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Irish Social Policy II

Module Code: SSU22050

Module Name: Irish Social Policy II

  • ECTS Weighting: 10
  • Semester/ Term Taught: Michaelmas and Hilary Term
  • Module Personnel: Dr Julie Byrne and Dr Catherine Elliot O'Dare

Michaelmas Term - Leading Human Service Organisations (5 credits)

Human service organisations are organisations devoted to the provision of services that promote human wellbeing by enabling individuals, families, groups and communities to function, cope and flourish (Husita, 2017). Social policy is often implemented in human service organisations, such as schools and hospitals, and through the staff who work in them. We are all stakeholders in human service organisations whether as citizens accessing services, as tax payers who fund public human services and perhaps, as staff. How human service organisations are led and managed is critical to the well-being of those who use and provide their services and, to the successful implementation of social policy.
The aim of the module is to ensure that students as human service organisation users, funders and staff have a clear understanding of the nature and context of these organisations and how their leadership and management impacts on stakeholders. Using organisational and management theory the module considers some of the choices regarding their management and leadership. Students will be asked to relate content to organisational contexts in which they are or have been a stakeholder.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this section of the module, students should be able to:
1. Explain the nature of human service organisations and how they differ from other organisation types
2. Analyse the context within which human service organisations operate and its impact on their functioning
3. Assess the impact of some approaches to leadership and management on stakeholders such as service users, funders and staff
4. Identify, select and analyse relevant evidence to enhance their understanding of leadership and management in human service organisations

Module Overview and Content

Section A: Understanding human service organisations
• Purpose and distinctiveness
• Economic, social and political context
• Effectiveness and efficiency in services

Section B: Management approaches and impact
• New public management
• Performance management
• Change management

Section C: Leadership approaches and impact
• Leadership theories


Teaching and Learning Methods

The learning outcomes are supported by recorded lectures, readings and videos as well as live online classes where lecturer and students will discuss responses to exercises and reflections. From teaching week 2 onwards, weekly learning activities should be completed in
advance of the next live class so that students can engage fully as active learners in the live sessions.

Assessment Details
Please include the following:

  • Assessment Component
  • Assessment description
  • Learning Outcome(s) addressed
  • % of total
  • Assessment due date*

Assessment Component

Assessment Description

LO Addressed

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Reassessment Requirements

Resubmit essay during college re-assessment period.

Recommended Reading List   

  • Core readings for each topic will be made available as part of the release of materials through the virtual learning environment. Additional texts include:
    Berends, L. & Crinall, K. (2014) Management and Practice in Health and Human Service Organisations, Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
    Brody, R. & Nair, M. (2014) Effectively Managing and Leading Human Service Organizations, 4th edition, Los Angeles: Sage.
    Gardner, F. (2016) Working with human service organisations: creating connections for practice, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Hughes, M. & Wearing, M. (2017) Organisations and Management in Social Work, London: Sage.

Useful web-based content  

Useful web-based content
Bentley, J. (2019) Leadership is a Wicked Problem, Graziadio Business Review, 22(3), 1-12. Accessed at Smith, S. (2018) The Future of Nonprofit Human Services Nonprofit Policy Forum, 8(4), DOI: Accessed at

Hilary Term: Understanding Health Policy (5 ECTS)

Learning Outcomes

To follow