Short courses


Health Policy and Practice

  • 36 hours
  • 6 weeks


This six-week online course for health and healthcare managers will help you design and implement policy reform efficiently in your organisation.

You’ll learn how health policies and healthcare governance are shaped and set, and how to manage health policies and law reforms as they arise.

Learning to proactively managing policy reform, while creating a resilient learning organisation through change management, will help you steer your organisation forward.

The course draws on a wide range of research and professional experience as well as case study examples. You'll be encouraged to ask questions and interrogate content together.

Course aims

The aim of this course is to help you:

  • understand the principles and objectives guiding health policy and law and their application
  • assess published evidence of the effectiveness and efficiency of health policy and legal interventions and their impact on healthcare services
  • identify and apply methods of evaluating health policy interventions using the principles of health services research
  • embed health policy reforms in your organisation by applying management learning in change management

Who this course is for 

This course is for managers across the health and healthcare sector, who have responsibility for areas of health policy and practice.

You may work in:

  • human resources
  • a clinical setting
  • policymaking
  • healthcare management. 

It's also suitable for people who work in an industry related to health, where you need an understanding of health policy and practice.

Course content

The course includes three modules: 

1. Health policy and practice

This module introduces you to health policies, including an evaluation of historic and current health policy interventions in the UK and other health systems.

You'll also look at the principles of health policy and reform, as well as experimental and quasi-experimental techniques for evaluating health policy interventions.

2. Health and the legal system

Looking at the key aspects of law related to healthcare, this module explores themes including moral values, constitutional legitimacy of law-making processes, clinical freedom, indeterminacy and the Rule of Law.

Topics will include:

  • consent to treatment
  • confidentiality
  • specific medical techniques and technologies
  • aspects of public health law

3. Change management

This module examines the theory and practice of leading and managing organisational change, exploring policy change as one aspect of change management.

You'll look at different ways to design a change management strategy, including the meaningful measurement of outcomes and impact.

Teaching and structure 

You'll study each of the 3 modules over two weeks, spending approximately 10 to 12 hours on various activities including:

  • watching live online lectures and pre-recorded videos
  • reading
  • taking part in discussion forum activities
  • completing marked project assignments

There'll be a weekly online live session with the course lead that all students may attend.

Assessment, certificates and accreditation

You'll receive a certificate of completion and CPD points awarded by The CPD Certification Service when you've completed all the marked assignments for each of the three modules. These include mandatory discussion forums, short written assignments and a final project.

You'll also be able to assess how you're doing throughout the course by completing multiple choice quizzes and unmarked self-reflection exercises.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, you'll be able to:

  • understand the principles that guide health policies, laws and reforms
  • appreciate how different health systems approach the organisation of healthcare
  • identify the consequences of health policy and legal interventions
  • appreciate the various stakeholders involved in shaping health care law and practices
  • understand the similarities and differences between evaluating policy interventions compared with clinical interventions
  • recognise change management approaches for effectively implementing changes in health policy within your organisation
  • horizon scan and anticipate changes in healthcare policy and practice, so you can design and plan their efficient implementation

Entry requirements 

You must be fluent in English.

We recommended you have a degree or interest in healthcare policy and law.

Cost and concessions

The standard fee for this course is £1,800.

If you work for the NHS or in a ministry health role, you may be eligible for a 20% discount. Please contact us at shortcoursesgbsh@ucl.ac.uk to see if this reduction applies to you.

Course team

Professor Nora Ann Colton

Professor Nora Ann Colton

Nora is Director of the UCL Global Business School for Health. She's a health and international development economist specialising in the Middle East. She speaks Arabic and publishes on issues relating to globalisation and health in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Nora has a wealth of experience in leadership and change management along with designing leadership training programmes across a number of sectors.

Suzanne Wait

Suzanne Wait

Suzanne Wait is Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Health Policy Partnership, a health policy research consultancy based in London. She has over 20 years experience in health policy research, analysis and advice, working across Europe and globally across all sectors within health. Her expertise is in creating and leading multistakeholder partnerships to drive policy change. A systems thinker, her approach is deeply rooted in public health and policy training, and is multidisciplinary.

Suzanne has a BSc from McGill University, a Masters of Public Health from Columbia University and a PhD in Public Health from the University of Strasbourg. She is Visiting Lecturer at UCL’s Global Business School for Health, where she teaches Health Policy and Practice on the MBA and Executive Education programmes.

Course information last modified: 2 Mar 2023, 11:53