module specification

SH7P63 - Health and Social Care Management and Policy Dissertation (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Health and Social Care Management and Policy Dissertation
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 60
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 600
540 hours Guided independent study
60 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Proposal
Dissertation 90%   Dissertation
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North - Not applicable

Module summary

The module aims to provide students with an opportunity to analyse a management issue in policy implementation.  It will enable students to reflect on and critically appraise the range of issues which a particular policy is designed to address and provide an opportunity to build on students’ existing knowledge and experience of policy development and implementation. Using a range of theoretical and practice-based perspectives from social science disciplines, students’ will apply their understanding of how the context affects the implementation of policy and the role of managers in assuring the effectiveness.

Module aims

o To integrate the skills and knowledge-base underpinning the core modules on the Masters programme and focus these on management  of a specific policy
o To apply appropriate knowledge of related research as well as theory, policy and practice in relation to the chosen issue
o To apply appropriate skills and knowledge  for analysis of the policy process
o To use management theory and knowledge to an applied context
o To promote critical reflection on the process of developing and executing


Students are expected to be self-motivated and able to work independently. Students work first on a project proposal and plan of work that must be approved by their supervisor. A clear timetable must be included. The Major Project should examine a particular government policy, or a strategic policy of an organization in the context of government policy, and assess the management implications for its effective implementation. This will provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the rationale for the policy, the theories which underpin it and analyse issues for implementation by examining practice in a particular area. This appraisal should demonstrate a sound understanding of the rationale for the strategic/policy developments, and include a review of relevant policy, management contribution to policy and its implementation, and research literature. Students should then analyse the implementation strategy, and the resulting procedures, directives, arrangements for accountability and other implementation decisions, the success in terms of achieving policy objectives, and critically appraise management issues arising. It should include recommendations about changes to the management arrangements, or how to avoid the problems identified in implementing other new policies. It might also include an assessment of any risk of harm/safety issues, and procedures in place to assess performance in terms of quality control, appropriate prioritising, staff supervision and risk minimisation, particularly where resource constraints pose marked difficulties.

Learning and teaching

This triple module programme requires a high degree of responsibility and autonomy on the part of the student in the planning and execution of a sustained piece of work. The learning and teaching will consist of four workshops to familiarise students with the aim, objectives of the dissertation and methodology used for data collection. In addition, specialist sessions will be held with library staff and CELT. Following the submission of the dissertation title and allocation of the dissertation supervisor, there will be formal personal dissertation supervision sessions. Student and supervisor will meet at intervals on at least four further occasions, and should keep a log of meetings, in which objectives for the forthcoming weeks are agreed and used for review at subsequent meetings.

Students should work first on a research plan and proposal that must be approved by their supervisor. This should include a programme indicating: the rationale for the investigation, its relationship to previous and current research in the field as well as the concepts, theories and bodies of evidence to be examined. The proposal must include reference to policy documents and other literature sources. The practical applications of the investigation and the relevant ethical issues must be addressed. A clear timetable must be included as well a reflective account of progress. Once the students have completed their proposal, students will receive written feedback.

The second stage is the execution of the proposal and this includes a critical reflection on the process. 

Students are encouraged to use other learning resources such as the Library and the CELT and WebLearn.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this triple module, students should be able to:
o demonstrate an ability to plan, organise and write a substantive project using academic conventions
o investigate particular policy implementation issues which are grounded in a knowledge base and skills
o critically reflect on management processes and skills in an applied context
o demonstrate synthesis between the literature and materials used and the findings of the  project

Assessment strategy

The assesment will include both formative and summative methods. It will consist of two pieces of assessed work, a project proposal and dissertation. A 1,000 word proposal (10%) submitted in week 11 prior to the semester in which the dissertation is due, and 13,000 - 15,000 word dissertation (90%) usually submitted in week 27.   Students should pass on aggregate.



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