Health Services Management MSc
2017 - 2018
Master of Science
Health Services Management
Health Services Management
University of Chester
University of Chester
Full-time and Part-time
Classroom / Laboratory,
1 year full-time and 2 years part-time
Biannual - February - September
Business and Management
Warrington School of Management
QAA’s Benchmark statements for Master’s Degrees in Business and Management (2015) and the QAA's subject benchmark statements for undergraduate degrees in Health studies (2016) have been used as points of reference.
Faculty of Business and Management Module Assessment Board Assessment Board
Friday 4th November 2016
The MSc is designed to reflect the expectation that candidates joining the award will have suitable understanding of the area. A key educational aim will be to further develop this knowledge and expertise and augment it with broader, business based management knowledge and skills. This has been a theme which has been supported by research for many years (for example see Kleinman, 2003) and reflects a broader professional practice based recognition that for those people who wish to progress a management career within a technical field or environment, ‘on the job’ managerial experience gained is insufficient to support their effectiveness and specific management education is required.
It is envisaged that MSc graduates will use this qualification to enhance their management careers in this field. The key educational elements therefore of the MSc will enable graduates to develop core and transferable business and management skills, while also enhancing specialist knowledge in their field. All modules will enable students to demonstrate an insight into the complexities of business and management and the potential value of theoretical frameworks. More specifically, business and management education will encompass each of the following, providing graduates a higher level insight to and broader knowledge and skills base of:·
Strategic Financial Management
Strategic People Management
Management Research Methods
Management of Research Projects
The final educational aim of the programme, which is more particular to health services and social care managerial practice, the MSc will enhance knowledge and skills in:
Commissioning in a Health and Social Care context, and
Leadership Development and Managing Change.
The modular structure of the MSc reflects these educational aims.
Based on this, the learning outcomes for the MSc focus on developing the knowledge and skills of participants in business and management to apply this in the context of the industry / workplace and more specifically to:
Improve knowledge and understanding of core disciplines and concepts in business & management
Develop knowledge and understanding of more advanced concepts, ideas and theories of business & management
Further enhance technical knowledge and it's application in the contemporary organisation / workplace
Provide participants with the ability to think critically, argue coherently and make a convincing case to promote strategic leadership and informed & innovative decision making
Enhance the ability to operate effectively in an increasingly global and multicultural environment.
Assess and evaluate the theoretical basis of financial strategic decision making - BU7006
Research and critically evaluate the methodological and theoretical approaches traditionally taken in generating insight into human behaviour at work and in promoting innovation in business.- BU7001, BU7002
Assess and explain the relational processes between person and organisation. - BU7007, NM7012
Assess and evaluate the theoretical basis of strategic human resource management.- BU7039
Discern how the role of the researcher differs when adhering to particular philosophical approaches and assess the implications for research design.- BU7002
Identify a key area of managerial research and develop clear research aims and objectives providing cogency as to their rationale.BU7001, BU7002
Critically evaluate the methodological and theoretical approaches previously taken in generating insight into the chosen area of investigation. - BU7001
Analyse and interpret data, and by the integration of theory and practice, investigate and apply relevant tools to the assessment of a variety of business problems. - BU7001, BU7006
Evaluate critically key innovation tools and approaches which enable organisations to develop and grow.-BU7030
Evaluate and synthesise the problem solving mechanisms from strategic financial decision making and assess the value to enhanced decision making of the application of relevant tools and techniques.- BU7006, BU7030
Assess critically the strengths and limitations associated with various approaches for gathering and analysing data and the implications for social research. - BU7001, BU7002, NM7008
Develop an appropriate research design showing critical understanding as to its conceptual underpinning, methods utilised for gathering data and the analytical tools employed for interpreting the data, highlighting the implications as to the validity and generalisability of the findings generated. - BU7001, NM7012
Demonstrate enhanced problem solving abilities by critically understanding methods of analysing and synthesising information appropriate to the context of contemporary marketing.- BU7002
Analyse and apply the appropriate innovation strategy in business and management. - BU7030, NM7012
Formulate appropriate HRM responses to enable the organisation to better achieve its objectives.Critically analyse and evaluate the ethical impact of a range of business decisions upon the company and its stakeholders. - BU7039, NM7008
Formulate appropriate ethical business policies and strategies within a changing context. - BU7039
Develop a clear and well-defined research proposal that establishes: clear research aims; academic and practioner relevance; methods for gathering and analysing data providing an evaluation of the proposed tools of enquiry; and a planned timetable for completion of the various stages of the study. - BU7001, BU7002
Transferable Professional Skills - ALL MODULES - BU7001, BU7002, BU7006, BU7030, NM7012, NM7008, BU7039
Demonstrating self-direction in both formal and informal learning environments.
