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Course details

MSc in Healthcare Leadership (Online)

Also available as a PGDip and PGCert

Mode: 100% online (with optional events)
Length two years (part-time)
Total course fees:  MSc - £9,800; PGDip - £6,900; PGCert - £3,200 (instalments available)
Start dates:  January, May and September
Next welcome week:  20 May 2024
Next start date:  28 May 2024
Application deadline:  Applications extended until 31st May 2024

Additional costs: due to the nature of the subject, and copyright restrictions placed on institutional libraries by some publishers, students will need to purchase some core texts.

Support with your application: Contact our adviser team today for application advice.


Why this MSc in Healthcare Leadership?

Strong leadership and management are key to the delivery of safe, effective, and compassionate healthcare.

A good leader will provide clear goals and direction, motivate their team, and nurture a supportive and innovative organisational structure.

As a student of this course, you'll explore leadership in a global context, gaining knowledge and skills applicable to all healthcare systems. The programme encompasses leadership approaches and challenges from across the healthcare spectrum – helping you visualise how your current or future professional role functions within a larger, complex system.

You can look forward to developing the capabilities required to enhance both your own practice and those of whom you work with. You will learn how to reflect on your practice, personality, and approach to become a more effective leader and manager.

The contemporary nature of this leadership and management course also enables students to incorporate up-to-date research in their studies and identify current challenges and opportunities in the industry.

As our MSc in Healthcare Leadership programme is part time, working professionals can immediately apply what they learn to their current organisation, while still earning their degree in two years.

What you learn

Built upon a model of competency development, our healthcare management course will help you learn leadership theories and frameworks at the leading edge of the discipline. You’ll learn how to adopt a diligent, systematic, and evidence-based approach to your practice through the transformative concepts introduced during your studies. As a student of the course, you can expect to:

  • Explore leadership as a dynamic and contestable concept

  • Engage in critical self-reflection and the impact of self on others

  • Learn how to conduct insightful and informed decision making

  • Build knowledge of the system and policy context in which healthcare leadership exists

  • Gain an in-depth appreciation of the rational, emotional, and political aspects of changing services and practice

  • Recognise the necessity of critical and systematic enquiry and continuous learning in and through action

Watch your course overview

Hear from Programme Director Dr Patrick Marshall, as he answers key questions on who the course is aimed at, what makes it stand out, and skills students will learn.

Watch your course overview

Hear from Programme Director Dr Patrick Marshall, as he answers key questions on who the course is aimed at, what makes it stand out, and skills students will learn.

Video transcript - Course overview video with Dr. Patrick Marshall

[upbeat music plays throughout]

Dr. Patrick Marshall: My name is Patrick Marshall. Dr. Patrick Marshall and I am the Programme Director for the MSc in Healthcare Leadership at the University of Hull, and it's their online offer.

The lovely thing about this particular MSc is that it has a wide possible clientele. It would go from people who are interested in leadership, but may be at a fairly junior level. Perhaps they're kind of initial team leaders, but it could also range to the chief executive officers who perhaps thought, you know, I really should get some kind of formal qualification in leadership, given I've been doing it for a few years. And everywhere in between, we tend to attract people who have significant leadership experience or they are about to go into significant leadership roles in their organizations. And therefore it's that kind of middle range of leadership.

We've shifted quite quickly and quite radically in terms of how you can actually deliver high quality postgraduate learning. And I think that's one of the key features and certainly why I'm here doing this is because it's an exciting place to be. And indeed, this MSc has also got a global reach. So one of our modules, you know, refers to the global perspective, which I think is really important, that understanding of the global context, you know, we are one planet and the way we solve problems, you know, may well have been worked out by other people rather than we've got to reinvent the wheel again, I think is really important.

I mean, for me, one of the most profound skills that all postgraduate education gives you is reflection. This is a much deeper form of looking at a situation from a critical point of view, and that basically means going underneath the depths of something. So it's not just it is acknowledging the emotional impact, but it's also understanding all the moving parts of a problem.

That professional reflection is part is a fundamental part of what all master's studies are, particularly this one. The really important skill to acquire mastery is to also acquire humility and humanity. You are dealing with people. The art of leadership, and I do believe it's an art, is that you can somehow navigate all of those different and dynamic moving parts of a problem. You can deal with people in a way which is appropriate and authentic and real and compassionate. And you can achieve for your customers, your patients, the people who you are receiving your services, something which actually makes a difference. 

Course modules

Our modules are specifically built to help you achieve long-term success in healthcare roles. You will undertake rigorous self-development that will help cultivate a lasting appreciation about the importance of lifelong learning.

You study the following compulsory modules.

Self as Leader (30 credits) Grey

This introductory module contains two core themes – self-awareness and leadership theory - that will equip you with the knowledge needed to thoughtfully engage with the rest of the course material.

During this module, you will learn how to identify your traits, leadership activities, strengths, and weaknesses and place them within a theoretical framework.

You’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the value of leadership theories and frameworks and how these can be used to inform continuing professional and personal development.

Supporting Change, Innovation, and Problem-Solving (30 credits) Grey

Gain a critical understanding of the nature of and relationships between problem-solving, innovation, and change in the context of healthcare.

You will be challenged with exploring and critically debating the way in which problem-solving and innovation may be harnessed and promoted to support organisational change, whilst maintaining awareness of the impact of change upon individuals and teams.

