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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Health in Social Science : Interdisciplinary Social Sciences in Health

Postgraduate Course: Quantitative Information for Service Improvement (ISSH11006)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaInterdisciplinary Social Sciences in Health Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionEngagement in ongoing service improvement is an increasingly important part of public sector staff responsibilities. In particular, health and social care policy in Scotland and England is predicated on a workforce engaged and skilled in service improvement. Effective service improvement requires, inter alia, quantitative information skills to operationalise the change needed, to continuously monitor and guide the change process and to use clear forms of feed-back to enable broad involvement and engagement in the change process. A dedicated course, which teaches quantitative data skills in the specific context of service improvement is highly relevant in this field. Due to the short timeframe of change projects, the ideal data by which to guide change may not be available. For example, routinely collected data for a variety of purposes have to be used, and it is important that decisions about change are made on the basis of a sound appreciation of what the data can and cannot say. Use of quantitative data for service improvement requires additional skills which extend beyond an understanding and appreciation of the robustness of data and its interpretation however. It also requires skills and a critical understanding of how to apply this appreciation in practice in the management of change processes. Data is an important focus for negotiating such processes and securing the engagement of a range of constituencies.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Flexible, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 05/08/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 28, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 168 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Critical understanding of ways in which quantitative
information is used in
Performance management and measurement for accountability
Continuous quality improvement and redesign of service

Critical appraisal of the robustness of routinely collected
and for purpose generated data sets used in service

Critical appreciation of how to apply an understanding of
quantitative data in dialogues about service change.

Analytical skills
Understanding variation for service improvement purposes
Supply, demand and flow
Random and systematic errors of design and measurement;
common and special causes of variation
The use of indicators for monitoring processes

Statistical concepts relevant to analysing, interpreting and
presenting quantitative data for service improvement
Descriptive statistics, including measures of central
tendency, dispersion, shape and outliers
Exploratory data analysis
Statistical sampling and population inference
Measures of association
Statistical process control

Practical skills
Accessing secondary datasets and generating simple primary
Presentation of quantitative information about changes in a
service process
Assessment Information
The assessment will comprise two elements including practical exercises which require data analysis and interpretation, and a written assignment which may take the form of a short essay, critique of a research paper or analysis of a report of
approximately 1500 2000 words.

Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Ailsa Cook
Tel: (0131 6)50 3881
Course secretaryMiss Nikki Pakarian
Tel: (0131 6)50 3890
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