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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Service Management and Practice (CMSE11504)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe aim of this course is to equip post-experience students working in professional services (e.g. healthcare, veterinary services, education, law, architecture) with the knowledge, understanding and skills to deliver and manage services to facilitate value creation. This requires them to understand the internal and external processes that must be governed to support value creation, including the importance of the service experience, developing a service culture and inter-organisational relationships within complex service systems.

The course will provide a common lecture series and will focus on three key areas:

The delivery and management of services to support value creation;

and the role of service management disciplines in supporting the value creation process (e.g. leadership, strategy, culture, marketing).

Inter-organisational relationship management within complex service systems;

These online lectures will be supplemented by a tutorial series customised to the needs of each programme that it is part of.
Course description The course introduces students to the delivery and management of services within complex and dynamic service systems. It will draw upon service management theory and research to provide students with the teaching and learning they require to operate successfully in service environments.

The course will explore the experiential dimensions of 'service', both through face to face encounters and via digital interfaces. It will also focus on the complexity of the systems within which services are delivered and managed. In doing so, it will introduce contemporary models of service delivery and management which situate the customer as a key actor within the value creation process. This will require exploration of the approaches to service delivery, as well as the role of service management disciplines in supporting the value creation process (e.g. leadership, culture, relationship marketing).

Outline Content

The lecture series will focus on the following areas:

Facilitating excellence during service delivery

Communicating and working with key stakeholders to design and deliver service excellence

Developing successful service cultures

Providing strategic leadership for service excellence

Digital technology and supporting service excellence

Student Learning Experience

This course will be delivered online through the virtual learning environment Learn. Students will have access to the recorded lecture series delivered by UEBS staff. This will be supplemented by various online resources, which will be used to support active learning and will be tailored and contextualised to discrete service areas. These components may include a mixture of online tutorials, case study resources, examples and 'talking head' videos, depending on the specific needs of each programme area. For the development of this part of the course, UEBS may seek specialist advice from each programme area.

Discussion forums will be used as a tool for class discussions on the content provided in the lecture series and other resources to share knowledge and experience among learners.

A weekly plan will provide details of the topic to be covered, readings for the week, details of discussion board activities and tasks and any assessments to be completed.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Form analytical links between service culture, customer service experience and leadership for value creation and be able to apply this to their own experience.
  2. Apply this knowledge to their own service areas and critically assess whether and how they are successful in facilitating value creation.
  3. Communicate effectively with other staff across the service system about the nature of value creation and the steps they need to take to create sustainable value improvements.
  4. Strategically deploy service management tools and concepts to enhance value facilitation by their service organisation in the future.
Reading List
Core reading:

C Gronroos (2015) Service Management and Marketing (John Wiley)

Recommended reading:

M Christopher, A Payne & D Ballantyne (2015) Relationship Marketing (Routledge)

R Normann (2012) Service Management. Strategy and Leadership in Service Business (Wiley)

R Johnston & G Clark (2008) Service Operations Management (FT Prentice Hall)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and Enquiry

This course will support the development of knowledge and critical understanding in the following areas:

-The links between organisational culture, leadership and the service experience in supporting value creation for various stakeholders;

-Specialist knowledge of how service theory applies to their respective professions and how it can inform their own practice;

-Critical awareness of the wider field of service theory and how service leaders in other fields operate.

The application of the above knowledge and critical understanding to the student's own experience in order to develop sustainable skills for the future:

-The ability to develop and apply the professional skill-set necessary to support value creation in service businesses, including around framing the customer experience and creating a service-oriented culture;

-A critical understanding of how to apply a key set of service techniques and tools in order to support the value creation process, including those related to marketing, strategic leadership, and inter-organisational relationships;

-Carry out lines of enquiry to assess service quality in their own practices;

Using the learning above students will be able to:

-Critically analyse real business problems in their field by leveraging service theory and research;

-Critically assess evidence-driven options to remedy the problem applying service theory;

-Evaluate the options generated and decide upon a way forward driven by service theory best practice.


-Use a wide range of routine skills and some advanced and specialised skills associated with a their respective field, for example the ability to:

-Communicate effectively with customers and staff to support the development of a human-centred service culture;

-Evaluate digital technology options in order to create virtual service experiences and understand the implications of this for the service experience in their organisation.

Personal Effectiveness

-Exercise autonomy and initiative at a professional level in their own practice, for instance:

-Exercise managerial responsibility by being able to critically assess their role in their service organisation and to be able to act to advance service excellence and value creation;

-Practise in ways that show awareness of the importance of working/communicating with customers, staff and other stakeholders in achieving service excellence;

-Appreciate the skills required to achieve service excellence;

-Use their practice's resources to develop these skills.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Kirsty Strokosch
Course secretaryMrs Fionna Grant
Tel: (0131 6)51 3028
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