Studies of programmes of self-management support for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have been inconclusive. The Self-Management Programme of Activity, Coping and Education (SPACE) FOR COPD is a 6-week self-management intervention for COPD, and this study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention in primary care. A single-blind randomised controlled trial recruited people with COPD from primary care and randomised participants to receive usual care or SPACE FOR COPD. Outcome measures were performed at baseline, 6 weeks and 6 months. The primary outcome was symptom burden, measured by the self-reported Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire (CRQ-SR) dyspnoea domain. Secondary outcomes included other domains of the CRQ-SR, shuttle walking tests, disease knowledge, anxiety, depression, self-efficacy, smoking status and healthcare utilisation. 184 people with COPD were recruited and randomised. At 6 weeks, there were significant differences between groups in CRQ-SR dyspnoea, fatigue and emotion scores, exercise performance, anxiety, and disease knowledge. At 6 months, there was no between-group difference in change in CRQ-SR dyspnoea. Exercise performance, anxiety and smoking status were significantly different between groups at 6 months, in favour of the intervention. This brief self-management intervention did not improve dyspnoea over and above usual care at 6 months; however, there were gains in anxiety, exercise performance, and disease knowledge.