distance learning online education dx logo
online education line home 
about us 
contact us 
online degree granting university by distance learning

 About the OU

 Course fees

 Course handbook

 Subject outlines

 University website

Enquire into this online degree now   Enquire Now 

Postgraduate Certificate in Human Rights and Development Management

This postgraduate certificate course is part of our development management programme, which also offers a Postgraduate Certificate in Development Management (C48) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Conflict and Development (C67), a Postgraduate Diploma in Development Management (D37) and MSc in Development Management (F11). This 60-credit qualification is available as recognition of postgraduate study. It will provide a foundation in development and development management for those who with to continue to the diploma and MSc.

The postgraduate certificate looks at issues of human rights law and development in the broader context of business practices. It will allow you to engage actively with these issues and make a full contribution to assessing and finding solutions to complex situations arising in a business or institutional environment. The qualification will facilitate constructive and informed decision-making, enabling you a thorough grounding in all areas of corporate social responsibility both in domestic and global international contexts, developing skills needed for helping and encouraging companies to respect human rights, to avoid harm to people and environment and maximise their positive contribution to sustainable development.

Study Mode

Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available

Career relevance and employability

In the past decade, the social expectations from business actors and the social engagement of these actors have changed dramatically. There is also evidence of an increased demand for those skills and expertise that could help business organisations fulfil their re-defined social role. This certificate provides invaluable professional expertise required for influencing the decision making processes related to business engagement in society. The modules making up this certificate combine to give a good overview of the complex issues raised by such an engagement and to allow practitioners to make a full contribution to organisational strategy formulation.

Those completing the certificate will be able to progress on to the MSc in Development Management (F11), a highly career-relevant qualification.

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.


For this 60-credit postgraduate certificate you require:

30 credits from the following compulsory module:

Postgraduate compulsory module Credits Next start
Business, human rights law and corporate social responsibility (W822)

This course examines the nature of corporate commitment to principles of corporate social responsibility in different contexts and its inter-relationship with human rights law.

See full description.

30 May

And 30 credits from the following optional modules:

Postgraduate optional modules Credits Next start
Capacities for managing development (TU870)

This course provides development practitioners with a conceptual framework for analysing development management practice; and develops skills and capacities for analytical thinking and strategic action.

See full description.

30 May
Development: context and practice (TU871)

This foundation course for our MSc in Development Management gives a grounding in development studies and explores the meaning and challenge of international development today.

See full description.

30 May

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

Educational aims

You will be able to analyse and discuss critically business and development management practices from the perspective of human rights law instruments and practices. The emphasis throughout is on applying learning, developing of reflective skills and committing to lifelong learning in a domain that needs reflective active learners and practitioners in order to develop. You will be able to identify information needed for a particular problem situation, collect it from a wide range of sources, analyse and evaluate it, develop proposals for best practice and take informed decisions. Moreover, you will be able to:

  • reflect critically on business practices and on your understanding of development issues and business in society issues
  • articulate the definition of human rights and understand the 'business case' for complying to them
  • read and analyse complex situations, and to diagnose the human rights implications of business operations and the risks encountered when operating in particular countries
  • identify how business responsibilities for human rights can be operationalised:
    - through policies, management systems and monitoring and reporting
    - through actions related to specific situations, threats or human rights
    - to develop an awareness of the international and European contexts within which human rights strategies and policies are developing
    - to develop an awareness of the range of tools and techniques that can be used to affect organisational learning and change relation to development and business practices
    - to identify how to retrieve information and data relevant to specific interests in the fields of development management and human rights and business
    - to encourage companies to respect human rights, avoid harm to people and maximise their positive contribution to their host communities
    - to provide easy, one-stop access to information for companies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and others, whether they are experienced or new to the subject
    - to facilitate constructive, informed decision-making and public discussion.

Learning outcomes

The qualification provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills, and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

  • the relationship between business practices, human rights law and development, and between theory and practice
  • the mechanisms through which human rights law increasingly becomes the language of corporate social responsibility from sustainable development perspective
  • the way in which various social stakeholders, business in particular, can take part in shaping and refining the 'business and human rights' agenda
  • the development management as a process of steering social change involving multiple actors and competing values
  • the possibilities and limitations of methods of investigation and analysis aimed at informing development and CSR policy and action
  • a range of concepts and frameworks for evaluating development interventions and CSR initiatives.

Cognitive skills

  • grasp and make sense of new concepts and information in an interdisciplinary context
  • think analytically and synthetically
  • evaluate critically
  • be reflective.

Practical and/or professional skills

  • self-reflection on your own development as a learner
  • application and use of theory in relation to practice
  • the ability to evaluate real-life situations, identifying the challenges for organisations and developing responses.

Key skills

  • independent learning
  • capacity to evaluate complex environments
  • capacity to formulate implementation plans.

Copyright Open University UK

 Search for a course
 Related courses