The module will help you learn how to compare a range of theoretical perspectives related to the nature and process of innovation and problem-solving, and how to critically evaluate the effectiveness of strategies to promote and implement change.

Promoting Quality and Safety in Healthcare (30 credits) Grey

Explore the proficiencies required for leaders to enhance organisational effectiveness in order to improve the quality of care delivery and maximise patient safety.

Your studies will help build a necessary theoretical foundation (such as understanding quality improvement frameworks and human factors), whilst also demonstrating the importance of research by focusing on evidence-based models of best practice.

Global Perspectives on Healthcare Policy (30 credits) Grey

On this module, you will develop the ability to explore your leadership activities and responsibilities within a policy context.

By building your understanding of how policy is developed at the macro, meso, and micro level, you will be better positioned to recognise the external drivers that influence and shape organisational priorities and clinical practice.

Your lessons will compare policy and structures from across the globe, providing you with a truly international perspective on healthcare delivery.

Capstone Project (60 credits) Grey

The Capstone Project provides you with the chance to demonstrate the integration and application of your learning throughout the programme through a self-designed project.

Your Healthcare Leadership project will highlight your creativity, analytical skills, and overall academic excellence by completing a service improvement, personal development activity or academic exercise in a real-world setting.

This presents a valuable opportunity to explore a topic of interest in-depth – such as identifying a specific challenge at your workplace to analyse and address.

Alternative programmes Grey

We also offer a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) and Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) in Healthcare Leadership for applicants who may not want to take a full master's.

The PgCert is made up of two of the 30-credit modules outlined above – ‘Self as Leader’ and another module that depends on your start date.

The PgDip requires completion of all four 30-credit modules.

Students undertaking the PgCert or PgDip can choose to transfer onto the full MSc should they wish to do so, following the successful completion of their studies. Get in touch with our adviser team for more information.

Got a question about studying with us?

Our course advisers are happy to help.


Teaching team

Our staff hold a rich array of both academic and industry experience to support your learning goals. With their expertise, you’ll be able to explore a range of topics within the field with a new level of depth and insight. 

Dr David Barrett

Programme Founder
Dr Barrett is a registered nurse, with a background in cardiac care and clinical leadership and he helped develop the online MSc in Healthcare Leadership at the University of Hull. He's held a number of academic and managerial roles in Higher Education and his research interests include nurse education and the use of technology to enhance care.
Patrick Marshall

Dr Patrick Marshall

Co-Programme Director
As well as teaching on a wide range of university courses, Dr Marshall also runs bespoke management training sessions for NHS Trust healthcare professionals. His doctoral research (now a book) draws on over 30 years’ of teaching and senior leadership roles in secondary schools, universities, and medical schools.
Jayne Walker

Jayne Walker

Co-Programme Director
Jayne works directly with student groups from all levels of academic study alongside external partners to ensure the training and study delivered is of a high standard. She has extensive experience and knowledge of designing, delivering, assessing, and evaluating programmes of study.
View Jayne's full profile
Anjali Raj Westwood

Anjali Raj Westwood

Online Tutor
Anjali is an academic and a healthcare entrepreneur with a background spanning healthcare and business. She is a Fellow of the HEA in the UK and has won various start-up awards. Anjali's research interests span infertility, maternity, breastfeeding, telemedicine, complementary health services, leadership, and entrepreneurship. In 2021, Anjali spoke at a TEDx event challenging perceptions of motherhood. She is passionate about building communities and is now working to guide and mentor youth entrepreneurs.
Adonis Stylianou

Dr Adonis Stylianou

Online Tutor
Adonis’ background is in clinical and developmental psychiatry with an emphasis on the benefits arising from interdisciplinary research in mental health and illness. Among other topics, his research focuses on leadership dynamics, evolutionary approaches to leadership development, psychoanalytic schema in leadership, schizophrenia and dementia research, emotion and adaptation and the developmental perspective of mental illness.

How you're assessed

All assessment for the course is based on coursework and submitted online. There are no exams.

Assessment methods

Your performance on the course will be assessed through a range of methods, such as:

  • Guided online discussions/activities

  • Online lectures and seminars

  • Online tutorials

  • Critiques and feedback from your tutor

  • Critical self-reflection and independent study

Written assessments

You’ll also be asked to complete a variety of written assessments. Some examples include:

  • A professional development plan focused on enhancing leadership skills and based on established approaches to learning

  • Commentary on a primary research paper related to quality improvement

  • Analysis of an example patient safety incident

  • A reflective account of the process of change, with reference to established theories

What are the entry requirements?

If you're unsure whether you're eligible to apply, please get in touch with our friendly course adviser team for advice:


Career prospects

Exceptional leadership in healthcare has a vital role to play in the face of growing global health challenges – from aging populations, to financial austerity, to disease outbreaks.

Upon completion of this distance learning course, you’ll hold the skills and understanding needed to serve effectively within management in healthcare, with the ability to challenge both yourself and others to perform to their highest potential.

With a globally relevant education and the ability to communicate, delegate, and influence across all forms of healthcare teams, you can explore a career anywhere in the world.

You’ll be able to make a positive impact on the industry and your community through a variety of roles, such as:

  • Healthcare provider leadership (e.g., hospital management; primary care manager)

  • Clinical leadership with primary, secondary or tertiary healthcare

  • Healthcare commissioner leadership

  • Healthcare policy maker (e.g., local government)

  • Leadership within professional or regulatory bodies

Ready to apply?

Our step-by-step application process is easy to follow.


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