Housing Practice MA
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
- Part-time day: Housing Practice MA (January)
View course-specific 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.
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.
For more information on how this course is taught and assessment methods, please refer to full course document.
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.
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.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
Dissertation/Project (40 credits)
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 (20 credits)
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 (20 credits)
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 (20 credits)
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 (20 credits)
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 (10 credits)
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 (10 credits)
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 (20 credits)
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.
Choose one from:
Public Participation and Engaging Communities (20 credits)
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 (20 credits)
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.
The Course Leader for our Housing Practice MA is Tony Manzi.
The housing practice MA allows you to fulfil the professional requirements for memberships of the Chartered Institute of Housing.
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.
Students on the Housing Practice MA course usually need to attend classes at University on Tuesday in Semester One and Wednesday subsequently. Please note, this timetable is subject to change.
Other Housing Practice courses
We also offer a Housing Practice Postgraduate Diploma and a Housing Practice Postgraduate Certificate.
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. If you wish to apply for the Housing Practice Postgraduate Diploma you should apply now via UKPASS (code 052044).
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. If you wish to apply for the Housing Practice Postgraduate Certificate you should apply now via UKPASS (code 052043).
Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.
We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.
During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.
In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Career options in your subject area
Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.
Professionally accredited course
Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).
Flexible and professional course
This part-time course allows you to fit studying around your work.
Diverse teaching methods include seminars, lectures, workshops, site visits and real-life projects based around current issues.
Central London location and contacts
Our central London location provides direct access to professional institutions and practice. The course is informed by current industry priorities and strikes a balance between the theoretical and the practical issues relevant to housing policy.
You will be taught by academic specialists and visiting speakers from housing practice.
Join a diverse and vibrant student community, with one of the UK's largest international student populations
The Housing Practice MA teaching staff are active researchers and also consult for government, private sector and charitable organisations. This experience informs their teaching. 20% of our research in Architecture and the Built Environment was judged as 'World Leading and a further 45% as 'Internationally Excellent' in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
Study at the newly refurbished Marylebone Campus, where a £20million development has provided world-class facilities.
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.
Housing Practice MA, graduated 2010
“The course was very well structured and paced, and also allowed excellent networking opportunities that remain extremely professionally useful several years later. Most of all it offered a richer understanding vocationally and academically of the industry I work within and enjoy. The obtaining of an MA allowed me to get CIH accreditation, to re-grade my current post into a management position, which also saw an increase in salary.”
Housing Practice MA, graduated 2009
"The MA in Housing Practice has allowed me to have the confidence to apply for a variety of different housing jobs and further develop my career."
Planning, Housing and Urban Design - why Westminster?
Architecture and the Built Environment
We are one of the country's leading centres for the study of Architecture and the Built Environment, covering the core subject areas that address the future shape of our cities.