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Service Improvement Project - HEA00107M

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  • Department: Health Sciences
  • Module co-ordinator: Mr. Russell Yates
  • Credit value: 60 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21
  • Notes: This is an independent study module

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21 to Summer Term 2020-21

Module aims

The service improvement module weaves all the elements of the programme together and is the culmination of all modules. This practice based module will enable students to examine and critically appraise an aspect of healthcare practice (through a strictly negotiated and collaborative process) and design and implement a change that makes a difference to service-user care.

The content, shape and form of the service improvement project will be negotiated between the student, the student's mentor, their practice-based manager, a named academic facilitator and, depending on the nature of the project, service users and other stakeholders. The service improvement project will be outlined in a proposal in which the student will critically reflect upon the identified practice issue. The proposal will outline the project aims, the rationale for the project, and the exploratory diagnostic process. Students will be encouraged to focus on a small scale project which is integral to the delivery of quality service-user care. Successful completion of the module is not dependent upon the success of the service improvement project. The focus will be upon the critical analysis of the processes and systems involved in diagnosing, considering options for change and undertaking an implementation process. This process will form the basis of an article for publication.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Plan, negotiate, design, implement and reflect upon the outcomes for a small scale service improvement project, the idea for which is derived through evidence-based analysis of pertinent literature and policy; and consultation and dialogue with patients and stakeholders.
  2. Critically evaluate the evidence for change, and develop, appraise and synthesise the options being mindful of the factors which impact on collaborative working for the benefit of stakeholders.
  3. Identify and critically analyse a range of significant factors which are likely to have a bearing on the outcome of the service improvement project.
  4. Analyse and critically reflect upon service improvement structures, processes and outcomes.
  5. Enunciate and demonstrate awareness of the impact of the design, implementation and outcome of the service improvement project on their learning and performance in practice.
  6. Reflect upon the use of service improvement theory to inform the proposed change and to evaluate practice development being mindful of the need to place service users' needs at the heart of quality improvement.

Module content

Teaching sessions will be scheduled at the start of the module to cover its aims and the process by which the students will complete the project.

The programme entry criteria stipulate either a degree or experience (and evidence of study at level 6) and therefore the skill base of students may vary. During the first the first two year of the programme, areas requiring the development of academic skills will be identified. Additional teachings sessions will then be scheduled to target the development of these skills prior to commencing the Service Improvement Project. These interactive sessions will be developed in collaboration with Library and with other academic colleagues in the department. The module’s VLE site will contain an exemplar project, the form and content of which will be discussed within teaching sessions. Once the programme has completed a full, three-year cycle, graduates of the programme will be invited to the initial teaching sessions to discuss their experience of having completed a Service Improvement Project.


Task Length % of module mark
Graduate/Postgraduate Dissertation
N/A 100

Special assessment rules




Module feedback

  • Presentation feedback will be given orally and immediately.
  • Written feedback for summative assessment is provided on the standard proforma, within the timescale specified in the programme handbook.

Indicative reading

  • Furlie, E. et al (2016) The Oxford Handbook of Health Care Management. Oxford : Oxford
    University Press
  • Hake, S. and Shah, T. (2011). Negotiation skills for clinical research professionals. Perspectives
    on Clinical Research
    , 2(3), 105­-108.
  • King’s Fund (2012) Leadership and engagement for improvement in the NHS ­Together we can. London, The King’s Fund
  • McMillan, K. and Weyers, J. (2011). How to Write Dissertations and Project Reports. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education Ltd.
  • NHS Improving Quality (2013) NHS Change Model­model.aspx
  • NHS Leadership Academy (2015) NHS Leadership Model­LeadershipModel­colour.pdf
  • NMC (2015). The Code: Professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses and midwives. [Online]. Available at:
  • Senge, P. et al. (2011). The Dance of Change: the Challenges of Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organisations. London: Brealy.
  • Lord Willis et al. (2015). Raising the Bar: Shape of Caring: A Review of the Future Education and Training of Registered Nurses and Care Assistants. Health Education England & The Nursing and Midwifery Council. Retrieved from­Shape­of­caring­reviewFINAL.pdf

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students