University of Chester

Programme Specification
Health Care Management PGCert
2014 - 2015

Postgraduate Certificate

Health Care Management

Health Care Management

University of Chester

University of Chester

  • Chester
  • Middle East - Dubai
  • Indian sub-continent - Mumbai
  • South East Asia - Kuala Lumpur

Postgraduate (Taught)

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

Full time 1 year, part time 2 years

3 Years

Biannual - February - September

None

N200

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Health and Social Care Health and Social Care

  • QAA Benchmark statements for Master's awards Business and Management
  • QAA Benchmark statements for Master's awards Health and Social Care Management

University of Chester

Postgraduate Programmes Assessment Board

Monday 1st July 2013

The Postgraduate Certificate in Health Care Management is designed to reflect the expectation that candidates enrolling for the award will have suitable professional managerial and leadership expertise. It is envisaged that graduates will use this qualification to enhance management careers in their field.

The principal aim of the programme is to produce graduates with the knowledge, skills and potential to become successful managers, leaders and business professionals in a variety of health contexts across national and international domains. To deliver this, the programme is designed to realise the fundamentals of the following educational aims:

  • To develop, systematise and utilise the existing knowledge, experiences and skills of students to increase their effectiveness as managers and business professionals. This will enable them to play a leading role and operate effectively in the health care management profession in an increasingly global business environment.
  • To develop in students a critical understanding of the role of managers in health care environments and the complexity of business and management contexts.
  • To equip students to be effective reflective practitioners, able to make complex decisions based in an understanding of management and leadership theory, processes and practical experiences - uniting theory and practice.
  • To equip students to objectively analyse personal competencies and opportunities for self-development in the workplace, building on learning arising out of the programme.
  • To provide a comprehensive understanding of approaches to health care commissioning, financial analysis, financial management and how to interpret sound financial data to aid management decisions.
  • To provide a structured knowledge of the significance of national and international market trends and marketing strategies, and an ability to apply this knowledge to the workplace.
  • To develop in students an ability to recognise, understand and cope with conflict, complexity, decision making, problem solving and change, and develop innovative mechanisms for managing processes and projects.
  • To provide students with an insight into health business strategy and governance at a global and national level, and the ability to innovate, formulate, implement, monitor and evaluate policy within an ethical framework.
  • To support students as they develop an understanding of the complexities of entrepreneurial management and leadership theories, and the management of people in a variety of health contexts and environments.
  • To provide students with a framework to assimilate all of their learning for the programme and apply this creatively in the context of health care management to achieve excellence.


Knowledge and Understanding

Postgraduate Certificate in Health Care Management Studies
The graduating student who exits at this level will have knowledge and understanding of: applying contemporary theories of health care management; effective management, and leadership in health care; and, depending on the optional module selection, for example health care systems, commissioning and their marketing. They will have an ability to translate and apply appropriate business skills and knowledge gained to the context of their work in a health care business environment
Thinking or Cognitive Skills

Postgraduate Certificate in Health Care Management Studies
The graduating student who exits at this level will be able to deal with a variety of complex problems in a rational manner and will have the ability to apply these skills to real world health care business situations.
Practical Skills

Postgraduate Certificate in Health Care Management Studies
The graduating student who exits at this level will be able to apply a hands-on approach to managing real world business situations in health care settings.
Transferable/Key Skills

  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving


Postgraduate Certificate in Health Care Management Studies
The graduating student who exits at this level will have transferable and key skills which encompass the use in real world situations of: applying contemporary theories of health care management; effective management, and leadership in health care; and, depending on the optional module selection, for example health care systems, commissioning and their marketing. They will have an ability to translate and apply appropriate business skills and knowledge gained to different environments.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Health Care Management programme is designed to meet QAA (2007) level 7 descriptors, learning outcomes and academic standards. This programme builds and can form the basis for a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Care Management on completion of four further modules. This can in turn be advanced to a MBA in Health Care Management which requires completion of a Dissertation and Research Methodology module.

