to make a real difference in their own practice.

Residential school

Satisfactory participation at a compulsory four-day residential school or 18-day online equivalent is required. The school is an opportunity to meet other managers and tutors and to work in small groups on cross functional management problems. Skills development includes problem solving, negotiation skills, applying course concepts to real situations and working on self development and professional development.

Both versions of the residential school (face to face and online) have been devised to deliver the essential learning outcomes for B716, however it is fair to say that past experience shows that the majority of students prefer to attend a face-to-face school if they can. The cost of the residential school (excluding travel) is included in the course fee.

At the face to face residential school you will need to carry out online research and so you should endeavour to bring a portable device such as a laptop, PDA or smart phone to the school in order to participate in these activities.


Normally, to register for this course you must have a honours degree or equivalent professional qualification, and have a minimum of three years’ experience in a managerial, professional or technical role. Usually this means that you are at least 21 years old as it is unusual (but not impossible) to be able to satisfy the ‘experience’ requirement under this age.

If you have the equivalent of a UK bachelors degree without honours you may be permitted to progress on to the MBA or other masters qualification by taking the first module of the Professional Certificate in Management, . Alternatively if you have an official Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score of 640 or above, and the equivalent of a UK bachelors degree, you will be allowed to progress directly on to the MBA. If you think either of these possibilities may apply to you, please contact our.

You will also need an appropriate facility in English language, sufficient to be able to work effectively at postgraduate level; generally this means capability equivalent to an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.5. To assess your English language skills in relation to your proposed studies you can visit the IELTS website


· S   how all descriptions

For this 60-credit professional diploma you require:

Learning outcomes

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

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.

Credit for previous study elsewhere

For this qualification, we do not allow you to count credit for study you have already done elsewhere.


On completion

On successful completion of the required module you can be awarded a Professional Diploma in Management entitling you to use the letters Dip Mgmt (UKAP) after your name.

How to register

To register for this qualification, read the description and check you meet any specific requirements (for example, some of our qualifications, require you to be working in a particular environment, or be sponsored by your employer). Then select the module you wish to study first and ensure it is suitable for you before following the registration procedure for that module.


See a full list of modules available for this qualification

 o Arts and Humanities

o Business and Management

o Computing and IT

o Education

o Engineering, Technology and Design

o Environment, Development and International Studies

o Health and Social Care

o Languages

o Law

o Mathematics and Statistics

o Psychology and Counselling

o Science

o Social Sciences



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