Structure and Content
The Postgraduate Diploma is taught over four academic semesters, with the Year One practice placement running until late June.
In Year One, you will study:
The Provision of Housing Services: This module explores the broad context for the provision and consumption of housing in the UK.
Issues of Sustainability and Housing Development: This module examines the processes for housing development, design and construction in relation to the physical and social environments.
Housing Policy and Strategic Planning: This module covers the theory and practice of the policy process, including legislation; and strategic management for housing organisations.
The Management of Housing Organisations: This module explores organisation and management theory and practice for housing, its application to the work environment and the delivery of housing services.
Year One also includes an introduction to reflective practice in housing work and 20 weeks of work experience in a landlord organisation, normally a local authority, housing association or other registered social landlord.
In Year Two you will study:
Research and Information for Housing: This module examines the information requirements of housing organisations, the application of information in practice, and the value of research in housing.
Paying for Housing: This module identifies how housing is paid for in the socially and privately rented sectors and in home ownership sectors.
Issues in Housing Renewal and Community Regeneration: This module explores theory and practice in housing renewal, regeneration and the development of sustainable communities.
Housing, Health and Well-being: This module examines the links between housing, health and well-being and the importance of inter-professional working.
In Year Two you will undertake a 10-week specialist research or policy placement with a relevant housing organisation (e.g. landlord; professional body; voluntary or campaign organisation; social work or planning authority). You will also undertake a final reflective practice module which includes a residential field trip and an advanced professional skills block on the future prospects for housing in Scotland. The work placement programmes are linked to the practical requirements of the Chartered Institute of Housing.
Students successfully completing the Diploma may proceed to the MSc by undertaking original research on an agreed housing topic. This can be completed either: a) on a full-time basis within three months of the end of the taught programme; or b) by re-registering for a further year, on a part-time basis.
Students who do not complete the Diploma programme may be considered for award of the Postgraduate Certificate in Housing Studies.
Delivery and Assessment
In Year One you attend classes for a minimum of two days per week during the Autumn Semester. The standard teaching day from 10am – 4pm, comprises a combination of lectures, seminars, and professional skills development exercises, including group work. The remainder of the working week is available for private study and completion of assignments.
During the Spring Semester of Year One you attend a work placement, full-time for 20 weeks, during which time you attend the University one day per week for six weeks.
Autumn Semester of Year Two commences with a teaching block on housing research and information followed by a research/policy focused placement, for 10 weeks full-time. You also attend the University one day per week for six weeks.
Spring Semester of Year Two is a combination of taught classes two days per week, a residential field trip and an advanced professional skills block.
Assessment on the Diploma programme is continuous with assessment taking a variety of forms – written and oral, individual and collective, academic and professional. Work placements are assessed through a series of practice reports. Students also maintain and submit a reflective practice diary.
Support for the MSc, usually in a third year of study, is delivered through a combination of personal supervision and learning materials accessed through WebCT. It is assessed through a dissertation of 15,000 words.
The majority of staff working in housing do have a professional qualification and so Stirling housing graduates normally move immediately into employment and rapid career progress. Stirling housing graduates have a strong track record in the sector. Potential career opportunities include management and development in housing organisations, specialist research, development of policy and strategy. Increasingly, there are opportunities linked key government initiatives and policy areas such as homelessness, community regeneration, tenant involvement and housing for special groups or people with particular needs.