Communicating effectively at both individual and organisational levels.
Being competent in the use of information technology.
Working autonomously and collaboratively, and leading a team.
Inter-professional collaboration and partnership working.
Demonstrate an ability to marshal and analyse data and establish a critical argument in relation to the existing academic literature and current management practice. Provide logical conclusions highlighting their significance and identify appropriate management theory-practice links - BU7001
Analyse and interpret data, and by the integration of theory and practice, investigate and apply relevant tools to the assessment of a variety of business problems - BU7006
Through a synthesis of knowledge and understanding gained on the module, formulate appropriate people management responses within a complex environment. - BU7039
Critically interpret and evaluate challenges to and opportunities for leadership that will stimulate and facilitate effective service change and sustainability within the context of national policy directives and social inclusion agendas.- NM7012
Content has been selected to fit within the University Framework (Masters modules in multiples of 20 points), to utilise strong existing provision where available and to reflect a generic need for management capabilities. This will be complemented by and interlinked with the development of further progression specifically related to Health Service Management and Social Care professional and contemporary capabilities.
The programme consists of six (20 credit) taught modules and a (60 credit) Management Research Project, all offered at level 7. The modules are:
Understanding and Managing People (BU7039), 20 Credit Points
Management Research Methods (BU7002), 20 Credit Points
Management Research Project (BU7001), 60 Credit Points - There will be a substantial health services context to this project).
Leadership Development and Change (NM7012), 20 credit points - in the context of Health & Social Care Management
Health & Social Care Commissioning (NM7008), 20 credits
The Masters programme provides postgraduate study equivalent to and consistent with the standards of level 7. Graduates “will develop an understanding of a complex body of knowledge, some of it at the current boundaries of an academic discipline”. Through this, a graduate will develop “analytical techniques and problem-solving skills that can be applied in many types of employment”. The graduate will be able to “evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions, to reach sound judgements, and to communicate effectively”. A graduate should have the qualities needed for employment especially in situations requiring the exercise of “personal responsibility” and “decision-making in complex and unpredictable circumstances.”
Prior to the Management Research Project, students are required to undertake the Management Research Methods module unless acquired or accrued within previous post graduate study within a total of 120 credits. For appropriate and suitably qualified candidates and for modules as above (excluding the Management Research Project), consideration may be given for Acreditiation of Prior Learning, through and by adhering to the University's APL processes and procedures (see section 30).
PG Certificate in Management will be offered to those students who have amassed sufficient credits (60) and who exit the programme prior to its normal completion. A postgraduate Diploma in Health Services Management will be offered to those students who have amassed sufficient credits (120) and who exit the programme prior to its normal completion.
Students may enter the award at one of two entry points, which are at the commencement of either the first or second semester. They may study full-time or part-time. Whilst the taught elements are not critical in terms of completion sequence, it is clear that student should complete tuition for all of the taught elements prior to the undertaking of their substantive research project. This is to ensure that the underpinning knowledge which may be required for the project has been delivered to the student prior to their commencement. At each entry point an agreed programme of induction is included, which will cover aspects including; studying at the University; academic skills, including use of the learning resources; programme structure and module briefing; pastoral support and arrangements; academic regulations; introduction to the VLE; introduction to programme tutors; administrative procedures, facilities and requirements. Some students may be admitted to the award with advanced standing, based upon their prior qualifications and/or experience. They should note this request at the point of application to the programme. The Course Team will consider all such applications for APECL (Accreditation of Prior Experience and/or Certificated Learning) in line with the guidance and regulations of the University, including credit exemption (which may not be used in award classification) or credit transfer (which may be used in award classification). Throughout the course of study students will be appropriately supported by the Course Team and associated University resources in line with their indicated roles and responsibilities, including the Personal Academic Tutor role (which may be allocated to a member of the programme Team as part of their overall responsibilities e.g. the Programme Leader).
