Module leader: Dr Chris Beckett

Module teaching: Colin Green, Dr Chris Beckett, Dr Laura Biggart

Credit value: 20 Level 7 (M) credits, Spring Semester

Module fee: £612

Formative assignment submission: 19th March 2020

Summative assignment submission: 8 th July 2020


Credits from this 20-credit module can be put towards a Postgraduate Certificate, a Postgraduate Diploma, MA in Advanced Social Work or MA Mental Health. There are two other specific modules linked to leadership and management in this series (Models of Leadership and Management; Induction, Supervision and Staff Development). Together, these provide a strong foundation for those managers and supervisors in human services seeking to develop their managerial and supervisory skills.



This module is aimed at managers in supervisory and/or management roles within their organisation. It will support participants to evidence the Knowledge and Skills Statements for Practice Leaders and Practice Supervisors.

Relevant and central at this time of change, uncertainty and pressure on public services, this module aims to develop skills and understanding of managing organisational change while at the same time managing risk in the day-to-day work of the organisation.

The aim of the module will be to explore existing knowledge about the individual, group and organisational psychology of risk and change, and to consider practical strategies for managers whose job is to support staff in delivering a quality service to vulnerable people in a challenging context.

The module combines direct teaching with experiential learning and reflective writing. This module includes four full days of teaching, in two blocks.




  • An understanding of the impacts of change and innovation on people, systems and practices.
  • Critical understanding of the concept of risk and of the idea of a ‘risk society’
  • Critical understanding of organisational climate and culture, their impact on perceptions of risk, risk-taking and staff well-being.


  • Managing self and others during change.
  • Application of risk management strategies to decision making processes and management interventions.
  • The ability to make informed and balanced judgements in a context of risk, uncertainty, conflict and contradiction



The module addresses all domains within the PCF at the Experienced Social Worker, Advanced and Strategic levels, but particularly:

  • Critical reflection and analysis.
  • Contexts and organisations.
  • Professional leadership.

The module supports the following elements of the Knowledge and Skills Statements for Practice Supervisors:

  • Promote and govern excellent practice
  • Developing excellent practitioners
  • Shaping and influencing the practice system
  • Effective use of power and authority
  • Confident analysis and decision making
  • Purposeful and effective social work
  • Emotionally intelligent practice supervision



  • Organisational climate and organisational culture, and their relationship to risk and change. Decision-making in conditions of uncertainty. The nature of risk. Risk assessment and risk management. Managing in a ‘risk society’.
  • Subjective versus objective perspectives of risk. The psychology of risk: common errors of thinking about risk and how to avoid them. Communication about risk. 
  • Theories of change and resistance. Stages of change. Managing change and leadership style. Different roles in relation to change.
  • Managing risk and change together. Risk and change in your own workplace.



Both didactic and experiential forms of learning and seminar-based activity will be used during the four days of taught input.

Students’ own experience will form the basis for seminar content and they will be encouraged to use ‘live’ examples to focus their project work.



Colin Green is a former Director of Children’s Services at Coventry. He has held a range of senior posts across a number of different authorities, as well as in central government, giving him an exceptionally wide experience of managing risk and change at every level.

Dr Chris Beckett managed a children and families team, and was a manager for ten years before moving into social work education. An author of a number of social work texts, he is now a freelance writer.

Dr Laura Biggart is a Senior Lecturer in Social Science Research and Psychology in the School of Psychology, and has a particular research interest in emotional intelligence in social work.



For 20 credits: 200 effort hours: 25 hours teaching , 75 hours independent study 100 hours learning in practice. The module is taught in two blocks of two full days.



19th February 2020 - ECB 01.12A

20th February 2020 - ECB 01.09B

18th March 2020 - ECB 0.12

19th March 2020 - MED 1.33



Students will complete a five part written task, centred on ‘live’ issues in their own workplaces, drawing on frameworks presented in the module to identify and address current issues in risk management and change management in their own workplaces (5,000 words)

Formative assignment submission: 19th March 2020

Summative assignment submission: 8 th July 2020



Please contact your agency Workforce Development Department about the application process. If this is your first CPD module at UEA you will need to register with UEA Admissions. If this is a second or further CPD module you will need to enrol through the Postgraduate Learning and Teaching Hub (ZICER Building): 01603 592071.

Please wait for approval from your agency before you enrol.

Applications for 2019-20 should be submitted to UEA by 10th January 2020.

Please be aware that teaching, assessment dates and venues, are subject to change. All up to date information will be available via your UEA Evision account once you are enrolled onto the module.