Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Health [Queen's Campus, Stockton]


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap None.


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To examine critically the nature of work and the social and individual factors behind work motivations and responses in the clinical work place.
  • To examine theories about the organisation of work
  • To equip students with techniques that clinical managers might use to improve the organisation of clinical work from local and systems perspectives and address issues that may arise in the improvement process.


  • Work motivations
  • Social factors behind the organisation of work
  • Work behaviours –individual & collective
  • Social history of work in healthcare
  • Professionalisation of work
  • Work/job design principles
  • Techniques for improving the organisation of clinical work:
  • Measuring flow
  • Process mapping
  • Pathway development
  • Redesign of bottlenecks
  • Techniques for dealing with conflict

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the completion of the module students should have a critical understanding of :
  • Work motivations in a professional environment
  • Factors that underpin work place structures and processes
  • Techniques for improving the organisation of work
  • The complexity of issues and tensions regarding professional roles and changes in these.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Analyse social and personal incentives and constraints to changing the organisation of clinical work
  • Describe specific service improvement techniques and their use
  • Use a variety of techniques to lead and manage the people aspects of change in the organisation of clinical work.
Key Skills:
  • The ability to think critically and creatively and to argue coherently;
  • The capacity for sustained independent work and learning at an advanced level and the ability to learn through reflection on practice and experience;
  • The capacity for sustained interprofessional learning and work at an advanced level and the ability to learn through reflection on practice and experience
  • Enhanced personal effectiveness: advanced skills of self-awareness, time management including working to deadlines, sensitivity to diversity in people and different situations and the ability to sustain learning;
  • The ability to work effectively in inter-professional and inter agency contexts and to critically assess the relevance and validity of others’ views, contributions to care planning and service delivery.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures - Provide the main means for communicating key concepts regarding the nature of work, the historical and social factors underpinning forms of work organisation, work motivations and various techniques that can be employed in improving the organisation of work
  • Tutorials/seminars - Allow students to work through application of concepts to practice in more detail promoting discussion and developing the interprofessional communication and working skills
  • Case studies/role plays/simulation games - Provide experiential based learning to assist students to arrive at new insights into the practical applications of theory.
  • Structured reading - Allows students to pursue topics in greater detail enabling both familiarity with key texts and a deeper understanding of the subject knowledge generally
  • Independent study, research and analysis - Focuses student knowledge more deeply by pursuing aspects of the module that are of special interest to themselves and their workplaces
  • Presentations provide opportunities to develop oral and written skills in communicating clearly in an interprofessional manner.
  • Written assessment provides the means assessing students' understanding and reflexive skills and their skills in marshalling arguments and presenting them in a writen format in a sound and convincing fashion

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 weekly 1 hr 10
Tutorials/seminars (Case studies/role plays/simulation games to be used in conjunctionwith tutorials) 10 weekly 1 hr 30 mins 15
Structured reading 10 sets weekly 3 hrs 30
Independent study, research and analysis student determined student determined 95
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: written work Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
reflective essay 2500 100% essay

Formative Assessment:

Presentation to the tutorial of an analysis of the organisation of work in a situation relevant to them

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University