Global Business School for Health


Interview with the Executive MBA Health director Professor Julie Davies

2 December 2022

We speak to Professor Julie Davies, Director of the UCL MBA Health and UCL Executive MBA Health about the exciting new Executive MBA Health programme.

MBA students stand in classroom

Can you briefly explain what the UCL Executive MBA Health (EMBA Health) degree is?

The UCL two-year online Executive MBA Health programme at the Global Business School for Health (GBSH) offers a flexible and unique transformative experience for busy mid-career individuals who learn about health challenges and ecosystems while remaining in work. It is designed to challenge reflective leaders and managers to deliver personal, professional and societal impact in organisations and society to promote healthy lives and well-being. The focus throughout the EMBA Health programme at the Global Business School for Health is on interdisciplinary and cross-sector approaches in a complex sector to make a difference. 

What are the key differences between the MBA Health and EMBA Health programmes?

At University College London, the UCL MBA Health programme is delivered in person at our new UCL East campus in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park over 12 or 24 months from September. It includes 20-hour four-week blocks of classes held in the afternoons during the working week and a two-week study visit to Egypt, India or Saudi Arabia for the global health challenge project.

The Executive MBA Health programme cohort typically attracts clinicians and others interested in health careers who are in their late 20s and early 30s. The two-year online EMBA Health programme includes the same content as the MBA Health degree with more focus on executive leadership and a one-week study visit annually – in London and the USA.

So, the key differences are that the EMBA Health student cohort participants tend to be more experienced and senior than those on the MBA Health programme, tutorials are delivered during evenings and weekends on-line with each module taking place over eight weeks and the study visits are shorter to accommodate busy working schedules.   

What is the most unique aspect of this programme?

All modules on the EMBA Health programme are designed and facilitated by academics and practitioners with expertise in the health sector and executive education and all the assessments focus on global health issues. The majority of case studies relate to health systems. The global health challenge and individual health consultant projects are particularly exciting. There are also unique opportunities to network through UCL which is a research powerhouse for medicine, health, life sciences and social sciences.   

Can you describe a typical student for this programme?

All of our students want to make a change in the world, especially in health systems to support the UN’s sustainable development goal of good health and well-being for all at all ages by reducing inequalities. They are curious and open to learning. They are committed to developing their leadership, project management, research, professional and management consulting skills. Personally, I have found our students to be caring, responsible and collaborative. We attract students from diverse geographies and backgrounds such as physicians, dentists, nurses, lawyers, accountants, private equity and marketing specialists, social scientists, digital entrepreneurs which makes the programme hugely rewarding.   

Will EMBA Health students receive career support during their time studying at the UCL GBSH?

EMBA Health students benefit from working with mentors who are health executives in residence and with careers coaches throughout their studies and alumni networks.

What do you expect EMBA Health graduates to be doing once they leave the UCL GBSH?

Most EMBA Health students are looking for an experience that goes beyond content and takes them to the next level as strategic leaders or to pivot in their careers, e.g. in the boardroom, policy-making, change management, management consultancy, portfolio careers. We expect graduates to work in the NHS and other national health organisations, big pharma, biotech, public and private healthcare spaces, NGOs, medical affairs, academic roles, HealthTech and MedTech start-ups, legislative and policy roles, in healthcare analytics, as medical directors and other hybrid C-suite positions.

When should applicants apply for the EMBA Health programme?

We interview applicants and make offers within a week of an interview throughout the year. The deadline for September 2023 entry is 30 June 2023. GBSH scholarships are awarded in March and applicants for scholarships must already have been offered a place on the programme to be eligible. Therefore, we advise those interested in the programme to apply as soon as they can.

Do you have any top tips for applying for the EMBA Health degree?

In your personal statement, tell us about your personal and professional career journey, your expectations, strengths, and areas for development. Do ensure that if you are required to take an English language proficiency exam that you do this in good time. In your interview, provide concrete examples of particular situations when you have taken responsibility and acted to achieve results, reflect on your motivations and how you will benefit from opportunities on the EMBA Health programme to make positive impacts in global health ecosystems and do ask us questions. 

Can prospective students book a 1-2-1 virtual meeting to discuss the EMBA health?

Yes, we are very happy to meet with you online on Microsoft Teams for an informal discussion and also in person in London if you are able to visit us. You can book a 1-2-1 meeting with a member of the Executive MBA Health team here.

Are there any scholarship opportunities for this programme?

We have a strong commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging values. There are a large number of £15,000 scholarships available to those undertaking the EMBA Health programme - the EMBA Excellence Scholarship. For exceptional students undertaking the Executive MBA Health programme, applicants must plan to take the knowledge gained from the EMBA and make a real difference in the field of healthcare management upon completion of the programme. Applicants can also apply for other scholarships – details are available on the UCL Scholarships Finder webpage.

Applications for the UCL Executive MBA Health are open

Elevate your ambitions, ignite your earning potential and harness the power of world-class innovators with an Executive MBA Health that will place you at the cutting edge of health leadership. Apply today to propel your career.

Apply for the UCL Executive MBA Health