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Public Leadership and Management MA module details

The programme is composed of the following core modules: 4 modules at 30 credits each, and a dissertation or practice development project of 60 credits. All of the modules have to be completed to achieve the MA in Public Leadership and Management. 

Module 1 - Leading Change (30 credits) 

In Leading Change, you will explore the challenges of bringing about organisational transformation in the messy and complex landscape of local public service delivery. You will examine the ‘toolkit’ at the disposal of leaders and identify and assess the steps in leading change, from making the case for change; implementing and delivering plans for new ways of working; and mobilising the organisational tools and processes to build the values, behaviours, and organisational culture to drive forward innovation and change. You will critically reflect on the appropriateness of different models of leadership, your own leadership style and how you might adapt your leadership to the different contexts in which public leaders operate. 

Module 2 - Empowering Communities (30 credits) 

Empowering Communities equips you with the skills and competencies to evaluate the everyday complexities of working with local communities, investigating how to best translate the principles of community empowerment into practice. You will assess the latest developments and theories of community leadership and empowerment, exploring how public authorities can act as exemplary stewards of place. Taking these approaches into practice, you will engage with alternative tools and models of community participation, reflecting on how best to design effective forms of co-production and citizen control. The module concludes by asking students to evaluate how community empowerment can engender new forms of place-shaping, municipalism, community wealth generation and local resilience. 

Module 3 - Collaborative Innovation (30 credits) 

Collaboration and the harnessing of multiple perspectives, resources and interests has become a ‘tool of choice’ for delivering transformation and public leadership. Collaborative Innovation evaluates the evidence for such claims, exploring the demands of collaborative working and modes of collaborative leadership. You will investigate the cycle of collaborative innovation before turning your attention to the demands of everyday practices of collaboration. Here you will assess and apply the strategies and tactics of network formation; the different tools and styles of network leadership; the management of collaborative outcomes; and how to ensure of local political accountability. In exploring these issues, you will investigate the skills and capabilities of the collaborative practitioner, and the demands of collaborative place leadership. 

Module 4 – Designing Public Services (30 credits) 

Designing Public Services evaluates alternative models of service delivery, the different arguments and rationalities contained within them, and their application in practice. You will consider how public leaders can design service delivery and involve different sectors in the delivery of services including the voluntary and community sector, the private businesses and individual citizens. You will engage with the latest research on design, options appraisal and project delivery, examining different modes of commissioning and procurement; insourcing and outsourcing; partnerships and joint ventures; shared services; mutuals and cooperatives; hybrid organisations; co-production; and services as structures and processes. These alternative modes of service delivery will be framed within current debates surrounding public value creation, inviting you to reflect on how services provide value to the community and society. 

Module 5 - Policy into Practice (60 credits) 

Policy into Practice offers you the opportunity to undertake your own policy development project. You will gain first-hand experience of the demands of designing and carrying out an evidence-based inquiry into an identified ‘real world’ policy issue facing an organisation or a community of practitioners. You will first investigate the key processes of problem-definition; undertaking an independent review of existing evidence; ensuring ethical guidelines; collecting, analysing and interpreting different types of data; generating recommendations; and writing for policy. Then, working under the supervision of an allocated supervisor you will undertake self-directed study in the field, generating an original evidence-base to support a set of recommendations for policy development within an organisation or across a specific policy sector.