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Course details

MSc in Healthcare Leadership

Also available as a PGDip and a PGCert

Three start dates per year: January, May and September

Next course start date: 31 January 2022

Next welcome week: 24 January 2022

Application deadline: 10 January 2022

Duration: two years (part-time)

Format: online, with optional face-to-face events

Total fees: (MSc - £10,500; PGDip - £7,000; PGCert - £3,500) (payment by instalment and funding options available)

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.

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 our webinar with Dr David Barrett to find out more about how the course can positively impact your career:


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 Masters.

The PgCert is made up of two of the 30-credit modules outlined above – ‘Self as Leader’ and ‘Supporting Change, Innovation, and Problem-Solving’. 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 Course Adviser team on +44 (0)1482 235569 for more information.

Dr David Barrett

Programme Director

Dr Barrett is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences. He's a registered nurse, with a background in cardiac care and clinical leadership. He's held a number of academic and managerial roles in Higher Education, including Director of Pre-Registration Nursing, Head of Department and – most recently – Deputy Dean of Faculty. His research interests include nurse education and the use of technology to enhance care. He's published extensively on a range of nursing issues, and carried out multiple evaluations of technology implementation in practice. 



How you're assessed

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

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

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

Entry requirements

If you're unsure whether you're eligible to apply, please contact our Course Advisers on +44 (0)1482 235569 or email

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.


Request more information

Complete the form below or telephone +44 (0)1482 235569 to speak to a course adviser.