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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 05/04/2022 16:10:26

Title of Module: Crisis Leadership & Management

Code: SSPG11018 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:J  Molina

Summary of Module

The module is aimed primarily at those working at leaders and managers at senior and middle levels within the public sector or those who are planning a career in the public sector. The module engages students in what is now an important aspect of public sector activity: the strategies for managing crises, threats risk, and uncertainty, urgency.  Leaders in the public sector are now, more than ever before, being held to account for their performance for managing crises which can affect the integrity and effectiveness of their organisations and the policy sector in which they operate/oversee. Crises come in various forms and are heavily contextual. This requires adaptive leadership strategies and a high level of resilience in order to work with stakeholders to bring crises to an end. The common denominator of crises are that they pose a threat to prevailing patterns of organisational, social, economic and political interactions.


The module equips students with the intellectual and practical skills to comprehend, explain and manage ‘crises’ within an organisational context.  The seminars will provide an opportunity to discuss crisis management leadership and management approaches in detail using case studies. 


Although the module is aimed at public sector leaders and managers the module content will also be of key relevance to those working within the third and private sectors. 

  • Understanding crisis and its relationship to public policy and management

  • Leadership strategies for the management of crises (pre-crisis, during the crisis and post-crisis)

  • The organisational aspects of crisis management (e.g. enabling resilience cultures and fostering intra- and inter-organisational working)

  • The politics of crisis management and lines of accountability and control

  • Multi-level governance and crisis leadership

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2check markTerm 3check mark

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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Knowledge & Understanding: Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of leadership approaches in contexts of crisis.

L2. Cognitive: Critically appraise leadership strategy approaches in crisis situations.

L3. Autonomy: Demonstrate professionalism when devising and undertaking a self-directed topic of enquiry.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 11.

A critical understanding of a range of theories and techniques of crisis management.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Application of a range of evaluative tools to understand the effectiveness of crisis leadership.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Demonstrate the ability to conduct analysis, evaluation and synthesis.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Demonstrate the ability to communicate, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge/expertise.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in carrying out learning activities.

Take responsibility for own work and contribute to the collective learning activities of the group in ways which support and develop critical reflection

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The module is made up of tutor-led and student-led seminars. Students will be expected to undertake reflective learning activities throughout the module and also a significant amount of independent reading. Moodle will also be used to support students in the use of e-seminars, discussion forums and audio-visuals.

PDDP planning is a key aspect of the module and students are encouraged to reflect on their development and to map their development across the UWS graduate attributes. Students’ PDP will be facilitated during the formative activities and summative assessments of the module. Students will be required to read and evaluate contemporary research evidence during their own independent study time and during class. They will then discuss this research evidence in small groups. In addition, the formative activities will require the synthesis of information and data, and the communication of this in both written and oral form, forming important transferable skills.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery36
Asynchronous Class Activity20
Independent Study144
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Drennan, L.T., McConnell, A. and Stark, A., (2014). Risk and crisis management in the public sector. Routledge.

Boin, A. ‘t Hart, P. Stern, E and Sundelius, B. (2005), The Politics of Crisis Management, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

Boin, A. and Hart, P.T., 2003. Public leadership in times of crisis: mission impossible?. Public Administration Review, 63(5), pp.544-553.

Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

Disaster Prevention and Management

Public Administration

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
All fulltime students (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries) are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link:

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardSocial Sciences
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelPG Social Sciences
ModeratorJ Connolly
External ExaminerK O'Connor
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Essay (3,000 words) – 75% weighting
Reflective piece/diary (1,000 words) – 25% weighting
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck markcheck markcheck mark750

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Workbook/ Laboratory notebook/ Diary/ Training log/ Learning logcheck markcheck markcheck mark250
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries). The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.