*** Please note that ScHARR is changing the way we talk about distance learning. It will now be referred to as “online learning”. During this transition, you may see both terms used while central systems update. Please note that the courses and their content remain unaffected by the change in terminology. ***
Intro Week: 18-23 September
Teaching starts: 25 September
Modes and duration
2 - 4 years (MSc and PG Diplom
1 year (PG Certificate)
One semester (individual modules)
£10,500 for the full MSc
£7,000 for the Diploma (120 credits, 8 modules)
£3,500 for the Certificate (60 credits, 4 modules)
IELTS minimum of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each component (or equivalent)
About the course
People who are working in health care are often looking for continuing professional development to further their careers – advancing either within the sector where they are currently working, or aiming to step up the ladder into another sector in health. In particular, the programme is suitable for:
Mid-level public health officers seeking career progression or moving into leadership roles in government, NGO and multilateral organisations such as UNICEF, WHO USAID especially in low and middle income countries.
Health practitioners taking up management roles in hospital or health departments.
Managers of fast growing health insurance and health maintenance organisations in low and middle income countries.
Others from different disciplinary backgrounds switching career into health management and leadership.
This online course is the only course in the UK that aims to give people the skills for career advancement and career moves within and across health sectors, within your own country or across health systems.
Many Masters in Business Administration and Management tend to focus on private industry rather than the health sector, and Masters in Public Health focus on publicly funded health systems.
Our teachers have experience of working in over 20 countries, both managing health programmes and conducting research. The work undertaken within ScHARR for organisations such as NICE, the Department of Health and the MRC influences national and international policy decisions. We draw upon over 200 multidisciplinary staff in the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) with international reputations for health services research, health economics and public health research to develop ideas for your dissertation project that will make a difference to your industry and your career.
The programme uses the recommendations from a global commission which noted that universities need major reform in the way that they train health professionals, to enable them to respond to major changes in health systems.
You can see how we have responded to these recommendations in the slideshow below.
This is a key element that drives the content of all modules. It means that we use real-world, real-life, up-to-date case studies, examples and scenarios, so that students can immediately see how their learning is "authentic", that is, applicable to their own working life, now and in the future. The focus is therefore not only to impart or communicate to students fundamental concepts, ideas and critical understandings of all of the processes and stages involved in every element of MSc IMHL but to contextualise this with real health management and leadership examples, so students can see exactly how what they are learning can be applied in their own work.
Learning is social: we learn from each other as much as from purely independent study. The sharing of ideas and the opportunity to debate and discuss has been demonstrated to enhance the learning process, and is a key means of developing, refining and challenging our own evolving ideas. The course uses multiple tools to deliver content and facilitate interaction with and between tutors and students, including discussion and chat tools, webinar software for real-time discussion and collaboration, wikis and screencasts. The online tools used in the programme enable and support such reciprocal learning.
Variety and Flexibility
The majority of the materials are provided in the form of text, but this is heavily supplemented, where appropriate, with videos, screencasts, internet-based materials, and the use of interactive online tools. Materials are provided in blocks or "sessions" of 2-3 weeks duration. We have found that this approach, rather than one requiring work every week, week-by-week, better permits the thorough and comprehensive study of materials, and completion of formative exercises by students working remotely, online, and part-time, and with other calls of their time.
The idea for delivering materials in this flexible manner, employing such diverse methods, is based on large part on published research conducted by core staff, which is described here. We wanted to ensure the development and delivery of the programme was evidence based.
How this course is taught
The course is taught completely online. This offers flexibility and enables the student to study at his/her own pace and from any location, allowing students to fit their studies around part or full-time employment. We are exploring the option of setting up one study visit to Sheffield, to enable students to have the opportunity to meet each other and the teaching staff. For overseas students, there are no visa requirements for learning online. However, a visitor's visa would be required for a study visit to Sheffield.
We recommend that students on this course spend approximately 150 hours of study for each 15-credit module. This is equivalent to about 10-12 hours of study time per week. As far as possible, students will be required to keep up with the set timetable for the course. This is mainly to enable full value to be obtained from discussions, debates and other formative, participatory exercises.
The course will be delivered via the University of Sheffield's 'My Online Learning Environment (MOLE)'. MOLE enables students to access all of the course materials, to interact and collaborate with fellow students and tutors and to complete and submit formative and summative exercises and assessments.
Why study at ScHARR?
ScHARR has the UK's largest volume of world-leading or internationally excellent health services research and health technology assessment activity. You will be taught by some of the world's leading scholars in these fields, and benefit from an environment in which teaching and research go hand-in-hand. ScHARR recognises the key importance of the international dimension in health. Wherever possible, all modules are taught with an international focus.
You will be taught by leading experts in the field of health management and leadership based in ScHARR and the University of Sheffield International Faculty, City College in Greece, running the Executive MBA programme. These lecturers have in-depth expertise and experience in research and teaching international health management and leadership.
Some of the lecturers have over 20 years of management at senior level positions spanning private and public sectors in low, middle and high income countries. The combination of staff with international experience in management in sub-Saharan Africa, South-East and Eastern Europe, Asia, Northern and Central Europe, North America and the UK enables us to present a wide range of case studies based on practical experience of working within different health systems.
Enroll on a Postgraduate Certificate – you can combine core and elective modules to address your particular skills gaps and obtain a PG Cert on completion of 60 credits of core and/or elective units. For details contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Progress to the Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) or Masters (180 credits)
The course will cover the following core modules: Systematic Approaches to Evidence Assessment, Foundations of Leadership and Teamwork, Leading and Managing Health Care Systems, Introduction to Research Methods, Accounting and Financial Management, Strategic Management, and Managing People in Organisations.
Students can also select from the following elective modules: Using Policy to Strengthen Health Systems or Marketing of Healthcare Organisations. Students will also produce a dissertation on a health management and leadership related topic.
All modules account for 15 credits unless stated otherwise. You will be required to take 15 credits worth of optional modules.
(All core except for CBE6191 and HAR6049, one of which you choose to study in Spring)
The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it’s up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.
Career prospects for healthcare managers are subject to a wide range of forces in high, middle and low income countries. In high income countries, there are shifts in public-private payer mix, and changes in the configuration of public-private partnerships. Middle income countries with expanding economic systems have fast growing private sector initiatives including development of hospital chains, health insurance and pharmaceutical industries.
Furthermore, middle and low income health systems are shaped by large donor investments (UK DFID, USAID, PEPFAR, the Global Fund, GAVI, UNICEF, WHO), embodying challenges in terms of delivering on vertical health programmes while simultaneously delivering on national and international health policies. Internationally, there is growing interest in developing national health insurance schemes subsidized by government.
A Health Management degree from the University of Sheffield represents good 'international currency' as it is widely recognised, and has the potential to enable people to progress in health management careers. In countries in the South, awards from prestigious Northern institutions are perceived as superior, and in some international NGOs are sine qua nons.
We believe that this programme can address the gap between international needs for health management skills and the current academic curriculum, which has been shown to be too didactic and focused on theoretical models for managing health systems. Across all health systems, we aim to promote the development of core competencies in health management, including principles for innovation, problem solving, change management, evaluating programme implementation, administering health services and community health programmes, entrepreneurship, principles of partnership and cross-sector working. The programme will emphasise development of flexible and transferable management and leadership skills that can be used to adapt to the changing requirements of a wide range of diverse health systems.