MSc Occupational Hygiene / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Health Services Management

Course unit fact file
Unit code POPH64662
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Summer semester
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course is aimed at professionals wishing to learn more about healthcare management from both the UK and Global perspective.

This course gives students the background needed to manage healthcare in different settings, effectively manage change, cope with uncertainty, and adjust to social, economic, environmental and scientific changes.

What service that you have received was high quality? Why? Do you provide a good service? How do you know? What is the best way to improve your service? These are the types of questions this course unit aims to help you answer.

This unit explores how management theories can help health service staff make improvements to the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of provision by developing the skills necessary to contribute to delivering a service and improving quality.

This is an interactive online course. Students must work through the online course material. Students are encouraged to use the Blackboard discussion boards to ask questions and check their understanding of the course material.





For all organisations, uncertain social and financial pressures make it difficult to provide, and consistently maintain, a high quality service. This course will provide health service staff with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve that.

The aim of the course is to prepare present and future health service staff, from all disciplines, to provide and maintain, within financial and resource constraints, a high quality service, responsive both to the full variety of needs of all their patients and to changes in scientific, economic, political and social conditions.

Learning outcomes

The material in the course provides students with a conceptual basis for developing and managing a quality service.

On completion of this unit, successful students will be able to:

  • Explain and critically discuss the principal management theories and techniques relevant to managing quality and processes.
  • Understand skills relevant to the quality and process management component of their work.
  • Appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of quality and process management theories and skills when applied to practical problems.
  • To begin to effectively apply their learning to the managerial problems in their work and develop their effectiveness as managers to determine, improve and maintain a high quality of service.


Topic 1: Managing self and teams. What does effectiveness mean in managing health services? This topic will look at self-management, including the skills and knowledge necessary to develop your management effectiveness and help you continue to manage effectively. It also covers how groups and teams work, how their performance can be improved, and how you can plan to meet the development needs of yourself and your team members.

Topic 2: Leadership. Values and Vision considers the values and practices that shape and influence organisations and how you can develop a vision for your work based on these values to help you lead a team. Why is it so difficult to explain to others what you want them to do and then get them to do what you want? How to become more successful at getting what you want! What other important "Leadership skills" does a successful leader need? These include negotiation, decision making and creativity.

Topic 3: Service users and managing information. This topic helps you to become more responsive to your customers by looking at the purpose of your organisation and how users can become involved in identifying desired service outcomes. The topic examines using this information as part of evidence and investigations to help management decision-making. It will also look at how to manage information by identifying what information is necessary, designing the appropriate investigations and collecting the evidence required through understand, applying and assessing data, information management, knowledge management and learning organisations.

Topic 4: Understand the environment and make sense of the situation in which you work. This topic looks at how and why the environment can change, and how this may affect your work. Sense making enables us to transform your understanding of the complexity of the world into a situation you can manage and helps you to decide what you want to do and how you should do it.

Topic 5: Planning and project management. Why are strategic and service planning needed? What are the frameworks within which plans have to be implemented and accountability maintained? Why do we have to wait so long for our appointment or our test results? Project management provides an introduction to the techniques available to organise and plan projects so that your plan can be completed within the timescale and the resources available.

Topic 6: Budgeting. This topic explores methods of setting a budget, how to work within a budget, and how to develop a business case. It also covers programme budgeting, a method for identifying the costs of providing services.

Topic 7: Managing Processes and programme evaluation. Do you know what the purpose of your organisation is? What are the outcomes it should be achieving? Is working harder the only way to improve your service? This topic shows you how to analyse activities, map processes to remove waste, and identify opportunities for improvements. The topic ends by studying programme evaluation.

Topic 8: Quality management. What does "quality" mean in your situation? This topic explores how to determine and improve service quality.

Topic 9: Working with standards. Why do so many people complain about the service they receive from their bank / railway / school / plumber / supermarket? What are standards? Why should they be used?

Topic 10: Consolidation - Managing Change. Bringing it all together, understanding yourself, teams, and your customers using the theories of leadership and management for healthcare improvement.

Teaching and learning methods

Besides completing the assignments, there will be online discussion to aid understanding. Students are not required to participate in the discussions but if you do not, you will miss seeing other students’ ideas and questions  as well as the opportunity to get feedback on your own ideas.

Employability skills

Group/team working
The students will be supported to apply the theoretical principles of management to their own workplace practice and will reflect upon their own experiences throughout the course via group discussion board tasks.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Students will be provided with personalised feedback for their final summative assignment (2,500 words or equivalent) within 20 working days for final submission.

Further opportunities for formative feedback (on non-assessed work) will also be provided during the course unit.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Gregory Williams Unit coordinator

Additional notes

For further information please watch this video from our Course Unit Leader.

If you have any questions about the content of this unit, please contact the course unit leader, Greg Williams, via email on If you have any other queries, please contact the PGT programme administrators via email on

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