Housing Businesses URBAN5088

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

Providers of social housing have traditionally been public sector organizations directed by government but over the past 2 decades there has been a shift to a more business oriented model with boards, clear management structures, and organizational strategies that can vary between agencies. This course develops understanding of this change and its implications for housing services, transparency and accountability.


This is a Year 2 course for part-time housing students. It is delivered in Semester 1 course in 5 weeks of 3 hours teaching with a tutorial.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements:


Excluded Courses






This course will be assessed by a 2,500 word essay.

Course Aims

This course aims to provide an understanding of key issues in the broad governance of the housing system and the ramifications or current arrangements for the management of housing organisations. Specifically the course will explore the governance of social housing businesses including examining principles of transparency, accountability and regulation, and the practices of externally oriented strategic planning, networks and partnerships. This will be given a housing specific context but will relate to changes taking place in social housing delivery policy and organizations.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ understand the changing governance of housing, long term policy changes and the impact of these changes on organizations;

■ demonstrate the benefits and risks of autonomy learning how to identify signs of organizational failure through examples from different sectors and understanding how good governance contributes to avoiding failure;

■ relate the principles of accountability, transparency and regulation to the housing sector.

■ identify the roles of the Board of Directors or Management Committee and the roles and responsibilities of members of the Board or Management Committee in controlling the organization;

■ understand the key dimensions of strategic management and relate housing, business and planning systems to generic strategy models;

■ practice and demonstrate application of models and techniques to analyse the internal and external factors affecting the strategic development of housing organizations balancing social objectives with market driven operations;

■ describe and apply techniques for appraising strategic options for the future shape of housing organisations and their governance;

■ explain the importance of organisational structure and design in strategy implementation.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.


Minimum requirement for award of credit for students on MSc City Planning and MSc in Real Estate is D3 or above.


University standard regulations apply to students on other qualifications although attendance is a requirement for students on PG Dip/MSc Housing Studies