Learn how to lead organisations through change.

Organisations exist in dynamic environments. They face constant challenges through changes in the global economy, politics, competitor behaviour, consumer demands, emerging technologies, and legislation.

In an ever-evolving world, the capacity to navigate and implement change successfully can be crucial to your business’ survival.

In this Masters-level short course, you’ll explore the context and dynamics of change in ways that will help you both personally and professionally.

With expert guidance from our Business School, you’ll:

  • learn to analyse change situations for organisations
  • study differing interpretations and reactions to change
  • explore resistance to change and how to manage it
  • develop your ability to navigate and implement change successfully.

Who can join this online change management course?

This distance-learning course is aimed at experienced managers who want to understand the concepts, theories, and applications of change management.

Build credits towards an MBA

This course is part of our:

You can use the credits you earn on this short course towards either of these MBA qualifications.

What you’ll study

You’ll cover the following modules in this course:

Fundamental issues in change management

  • Implementing change
  • Triggers of change
  • The Competing Values Approach

Change, the individual, and resistance to change

  • Frameworks for managing change
  • Analysing an example of change

Planned approaches to change and organisational development

  • The planned approach
  • Critically assessing a framework of change
  • Case study – change proposal
  • Organisational development

Emergent and processual processes

  • The rationale for the emergent approach
  • Key features of the emergent approach
  • The ‘bossless organisation’?

A review of change models, integration, and synthesis

  • Evaluating approaches
  • Models of change – three approaches

Choosing a change strategy

  • Strategies for change
  • Implementing successful change

An integrated framework for managing change

  • Staging change
  • Developing a change strategy

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to...

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the main theoretical perspectives on organisational change and their implications for managing change.
  • Apply key approaches, models and tools for analysing, planning, and implementing change so as to improve organisational and individual effectiveness.
  • Analyse the roles of managers and change agents in managing change.
  • Understand the importance of leading change and why transformation efforts often fail.
  • Analyse the nature of resistance to change and approaches to overcoming it.
  • Demonstrate the need to institutionalise successful change.
  • Recognise the importance of reflective practice and understand the process.
  • Identify areas for change and improvement in your own reflective practice.

Choose the University of Aberdeen for change management courses

Earn as you learn

We fit around full-time work, so you can earn qualifications while you keep earning a salary.

We’re EQUIS accredited

Join a Business School that’s EFMD EQUIS accredited, placing it among a select group of globally recognised institutions.

You’re in expert hands

We’ve been delivering online and distance learning for decades.

How you’ll study

Online learning

This distance-learning change management course is delivered flexibly, 100% online.

You can learn anywhere, with no need for a study visa, and manage your hours to suit you.

Your teaching

This course is taught at Masters level.

Teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

Course materials are carefully planned and structured. You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:

  • live online webinars with course lecturers
  • reading materials
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.

In this interactive course, you’ll participate in many discussions with fellow students and course lecturers using online discussion forums.

Live online webinars

Across the course, you’ll have eight live webinar sessions with academic staff. These live online webinars support the main learning material and are central to your learning. Your participation in them will count towards your final grades.

Ahead of each live webinar, you’ll be asked to study the online materials provided, post questions to your tutor online, undertake multiple-choice quizzes and other tasks. You may also be asked to work in small groups to prepare for some of the live sessions.

Your tutors

You’ll learn from experienced academics and researchers from the University of Aberdeen Business School.

This course is assessed online.

You’ll be assessed via:

  • a written report, and
  • a reflective essay.

Live online webinars

This course features eight online webinars. Each webinar is live and scheduled to last for around one hour.

Webinar dates and times will be organised flexibly at the start of the course. Your course coordinator will consider everyone’s circumstances and time zones before setting up live webinar times.

Study hours

The course totals approximately 150 hours of teaching, private study, and assessment time. That’s around 10 – 15 hours per week.

This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.

You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.

Activities at fixed times

You’ll have live online webinars at fixed times, plus assessments with deadlines. But otherwise, you can access and work through your courses at your convenience.

Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your coordinator via email, MyAberdeen and Microsoft Teams. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.

We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:

Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.

Your course coordinator

Dr Carol Smith

Carol is a Lecturer in our Business School who holds a Doctorate in Business Administration. She develops and delivers a range of courses for the Business School, and has lectured in South Africa, Ghana, Germany, and Qatar, as well as the UK.

View Carol’s profile

Where this will take you

Towards an MBA

You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards our:

Online MBA Global

Tailored to your career and research goals, and flexibly online.

Develop key skills in leadership, innovation, change management, strategy development, sales and marketing.

View online MBA Global

On-campus MBA

Our on-campus MBA programme, focused on the real needs of business.

Helping you to challenge the way business is done, and find new, more effective, more creative ways of doing it.

View on-campus MBA

Build your learning

Use our flexible online business and leadership short courses to build your skills, earn university credits, and gain postgraduate qualifications.


You’ll leave this course with the skills and tools needed to become an internal change agent in your current or future workplace.

This change management course is valuable for career progression within:

  • business sector
  • government
  • management consultancy, and
  • NGOs.

This course reaches beyond corporate interests, to governments and NGOs who need high-quality graduates with an excellent understanding of change management.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for CPD hours. Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Free career support

Access our free careers service while you study.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

See how our careers service can help you.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world.

This course has no formal entry requirements. You do not need to provide proof of your qualifications.

But you do need to check the entry guidance above to understand the level of teaching delivered, to decide if this course is right for you.

If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check the equivalent teaching level for your country.

Visa requirements

You do not need a student visa to study online with us.

English language requirements

Teaching is delivered in English.

You do not have to provide proof of your English language skills to join this course. But we want to make sure that you can use English well enough to study successfully.

Recommended level of English

This course uses our Postgraduate Higher level of English language proficiency.

These are our Postgraduate Higher requirements, and these are minimum scores.

IELTS Academic, IELTS UKVI Academic, and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)

  • 6.5 overall
  • 5.5 for listening and speaking
  • 6.0 for reading and writing

TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition

  • 90 overall
  • 17 for listening
  • 21 for reading
  • 20 for speaking
  • 21 for writing
  • TOEFL DI code is 0818

Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency

  • 176 overall
  • 162 for listening and speaking
  • 169 for reading and writing

LanguageCert Academic/LanguageCert Academic SELT

  • 70 overall
  • 60 for listening and speaking
  • 65 for reading and writing

LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken) – Online / In-centre

  • Overall High Pass
  • 33 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 38 for writing

Oxford ELLT Digital – English Language Level Test Online

  • 7.0 overall
  • 5.0 for listening and speaking
  • 6.0 for reading and writing

PTE Academic (online test not accepted)

  • 62 overall
  • 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing

For more information about language qualifications see our English Language Requirements page.

When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.

But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.

Your most important commitment will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.

Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your studies each week:

  • Be realistic
  • Create a weekly schedule as a guide

If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.

You will need access to:

A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:

  • Windows 10 or later
  • macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.

Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.

Reliable internet access

We recommend:

  • a wired connection
  • a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.

Speakers or headphones

  • We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
  • A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one for some interactive sessions.


We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.

If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.

See our detailed IT requirements for more information.

Fee payment

Your course fee needs to be paid in full before you start your course.

We accept payment via Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Mastercard.

Ways to save

You may be able to get help funding this course via:

  • discounts – if any discounts are available for this course, they’ll appear in the section below
  • employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors.

Find out more about funding options.

Student card

All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.

Learning resources

Access to all the books and resources you need are included in your tuition fee. They’ll be made available to you online and you do not have to buy your own copies.


You may wish to set aside a small budget for printing, depending on how you like to work.

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least:

  • a 2:2 UK undergraduate degree (or equivalent), or
  • relevant experience that supports this level of study.

Apply for this course

Start date
23 September 2024
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