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 

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.

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