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Social Services Management (MSc-Postgraduate Diploma-Postgraduate Certificate)

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  • Objectives
    As a student on this programme you share your learning with the international students registered for the MSc in Advanced Studies in the Management of Social Welfare Organisations. Joint teaching works to the advantage of all students by promoting challenge, diversity and exploration of assumptions and ways of working. The programme aims to enable you as a social services manager to build on your professional experience by undertaking study in a range of management subjects. Integration of practice and research into the curriculum and assessment allows you to test your learning in the workplace and critically evaluate your skills. The aims of the programme are to enable you to: Acquire a critical understanding of the theory and practice of management as it relates to contemporary social services. Develop your knowledge on how organisations function and how, as a manager, you might bring your influence to bear on organisational processes. Improve your awareness and skills in the management of change. Re-examine the value basis of social services work and how this is applied in a management role. Broaden your understanding of the personal social services through comparative study. Incorporate research awareness in your work. Address issues of inter-agency and multi-disciplinary work. Social Services Management is a part-time programme for staff in management positions within social service organisations across the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors. The programme makes substantial use of the management experience you as students bring with you and your daily work provides the evidence of practice competence as a manager that is integral to assessment for the academic award. This programme is delivered by staff in the Department of Applied Social Science. DASS is a large interdisciplinary unit, combining teaching and research interests in Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, Social Work, Dementia and Housing Studies and a number of specialist centres. It has a strong record in involving contributions from other disciplines and from subject experts outside the University.
  • Entry requirements
    Entrance Requirements A degree and a minimum of two years’ experience in a management position within social services. Applicants without a degree will submit a piece of written work at interview stage. Participants on the programme may also hold a professional qualification in social work (CQSW, DipSW, Social Work Degree or equivalent). You are expected to word-process your own work for assessment.
  • Academic Title
    Social Services Management (MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate)
  • Course description
    The Programme Options

    The Postgraduate Certificate in Social Services Management meets the SSSC requirements for registered managers in diverse social care settings. This programme is delivered on a part-time basis over two semesters. Candidates for the PG Certificate undertake a mandatory introductory module (Managing in the Context of a Social Services Agency) and a second module dependent on their preferred timing and/or areas of interest. The award can be completed in one year or extended over two years if this is better suited to the needs of the candidate or workplace. Candidates who successfully complete the PG Certificate have the option to join the Postgraduate Diploma.

    The Postgraduate Diploma in Social Services Management offers a direct route for Leading to Deliver graduates to gain recognition of prior learning and continue their studies to achieve a Diploma award and the opportunity to undertake a Master's level dissertation. The Diploma award for Leading to Deliver graduates comprises two part-time modules (Managing and Supervising Staff and Managing the Current Service) delivered over two semesters. As with the PG Certificate, candidates can choose to complete both modules in one year or extend these over a two-year period.

    Managers enrolling for the PG Diploma in Social Services Management who do not have a current social services management award at certificate level (SCQF Level 11) will undertake the full taught programme of four modules delivered on a part-time basis over two years.

    The opportunity to pursue an MSc Social Services Management is open to students who have successfully completed the Diploma award. The MSc dissertation is undertaken as a further six-month period of study for part-time students or three months for those able to commit to full-time study.

    Structure and Content

    The programme is part-time and modular, comprising four taught modules with related study and practice assignments. Successful completion of two modules can lead to a Postgraduate Certificate and four modules to a Postgraduate Diploma. Candidates for the Master’s degree additionally undertake a dissertation based on an empirical study submitted after the completion of the four taught modules.

    The curriculum covers:
        Managing in the Context of a Social Services Agency: This module will: identify current trends and developments in contemporary social work; analyse the political and legal framework of social work; relate present-day services to the history of social work; identify the fiscal arrangements for social work; review the manager’s role and accountability; consider Scottish and UK social services in the international context.
        Managing and Supervising Staff: This module will: apply leadership theories and management style analysis to your own work; identify management tasks in relation to ethical issues and anti-oppressive practice; apply employment legislation and policy; analyse methods for the recruitment and selection of staff; evaluate staff induction procedures; use a range of models for staff supervision; monitor the effectiveness of staff appraisal, training and development programmes; build and manage effective teams.
        Managing the Current Service: This module will help you to: apply organisation theory; consider the impact of organisational culture on service delivery; evaluate performance improvement frameworks for your own service area; develop procedures for quality assurance and quality audit; use research in evaluating service effectiveness; identify best value and value for money in social work; explore the challenges and opportunities of collaborative practice.
        Managing Change and Innovation: This module will help you to: apply theories of change management in your organisational context; plan, implement and evaluate innovation; analyse effective leadership strategies for managing change and transition; develop agency planning systems; use strategic planning and networking to respond to changing demands; explore meaningful ways of strengthening service user and carer involvement in service planning and evaluation.


    Delivery and Assessment

    Each module is taught during 10 days at the University. These are spread over four months, with units of two or three days each month (September to December and February to May). Four modules are taught per year, but part-time students generally undertake only one module in each semester. The teaching day consists of seminar presentations, group discussion and small group work. Academic and management practice assignments form the assessment for each module, the practice being drawn from the work in your employing agency.

    Career Opportunities

    Successful attainment of a social services management qualification has been seen to enhance participants' future career opportunities. During the programme and on its completion candidates have experienced the benefits of undertaking advanced level study by securing promotion or moving into strategic planning or senior management posts.

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