The programme structure is complementary to the Postgraduate Certificate currently delivered within the University of Chester, the major differences being the target audience, mode and place of delivery.

The mode of delivery will vary depending on the stakeholder requirements and partnership arrangement. These will be varied and flexibly shaped to suit individual need and may include:

  1. ‘Flying Faculty' model - A series of four day intensive tuition periods (one four day period for each individual module), followed by distance support (email, phone, university intranet including SharePoint and Moodle).
  2. Shared University of Chester partnership delivery (subject to partnership agreement).
  3. Total franchise.

The programme is delivered as part time and full time pathways to support the various stakeholder and partnership agreements. It is also delivered on a block/modular basis subject to agreement with delivery partners.

The programme is delivered on University premises at Chester, and delivered internationally at other client organisations subject to faculty approval. Where the programme is to be delivered on a partnership basis, the University will complete a formal site visit to ensure that organisational resources are adequate to deliver a quality programme. This will include quality assurance of staff expertise to deliver teaching and student support at this level, physical and learning resources, IT systems and student support mechanisms.

The programme consists of two compulsory modules and one module selected from four optional modules. These are designed to increase understanding of global health challenges, national and international health policy, application of management and leadership theory, health care systems, global marketing and commissioning opportunities, business and finance management, and creative change management. The programme will accommodate the needs of students from different localities by being highly adaptable and providing a focus on the local and international to suit each partner with whom the programme is delivered. This is a deliberate design parameter so that module leaders can select the set of tools from each module that best suits the students.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
NM7240 7 Applying Contemporary Theories of Health Care Management 20 Comp
NM7241 7 Effective Management and Leadership in Health Care 20 Comp
NM7242 7 Health Care Systems, Commissioning and their Marketing 20 Optional
NM7243 7 Creativity in Managing Change in Health Care 20 Optional
NM7244 7 Financing and Managing the Health Care Business 20 Optional
NM7245 7 Achieving Excellence in Health Care 20 Optional

The structure of the credits required to achieve the Postgraduate Certificate are:
60 credits for a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Care Management Studies. This will comprise two compulsory modules and one further module selected from four options:
Two compulsory modules

  • NM7240 Applying Contemporary Theories of Health Care Management
  • NM7241 Effective Management and Leadership in Health Care
One of four optional modules
  • NM7242 Health Care Systems, Commissioning and their Marketing
  • NM7243 Creativity in Managing Health Care Change
  • NM7244 Financing and Managing the Health Care Business
  • NM7245 Achieving Excellence in Health Care
The University does not confer distinction or merit on Postgraduate Certificate Awards.

This will be consistent with the University's Widening Access and Participation Strategy.

All applicants must:

  • Possess a suitable undergraduate degree (a minimum classification of 2.1 or equivalent).
  • Evidence of personal and professional development.
  • Evidence of appropriate health care management, leadership or business experience (a minimum of two years). For students undertaking an employment break to complete full time studies, their experience has to be within the last year. This will allow the student to draw on current and contemporary work place experiences to fulfil the work-based components of the programme.

Eligibility will be determined by means of an interview with the admissions tutor, either in person or via telephone or electronic means. This will be subject to confirmation with the MBA programme leader. All students must provide written references for their work experience.

For applicants wishing to study at the University of Chester and for whom English is not a native language, proficiency in the English language must be demonstrated. Such applicants will normally be required to achieve scores of 6.5 on IELTS.

The subject benchmark statements from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA, 2011 and 2007) apply to the Postgraduate Certificate as well as to the Postgraduate Diploma and the MBA.  The extracts and commentary below describe the MBA end point to which the Postgraduate Certificate builds and the table below details how the principle outcomes apply to the Postgraduate Certificate.

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education's UK Quality Code for Higher Education (QAA, 2011) and Master's Degrees in Business and Management (QAA, 2007) have provided the framework and underpinning ethos for the development of this programme.

