Two innovative postgraduate courses have been launched for individuals working in the voluntary and third sector and public sector, in a bid to bridge the gap in the current educational market.

Edge Hill University’s Centre for Local Policy Studies are offering students a unique opportunity to study for either a Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or Masters in Voluntary and Third Sector Management or Equality and Diversity Management.

Research shows that there is very little management training available for the voluntary, third and public sectors or the courses available do not meet the needs of employers/employees.

With this in mind, the new courses aim to offer specific training not currently available elsewhere.  They provide theoretical and critical reviews of current management thinking, balanced with an environment for improving management practice and performance in the context of constant political and social change.

The programmes are a result of close collaboration with sector employers, providing a strong grounding in management theory, while providing a practical base for managing organisations in these sectors.

Jennie Owen, Course Co-ordinator for the Voluntary and Third Sector Management, said: “This is the first time we have run any programmes like this because we realised there was a big gap in what was out there for the voluntary, third and public sectors in the way of management training. We have spoken to employers and have designed the courses to ensure that they meet the needs of employers in these sectors, but we have also made the course options flexible to suit the needs of individuals who sign up for them. I believe that the programmes will help build capacity within the sector and have a positive impact on organisations as well as help the students develop in their career.”

The Voluntary and Third Sector Management course will focus on management skills, entrepreneurship and the ability to work within partnerships whilst delivering professional services in the voluntary and third sector. There will be an emphasis on relevant issues such as strategic development, the management of volunteers and issues that are changing and shaping the voluntary and third sector.

The Equality and Diversity Management course addresses the theory and practice of equality and diversity management. It adopts a dual focus on participation and engagement and the use of evidence in decision making. It will cover legal and policy developments that are shaping equality and diversity practice, the development of a strategic approach to mainstreaming and the development of community/public engagement practice.

Students can opt to take a single module if they want to improve their skills in a particular area. Contact Course Co-ordinator, Jennie Owen, with any queries on 01695 584836, or email jennie.owen@edgehill.ac.uk.