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Housing Practice (MA)

Course Description

This Housing Practice MA course allows you to fulfil the professional requirements for membership of the Chartered Institute of Housing. The Housing Practice course is a professionally-oriented programme that examines both theoretical and practical issues relevant to housing policy. Based at our Central London Marylebone Campus, it offers you a challenging and reflective course of study which considers the context and background to key debates surrounding housing, regeneration and sustainability.

If you are unable to study for a full Masters, we also offer a Housing Practice Postgraduate Diploma and a Housing Practice Postgraduate Certificate. Please scroll to the bottom of this page for information on these courses. In addition, you can also study individual modules from this Housing Practice MA course as stand alone short courses.

Course content

The MA core modules examine issues relating to development, finance, law, management, policy and strategy, and offer the opportunity for in-depth research in the Dissertation module. The overall aim of the course is to enable you to think strategically and operate as a reflective practitioner.

Core modules

The module programme supports students in applying the skills of self-directed in-depth research to a selected area of housing culminating in a 12,000-word assignment. The module gives you the opportunity to pursue a research topic in depth and aims to extend your critical and analytical abilities. The module builds on knowledge and skills gained during the course which you can apply to the formulation of a research question, the construction of a research plan, conducting research, and analysing and presenting research conclusions. Your research may take the form of a dissertation or a policy implementation project.

•Housing and Public Finance
This module covers public finance and housing markets, housing finance policy, and the local authority, housing association, private rented and owner occupation sectors of the housing market.

•Housing and Regeneration
You will examine the contribution of housing agencies to the development process and consider wider changes in the governance of regeneration, within the context of localism and neighbourhood-based approaches. You will consider the role of partnerships and examine the relationship between housing, planning and economic development.

•Housing Law
This module examines the effectiveness and limitations of the law, critical approaches to tenancy law issues, and the synthesis of issues surrounding modern tenancy law.

•Housing Management Practice
Through this module you will examine the key areas relating to the management of housing organisations – including practical and theoretical issues surrounding neighbourhood management, resident involvement and social sustainability.

•Reflective Practice
This module draws on both formal and informal learning experiences and relates these to practice and professional development. It complements the research methods module that examines the production of knowledge by looking at the application of knowledge and the role expertise. The module involves a combination of taught sessions, individual tutorials and group seminars. Sessions will cover: integrating academic study and workplace experience; professional practice and ethical behaviour in the built environment; the concept of reflective practice; thinking critically in workplace situations; and roles, relationships and responsibilities of interdisciplinary teams.

•Research Methods
This module introduces you to research methods and methodologies specific to urban and spatial research, design and planning. It explores the theory and practice of developing a research framework, with a particular emphasis upon methods, methodologies, and theoretical frameworks used within the built environment professions. You will gain an understanding of the skills and principles of conducting research, and begin developing your own research proposal for the Dissertation. The module will allow you to critically examine the ways in which knowledge of the built environment is generated, and the links between ethical and reflexive research practice.

•Urban Policy and Strategy
In this module you will focus on local and national policy-making within a housing context. Areas covered include policy success and failure, theoretical and practical knowledge to policy-making and implementation, and using contemporary housing and urban policies.

Option modules

Choose one from:
•Environmental Policy, Assessment and Climate Change
This module provides you with background knowledge on environmental policy and climate change. It sets out the theoretical framework, and then the international context for sustainable development, energy efficiency and climate change. You will explore the implications for the built environment in a range of development contexts, including analysis of key policy concerns and planning and design responses comparatively across different institutional and cultural contexts. You will also review techniques for assessing the impacts of development, and examine the role that effective environmental strategies and policies in planning and related fields can pursue to reach sustainable development.

•Public Participation and Engaging Communities
In this module you will analyse key historical and contemporary debates about participation and community engagement as applied in planning and housing. You will consider the key social science concepts related to community, participation, social capital and governance, and also the legal and procedural powers. The module offers advanced study skills in information selection, referencing, essay planning and critical analysis.

•Public Realm: Significance, Design, Experience
In this module you will focus on the public realm from the perspective of urban design and planning. You will have the opportunity to study and write about key theories and debates about public space in an international context. These include issues such as inclusion and exclusion, the 'publicness' of public space, identity, experience, movement, green spaces, crime, security and anti-social behaviour, and different approaches to management. The module is equally focused on practical examples, and you will undertake a practical project to explore these issues 'on the ground', thereby enhancing your skills in critical evaluation and design appreciation.

Associated careers

Most students will be working for local authorities or other registered providers. Other students work for voluntary or private sector housing agencies. Employers need reflective staff with a critical appreciation of the issues surrounding and affecting housing practice, and the course therefore offers important transferable skills applicable to a range of occupational environments.

Housing Practice Postgraduate Diploma

If you take the Housing Practice Postgraduate Diploma you take all the core modules from the Housing Practice MA list above, with the exception of the Dissertation. The Postgraduate Diploma usually takes one and a half years to complete part-time.

Housing Practice Postgraduate Certificate

If you take the Housing Practice Postgraduate Certificate you take three of the following modules from the Housing Practice MA course: Housing Management Practice, Housing Law, Housing and Public Finance, Housing and Regeneration. The Postgraduate Certificate usually takes one year to complete part-time.

Visit the Housing Practice (MA) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You will normally hold a first degree or appropriate equivalent qualification awarded by a recognised institution. Applications from candidates with non-traditional academic backgrounds are encouraged. Applicants from such backgrounds would be expected to have significant work experience at the appropriate level. If your first language is not English you will need an IELTS score of 6.5.

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Recipient: University of Westminster
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