Leaders and Managers in Social Work

The Leadership Pathway was launched on the back of over 5 years research and development in the field of leadership and management in health and social care.

One of the challenges often faced by Social Workers stepping into management and leadership roles is the complexity of that leadership role, which asks them to balance a whole range of potentially competing priorities. They are responsible for leading colleagues, motivating them to succeed, providing supervision, managing resources and project planning.

According to Fisher (2009), Social Work managers and leaders are more effective when they have a theory base from which to develop their leadership skills and as social work is an evidence-based practice, this would seem to make sense. Moreover, many of the relationship-based theories that social workers draw on when working with clients and service users are often transferable and applicable when supporting team colleagues.

We have a leadership pathway to support the development of social work leaders, which includes:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Leading and Developing Services
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Leading and Developing Services
  • Masters in Leading and Developing Services

Each course is made up of a number of optional and mandatory units – each of 20 credits, and each one is a stepping stone to the next. The courses are designed to support social workers and those in allied health and social care professionals to develop and enhance either leadership skills within a five-year period. These means that on any unit you will have the opportunity to study alongside professionals from across the health and social care arena.

Full details of the award and application routes can be found here: Wozzad Online Course Application for Bournemouth University 

If you are interested in developing a specific aspect of your leadership and management skillset then you can also take individual units:

Improving Personal and Organisational Performance:

The unit aims to address the needs of new managers/leaders in health and social care who are working in a culture of constant change and service development. It will allow you to critically reflect on your existing competence in basic leadership skills developed as a result of experience or those typically found in organisation-based training programmes. You will be encouraged to identify your own skills and plan to improve these by setting personal and organisational objectives.  Further details here.

Self Leadership

The Master’s level unit is designed to enable qualified practitioners in health and social care to increase their self-leadership capability and capacity to better manage self and others under the multiple pressures of the work environment. The development focus is upon the quality of the leader’s thinking, creativity, and deeper self-awareness in the moment; ultimately developing advanced level professional leadership impact. Personal resilience and better relating within complex and critical situations is a fundamental goal of this leadership unit. Further details here.

Leading for Change

This unit aims to address the needs of new managers and leaders in health and social care who are working in a culture of constant change and service development. Students will critically examine the implementation of change in projects’ professional, organisational, social and cultural contexts. They will critically reflect on their leadership style and skills, extending knowledge of themselves when engaging with colleagues and other stakeholders, and will apply this understanding to practice. Further details here.

Strategic Leadership

The unit aims to address the needs of managers/leaders in health and social care who are working in a culture of constant change and service development. Strategy is considered in respect of how it might be formulated and implemented locally within Health and Social Care. It will help leaders to consider and evaluate national and local strategy. Being strategic within the organisation and in collaboration/integration with others is a key principle here. Further details here.

Evidencing Professional Learning: Leading and Managing Teams

The aim of the Evidencing Professional Learning (EPL): Leading and Managing Teams unit is to critically reflect on your capability and capacity to understand and manage / lead yourself and your team.  This Master’s level unit is designed to enhance knowledge and skills on team leadership and management of those in leadership and management roles. Students will be able to gain a systematic understanding of relevant literature including a critical awareness of current issues and recent research related to leading a team. This unit aims to address the needs of new managers and leaders in health and social care who have responsibilities for supervising or leading teams and will support them to develop the practical skills to manage a team. Further details here.

Our pathway of units provides experienced health and social care professionals with the opportunity to develop and extend their knowledge of management theory and enhance their practice. This course is primarily designed to meet the management and leadership development needs of leaders or managers already in post. This includes supervisors, team leaders, first line managers, middle and senior managers/leaders. However, experienced professionals who aspire to a management career/leadership role may also access the course if they have supervisory responsibilities that allow them to complete the self-reflective practice assessments. As this course offers a good grounding in strategic management, it is suitable for managers currently in first line and middle manager positions who may be seeking promotion to a senior position.

The structure of this award is such that you do not apply for the whole award at once but instead apply for each individual unit according to your need. You choose the CPD Leadership and Management units from the list below that meet your specific requirements/needs and build up to one of the Leading & Developing Services awards unit by unit, paying for each individual unit as you undertake it. You have the option to either exit with an interim award or continue for the full MA award.

  • Post Graduate Certificate Leading & Developing Services (interim award) – on completion of 60 level 7 credits
  • Post Graduate Diploma Leading & Developing Services (interim award) – on completion of 120 level 7 credits
  • MA Leading & Developing Services (full award) – on completion of 180 level 7 credits

The timeframe to gain any of the above awards is 5 years from when you start you first CPD Level 7 Leadership and Management unit with Bournemouth University.

The list of units that can be used to contribute towards these awards are below, please click on a unit to see the specific module pages for further information:

Core Unit
Leading for Change

Option Units
Improving Personal and Organisational Performance (IPOP)
Evidencing Professional Learning (EPL) 1, 2 & 3
Business Writing (Evidencing Professional Learning)
Evidencing Professional Learning (EPL): Leading and Managing Teams
Leading Integrated Services
Practice Observation (Self-managed)
Professional Supervision in Health and Social Care
Strategic Leadership
Professional Reasoning and Judgement in Health and Social Care
Resilience, Advocacy and Wellbeing

Core Unit for Masters
Service Improvement Project Units

As the units are led by a number of different academics from across the Health and Social Sciences Faculty, each unit has its own unique make-up. However, each unit offers live ‘virtual’ seminars which provide an opportunity for learners to come together in a virtual classroom to gain information, share ideas and discuss their experiences. They introduce and encourage critical debate about key themes related to leadership.

There is also an expectation to complete self-managed learning. You will be provided with a package of reading and reflective exercises that have been designed to help you critically explore your practice-based experiences and develop a deeper understanding of links between leadership practice and theory. You will have free access to the BU library, including its online resources as well as a range of support to help develop your academic writing skills.

Normally students may enter Level 7 study if they have been awarded:

  • Undergraduate degree (honours or non-honours)
  • An equivalent qualification (the learning outcome of which are demonstrably appropriate in terms of knowledge, understanding and skills) equivalent to 120 credits at Level 6.

If you do not meet this criteria you are still able to apply for this unit but we may ask you to complete a study skills handbook to familiarise yourself with academic writing at masters level or pre-admission work. This will be sent to you when we have received your application form.

Fees and funding:
You will need to pay or indicate employer support of payment for unit or course fees to the university.

Pre-purchased places
The Faculty of Health & Social Sciences has contractual arrangements with NHS organisations and Local Authorities for pre-paid places on specified modules including NHS South of England. If you work within Dorset & Somerset or Hampshire & Isle of Wight you may be able to access the pre-paid places. These arrangements allow NHS Trusts and Local Authorities to nominate the staff they wish to send on each unit or course. The pre-arranged agreements allow individuals, a route to access appropriate professional development opportunities that are seen as strategically important to your organisation (in consultation with your Line Manager/Education Co-ordinator). All requests for pre-paid places must first be agreed by your organisation prior to completing an application.

Find us here:

Website: https://ncpqsw.com

Twitter: @NCPQSW

Instagram: @NCPQSW_BU

NCPQSW © 2023. All Rights Reserved
Copyright | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions of use
Website Design Bournemouth - Good Design Works