All study occurs at level 7. Modules BU7002, BU7006, BU7039, BU7030, NM7008 and NM7012 are worth 20 credits. BU7001 Management Research Project is worth 60 credits. Successful completion of the taught modules and the Management Research Project amasses 180 credits at level 7. However, given completion of the taught modules only (i.e. excluding the research project) students who have successfully achieved at least 120 credits may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Services Management as an exit award. Furthermore, students who successfully meet the learning requirements of modules totalling 60 credits have the option of accepting a Postgraduate Certificate in Management as an intermediate exit award, which would necessarily include Understanding and Managing People (BU7039) and Strategic Financial Management (BU7006).
The normal entry requirement for students is the possession of a second-class Honours degree in any discipline, or equivalent as a minimum.
All applicants will complete a standard application form and may be invited to attend an informal interview where feasible to do so.
Candidates should also meet the University's requirements for English.
Applicants with non-standard qualifications will be considered for entry onto the programme, each application will be considered on its own merit.
A typical applicant may be a new or recent graduate, who has attained a first degree in any discipline, and wishes to augment that with further study to optimise their career opportunities.
The QAA Subject Benchmarks for Business and Management indicate that a graduate should possess knowledge and understanding in a range of areas relevant to Business and Management. Organisations, their external context and management; graduates will gain knowledge and develop understanding of most of the following areas.
People Management, Innovation and change, Commissioning in Health and Social care, Leadership development and Understanding Finance are the key knowledge aspects of this award and address broadly the requirements of the benchmarks in these key areas. The award is also designed to have a strategic viewpoint and with that a market-facing perspective embedded across the modules delivered. The practical nature of the ALT uses extensively case-based approaches which consistently consider both the strategic and operational aspects of the operations of business within the international context, hence highlights the link between strategy and operations and the delivery of strategy through operations. In this respect then stakeholder perspectives are considered extensively and the realisation of strategies incorporates many aspects of key functional and operational concerns for businesses.
The award is delivered with a range of perspectives of business and the global context in extensively examined environment to take into account the complex aspects of trading internationally and the challenges economically, operationally and culturally which are encountered. Below knowledge areas are covered throughout the core module delivery within programme (BU7039, BU7006, BU7030, NM7008, NM7012):
markets - the development and operation of markets for resources, goods and services
marketing and sales - different approaches for segmentation, targeting, positioning, generating sales, and the need for innovation in product and service design.
customers and stakeholders - customer expectations, service and orientation
finance - the sources, uses and management of finance; the use of accounting and other information systems for managerial applications
people - strategic and operational HRM, meeting future organisational requirements, people development, HR systems
operations - the management of resources and operations including the supply chain, procurement, logistics, quality systems, and project management
information systems and business intelligence - the development, management, application and implementation of information systems and their impact upon organisations; tools and techniques for transforming (big) data into useful information for business analysis and decision support
communications - the comprehension and use of relevant communications for application in business and management, including the use of digital tools
digital business - the development of strategic priorities to deliver business at speed in an environment where digital technology is reshaping traditional revenue and business models, associated risk management
business innovation - creativity, intrapreneurial - and entrepreneurial behaviour and enterprise development, and the management and exploitation of intellectual property
globalisation - growth of international business, inter-cultural perspectives
strategic management - the development and implementation of appropriate strategies within a changing environment, strategic risk management and issues of compliance
leadership and management of people within organisations - leadership, organisational behaviour and motivation.
Within this programme, students should study and acquire both management theory and management skills within the context of a health service environment.
Some learning and teaching will be class-room based: lectures, seminars, discussions, presentations and tutorials constitute examples of the ways in which the tutor/student contact time may be utilised in this way. Additionally, it is anticipated that learning and teaching will take place through analysis of live case studies, use of video and for NM7012 e-learning in which students will experience shared learning via the discussion board. Learning opportunities will enable students to apply elements of their academic learning to a real-life context. They should also serve as valuable integrative experiences, enabling students to enrich and extend their knowledge, skills and understanding.
Further support to learning is afforded through weekly 'drop-in' sessions for each of the modules where students can follow-up issues they identify with their tutors in a more informal setting.
Additionally, learning will be acquired through extensive tutor-directed and student-directed independent reading and research, much of which will inform the class-tutor contact time.
The value of developing within students the ability to work and learn autonomously is recognised, to the extent that it is acknowledged as a programme aim. To facilitate the development of this, emphasis will be placed on a shared responsibility for learning, on the importance of independant work to support the tutor-led sessions and on student self-directed learning. Student autonomy and autonomous learning will be particularly developed within the dissertation, and it is appropriate that this element occurs in the latter half of the programme, after students have had the opportunity to develop appropriate skills, knowledge and understanding in the earlier stages of the programme.