Firstly, from the UK Quality Code for Higher Education:

‘Master's degrees are awarded to students who have demonstrated:

  • A systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study or area of professional practice;
  • A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline.
  • Conceptual understanding that enables the student:
    o To evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline
    o To evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.

‘Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to:

  • Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level.
  • Advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level.

‘And holders will have:

  • The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:
    o The exercise of initiative and personal responsibility.
    o Decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations.
    o Independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

‘Much of the study undertaken for master's degrees will have been at, or informed by, the forefront of an academic or professional discipline. Students will have shown originality in the application of knowledge, and they will understand how the boundaries of knowledge are advanced through research. They will be able to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, and they will show originality in tackling and solving problems. They will have the qualities needed for employment in circumstances requiring sound judgement, personal responsibility, and initiative in complex and unpredictable professional environments.' (QAA, 2011, chapter A1, section 1.4)

Secondly, from the QAA Master's Degrees in Business and Management statements, the MBA is defined as a type three career development level 7 programme, requiring significant relevant work experience. The QAA Subject Benchmarks for Business and Management indicate that a graduate should possess knowledge and understanding in the following areas:

  • ‘The MBA is defined as a career development programme for those who have significant post-graduation and relevant work experience on which the learning process should build. Normally, the experience required will be at least two years with the typical entrant having substantially more than this. The main emphasis of these programmes is on leadership through strategic management. While the academic level is positioned no differently from that of type two programmes, there is a strong practical and professional orientation to the curriculum and they may be linked to professional institute qualifications. Due to maturity and work experience of the students, MBA programmes are expected to be different in their objectives, recruitment and pedagogical processes to other master's degrees in business and management (QAA, 2007, section 2.12).
  • MBA degrees should be essentially generalist in nature although a limited amount of specialism may be included (QAA, 2007, section 2.13).
  • There is an expectation that generalist degree programmes covered by this subject statement should provide a broad, analytical and integrated study of business and management. The specialist programmes will be expected to set out the specialism within the context of the broader field of business and management (QAA, 2007, section 3.1).
  • All master's graduates will therefore be able to demonstrate relevant knowledge and understanding of organisations, the external context in which they operate and how they are managed. There is likely to be an emphasis on understanding and responding to change and consideration of the future of organisations, and the external context in which they operate.' (QAA, 2007, section 3.2)

These areas are covered by and contained within the business and management modules across the programme.

Learning and teaching methods are in line with both the Faculty teaching and learning strategy and University guidelines.

Within this programme, students will study and acquire both management theory and management skills within the context of a health care environment. There is strong emphasis on action based learning in the workplace and on teaching being informed by research-active academics and practitioners.

A combination of the following learning and teaching methods are used:

  • Action-centred learning.
  • Employability focused activities (applied case study and in class formative assessment).
  • Work based activities.
  • Formal lectures and briefings.
  • Workshops.
  • Individual and group tutorials.
  • Presentations.                                                                                            
  • Writing reports (designed to practice the skills required to construct and deliver reports to senior management in the health care context).
  • Seminars and group discussions.
  • Case study analysis.
  • Self-reflective learning diaries.
  • Directed and independent study, e.g. using online materials.
  • Scenario-based learning.

As the programme progresses the emphasis shifts from conventional knowledge acquisition to the development of concepts, the exercise of judgement and the application of skills. Delivery styles will reflect this: didactic methods will be used less and participant-centred learning processes will predominate.

Although formal teaching styles will be used where appropriate, the responsibility for learning lies with participants. The role of academic staff will be mainly that of facilitators in the learning process. Participant-centred methods will be used whenever possible. The formal teaching processes will make use of directed study, seminars, group exercises, work-based activities and case studies to inform the learning process.

