Global Business School for Health


Strategic leadership for healthcare

Be a leader who can respond to and thrive in the continually changing and challenging healthcare context, through this course designed to nurture strategic leadership success.

Healthcare is in a constant state of change to meet the evolution of healthcare services and public health goals. Facing challenges in all directions – including demographic changes, rising costs, new technologies, the private-public healthcare interface and the ongoing management of Covid-19 – the healthcare sector needs strategic leaders more than ever.

Required to make strategic decisions in response to a range of changing priorities, healthcare leaders must steer healthcare organisations through daily challenges. This course will guide current and aspiring healthcare leaders through the complexities of leadership roles using a balance of theory, self-reflection and interaction. This will help to develop different responses and approaches within changing contexts.

Delivering the ability to evolve healthcare services and achieve public health goals, our Strategic Leadership for Healthcare short course will equip you with an in depth understanding of strategic leadership in healthcare settings.

What’s involved:

  • A programme that embraces an active learning approach, you will be supported to develop your identity as a strategic healthcare leader, based on the core principles of personal growth and self-development. 
  • Taking a wide lens look at how strategic leaders shape the direction of an organisation, you’ll discover the importance of leadership for shaping, defining and communicating your organisation’s purpose, vision, values and culture.
  • You’ll also look in depth at the role leaders play in relation to boards and organisational governance, planning, financial sustainability and accountability, managing resources, stakeholder engagement and driving continual improvement. Other important aspects covered include ethical and inclusive leadership, role modelling, personal presence and resilience.
  • As a participant on this course, you’ll think critically about the principles of strategic leadership and the application of leadership theories to the healthcare sector. This includes value-driven leadership, entrepreneurial leadership, leading with integrity, authentic leadership and cross-cultural leadership. 
  • Through deep learning and wide ranging content, you will be invited to challenge concepts, reflect on your own leadership practice and grow. Offering a safe space for healthcare professionals to ask questions, share and seek insights from course instructors and peers, this course provides the opportunity for both action learning and meaningful dialogue.

Who the programme is for

Our Strategic Leadership for Healthcare short course is for leaders across the health and healthcare sector, who have a need to advance their understanding of strategic leadership. You may work in human resources, in a clinical setting, policymaking or healthcare management. Or you may work in an industry related to health that requires an understanding of strategic leadership for healthcare.

Programme curriculum

This course is based on a contextualised approach to learning, with online lectures delivered by the course lead and UCL academics. This is supplemented by reading, participant discussion questions and marked assignments. Much of the learning will be directed through real world case studies and project-based learning from your course lead, who is a healthcare leadership expert.

You’ll learn material paced across three modules over a total of six weeks. Each module involves approximately 10 to 12 hours of content across two weeks, which includes videos, reading, discussion forum activities and project assignments. A weekly session with the course lead also brings a fruitful opportunity to pull learning together and get involved in group discussion. 

Throughout the course, you will complete self-assessments such as multiple choice quizzes and unmarked self-reflection exercises to help you work through the material. To receive a certificate of completion for this course, you will complete all the marked assignments for each module, which includes a mandatory discussion forum, short written assignments and a final project.  



Module 1: Strategic Leadership in Healthcare

This module introduces you to different frameworks and styles for leading and managing. In particular, you will learn critical skills in relation to strategic leadership, which includes developing strategic priorities, creating a vision for your initiatives, stakeholder mapping and action planning. You will understand the role of leaders in relation to boards, financial sustainability and stakeholder engagement.

Module's six types of learning
Module 2: Leadership in Practice

In a landscape of an ageing population with technological and healthcare advancements, this module challenges you to crystallise yourself and your qualities as a leader. You will explore your strengths, how others perceive you, embracing diversity and how to cultivate high performance at team and organisational levels.

Module's six types of learning
Module 3: Change Management

This module focuses on applying organisational change in relation to the complexities and stakeholders in healthcare settings. Examining the theory of leading and managing change, you will also look at how to design a change management strategy, including how to meaningfully measure outcomes and impact.

Programme Faculty  

Professor Nora Ann Colton - Director of the UCL Global Business School for Health

Professor Nora Colton is the Director of the UCL Global Business School of Health.  She is a health and development economist with extensive experience in change management and strategy.  Previous to this role she was the  UCL Pro-Vice-Provost (Postgraduate Education) and Joint Director of Education at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital.  She has been a Professor of International Economics at Drew University, USA; Dean of Business and Deputy Vice Chancellor at University of East London (UEL), UK; and a visiting professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Electronic Science and Technology (UESTC), Chengdu, China as well as the American University in Beirut (AUB), Lebanon.

 She holds a doctorate from University of Oxford, UK.  She also has studied and taught at a number of leading universities including Harvard University; W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University; American University in Cairo; American University in Beirut and  Barcelona Business School at University Pompeu Fabra, Spain. She also holds a certificate in Change Management from Cornell University in the USA.

She has been the recipient of a serial Fulbright and a Carnegie Foundation grant to conduct fieldwork in the Middle East. 

She is the author of numerous journal articles concerned with Middle Eastern economics and politics.  She is also co-author of a book with Elsevier Press entitled Middle East Finance: Missed-opportunities or Future Prospects and has a book forthcoming with Palgrave-Macmillan on the political economy of Yemen.  She has also been a series editor of a book series on Middle East Economics through Palgrave-Macmillan. More recently, she conducts research and publishes on healthcare management and strategic leadership.

She has a particular interest in change management as it relates to the healthcare sector and has designed programmes and taught on healthcare management postgraduate degree programmes as well as health related executive education and training programmes.

Dr Rashmi Mathew - visiting lecturer at UCL GBSH -  Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital

Dr Rashmi Mathew is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital, where she is a glaucoma specialist and UCL Associate Professor in Education. She is a co-director of two master’s degree programmes in advanced clinical practice at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology as well as the Deputy Director for the Undergraduate Education Directorate at Moorfields, a department which oversees the training of 900 medical students a year. 
She runs EyeThrive, which is a very successful leadership training program for senior ophthalmic healthcare professionals and also lectures on the Leadership programme for UCL Medical School.

On completion of the Strategic Leadership for Healthcare short course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the role and context of strategic leadership in driving organisational success.
  • Assess the behaviours and skills needed for strategic leadership success.
  • Hone your personal leadership skills through active learning and self-reflection.
  • Understand key theories and concepts of leadership and how they apply specifically to healthcare.
  • Use your insights and knowledge with regards to the complexity of leadership roles to drive forward strategic objectives, applying concepts to collaboration, stakeholder engagement and team building.

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