A pastoral support hour will be offered throughout the taught part of the programme. This will support the students learning on this programme. Examples of typical subject matter to be covered here are; referencing correctly and avoiding plagiarism, designing and giving presentations, structuring and writing level 7 assignments. The Business librarian will also be using these sessions for research workshops on occasions throughout the year.
This award is attractive to applicants who already have health services technical skills and experience and who wish to progress their career through a management route, as well as to recent graduates. This will appeal to both graduates who have recently completed their first degrees, who would undertake this full-time, and working individuals within or aspiring to the industry who could complete through part-time study, including clinical professionals.
This programme is designed to support students who wish to move into managerial positions within the health services industry and who wish to complement their previous professional or academic qualifications or to build upon workplace experience. For example, the course combines insights to both public and private health care services with contemporary management theory.
In so doing, graduating students may likewise find attractive career opportunities within a wide range of businesses, at a management level. As well as within general management, the inclusion of modules within the three functional areas of Business Finance, HRM and Innovation may mean that students could also be successful in pursuing other management roles and roles as leaders of innovation and enterprise in related fields.
This programme of study in fully embraces the University’s commitment to the active promotion of equality of opportunity. The University seeks to ensure that no student is disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: gender; age; marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union; and socio-economic background. It also aims to ensure that disabled people and those with special needs do not suffer unfair discrimination, and that they are enabled to achieve their full potential as students. The ultimate objective of the programmes delivered are to ensure all aspects of delivery are open to all sections of society and in whose activities all students can participate to the best of their ability. This programme is designed to ensure inclusivity and to ensure that the diverse needs of our students are provided for.
In addition, within this programme:
Admission requirements are clearly set out in promotional materials and due consideration is given to a policy of widening access, participation, diversity and equality.
Each module has been developed in line with University policy to both promote equality and diversity and encourage all students in the development of their learning.
There is flexibility in materials and delivery of teaching to support students with disability or from culturally diverse backgrounds and the Department works closely with Learning Support in delivering this support through Learning Support Plans where appropriate.
The induction activities are designed to integrate all students both academically and socially and to make academic staff aware of any issues. Students are made aware of avenues of support if they a have any issues regarding diversity and equality.
Supportive formative exercises are presented in modules to give all students an equal chance of succeeding.
Assessments are designed to afford equal opportunity to all students to display their knowledge and skills. The introduction of anonymous marking also enhances equal opportunity to all students.
In order to ensure that the needs of all students are met any barriers to access (physical, environmental and curriculum) are identified and promptly notified to the University for removal or for reasonable adjustment to be made based on requirements.
All students are made aware of the Department structures to discuss issues should a concern arise.
The programme Leader acts as PAT for all students. An appointment system also exists whereby any student can make an appointment to see any member of staff, including the head of department and Dean.
Further information on assessment strategies:
For all 20 credit modules, students will undertake two pieces of assessment. For most modules one will be administered approximately one third to half way through the taught component of the programme, and the other at the end of the taught component. The first, shorter, piece of work will fulfil several functions. Recognising that some students may have no previous knowledge of business, this first piece of work can act as a valuable diagnostic tool, enabling both the student and the tutor to recognise areas of strength or weakness in performance at an early stage in their studies.
It is envisaged that the shorter piece of work will take the form, for example, of a critique, summary, proposal, seminar presentation or evaluation, and will be approximately 1250-1500 words equivalence in length. An indicative example of an assignment of this nature could be: a presentation on a student’s critical evaluation of a range of literature on a certain topic, or a written response identifying and evaluating a range of business problems in relation to a case study.
Towards the end of the taught part of the programme, students will undertake a longer piece of work, in the region of 3,000 words. This piece of work will give students an opportunity to synthesise and integrate the knowledge, skills and understanding acquired, demonstrate their ability to think strategically, and allow them to develop their abilities through a more in-depth study of a particular problem etc. A longer piece of assessment will also provide opportunity for students to demonstrate exit velocity from the programme. This assessment may take the form of a critical evaluation, a written proposal or a presentation for the development of a new product or service, or problem solving analysis etc. In this way, students have an opportunity to achieve integration of their learning.The Management Research Project will be in the region of 12,000-14,000 word count.
For the module NM7012 students are required to produce a poster and attend an oral examination relating to the poster. The two components are inextricably linked and assessment takes place at the end of the module.
The assessment strategy will be communicated in writing to each student, at the commencement of the module. It will also be available electronically.
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