During the induction sessions students will be assisted by the programme leader and module leaders to form Action Learning Sets comprising five or six students. The purpose of such groups will be to enable the students to gain support from one another in matters relating to the programme, and to exchange information relevant to the learning process. Group members will be encouraged to share work-based experiences and to explore issues arising from the academic content of the programme, and will work together outside the classroom on group assignments used for formative assessment purposes. Students will be educated in the theory and practice of action learning.

The formation of Action Learning Sets will help to stimulate participation and involvement among students on the programme as peer group learning takes place. Although group work is important, the needs of the individual will not be overlooked, and both learning and teaching will be individualised through the mechanism of continuous personal and professional development and interaction with lecturers on an individual basis.

Student support and direction will be provided by interactive discussion and individual feedback, which at level 7 will promote the development of the critical thinking skills required to analyse management and leadership issues in practice. Email and other electronic communication systems will facilitate the exchange of information among students and staff. This is accessible externally as well as internally to the University. Special workshops and/or weekend sessions will be arranged as the occasion and demand from students arise. Where online learning takes place, emphasis will be placed on interaction through discussion boards, reflection, module chat rooms, video conferencing, tutorials, group share and group blogs as appropriate.



The assessment strategies and methods selected for the programme are reflective of the nature of a Postgraduate Certificate Health Care Management student. The programme will make use of formative and summative forms of assessment, and will be derived from self, peer, mentor (leader and/or manager) and/or lecturer input. Assignments will usually be focused on the workplace and, where appropriate, case studies and simulated activities will be used to reinforce the academic and theoretical underpinnings delivered on the course. Assignments across all modules are designed so that they meet the QAA subject benchmarks (see section 25), the programmes learning outcomes (see section 26) and the educational aims of the programme (see section 23).

A wide range of methods will be employed in the assessment of the participants to demonstrate the range of knowledge and skills needed to meet the academic requirements of the programme, including:

  • Writing essays and reports (designed to practise the skills required to construct and deliver reports to senior management in the health care context) that will involve critical analysis, appraisal and evaluation of management and leadership theory, international and national policy, strategy, guidelines, reports and evidence-based research.
  • Critical reflection on work-based activities, keeping reflective diaries and reflective report writing.
  • Undertaking assessed presentations.

All modules must be successfully completed in order to gain the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Care Management qualification.

Attendance

The philosophy of the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Care Management has a strong emphasis on professionalism. This programme will be shaped flexibly to suit individual partnership and participant group needs. It is the expectation that students will attend all lectures that have been formally agreed with the University of Chester unless they have made suitable arrangements with the programme leader.

Students will be expected to honour obligations to other students and staff when engaged in group work or work placements.

This award is attractive to applicants who have current health and social care skills and experience but limited management skills and experience, and who wish to progress their career through a management route.

This course is designed to support students who wish to move into more senior managerial and leadership positions, or progress in their established management positions within the health care industry. It is also suitable for those professionals who wish to complement their previous professional or academic qualifications, or to build upon workplace experience. For example, the course combines insights into both public and private health care services with contemporary management and leadership theories.

The developed body of knowledge gained from this programme will facilitate a systematic, scientific and reflective approach to management, enabling graduating students to be adaptive, strategic thinkers able to evaluate critically and respond to complex business issues, and apply high level business skills and knowledge from the academic to the business contexts (both internal and external). The overall outcome from a student engaging with the programme of study will be a manager who is able to add value to the market place by meeting the expectations of employers, via the application of fundamental acquired transferable, integrated skills.

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

The underlying philosophy of the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Care Management is one of self-reliance and professionalism. Students are expected to take responsibility for their continuous professional development.

It is envisaged that students will be able to apply best practice gained on the programme to their place of work. They will also have developed a personal philosophy of management as a creative and innovative function.

References

QAA. (2007). Master's degrees in business administration. Gloucester, United Kingdom: The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education

QAA. (2011). UK quality code for higher education. Gloucester, United Kingdom: The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education

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