International Health Management and Leadership (online)


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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Others from different disciplinary backgrounds switching career into health management and leadership.

About the course

Key information
Programme starts September 2019
  • Intro week: 23-28 September
  • Teaching starts: 30 September
Modes and duration
  • Taught online
  • MSc or PG Diploma: 2-4 years
  • PG Certificate: 1-2 years
  • Individual modules: one semester
  • Check the current programme fee on our fee calculator.
    Fees are charged pro-rata for the postgraduate diploma and postgraduate certificate.
    Part-time programme fees are normally split over the first two years of study. A charge may be made for inflation in the second year. Contact us for more details.
  • £917 for single 15 credit modules
Entry Requirements
  • 2:1 honours degree or relevant professional qualification and experience
  • English language requirement: IELTS minimum of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each component (or equivalent)
Taking modules via the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) route
  • It is possible to complete standalone IHML modules via our Continuing Professional Development programme (please check individual module web pages for CPD availability), and then apply to transfer to one of our IHML qualifications. Any time spent on the CPD route counts toward the time-limit a student has to complete their chosen qualification. Please contact the CPD administrator ( for further information.
Disabled applicants
Why is this course unique?

This online course is the only international course 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. Masters in Public Health focus on providing publicly funded health services.

The MSc represents a partnership between the International Faculty and the School of Health and Related Research. We have combined highly rated modules from face to face teaching on the University of Sheffield Executive MBA programme and the former MSc in Management (Health) with the Masters in Public Health Management & Leadership, and made them relevant to the rapidly evolving world of health management through case studies based on actual projects. 

Our teachers have experience of working in over 20 countries, managing health programmes and conducting research. Our work for organisations such as the UK National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE), the UK Department of Health and the Medical Research Council 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 University is highly ranked (24th in Europe, QS World University Rankings 2014) and has an international reputation for research excellence, with results from the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) putting Sheffield in the top 10 per cent of all UK universities.

Course Philosophy

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.


The Course aims to develop the critical thinking and analysis of problems in health services and health systems, and to use this analysis to develop competencies in improving the provision of health care on local, national and international levels:

  • To promote a critical understanding of health care organisational theory and practice, with particular reference to the management challenges and practices that are unique to health care settings;
  • To evaluate the drivers affecting the delivery, development and governance of health systems in developed and developing nations, and the strengths and weaknesses of policy initiatives in different country contexts;
  • To develop students' strategic management knowledge and capabilities, focusing upon both the internal and external operating environments within health systems and healthcare organisations;
  • To enable students to undertake and evaluate research in health services management and leadership.

Authentic Learning

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.

Social Learning

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.


The course is taught completely online. This allows students to fit their studies around part or full-time employment. We recommend that you spend approximately 150 hours of study for each 15-credit module. This is equivalent to about 10-12 hours of study time per week.

You can progress through the course in different ways. Some students apply for the Postgraduate Certificate first, or take single modules for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). This pathway suits people who have worked for many years and are unsure about their ability to fit part time postgraduate study into their daily routine.  Others apply directly for the Diploma or Masters. If you are taking modules as CPD, you will accumulate credits for those that you successfully complete. You can put your credits for individual modules towards your application for the PG Certificate, Diploma or MSc.

Details below refer to the 2019/20 full time Masters programme.

Year 1

Core modules - compulsory

Code Title Semester Credits
HAR6043 Introduction to Research Methods (Online) Semester One (Autumn) 15
CBE6194 Managing People in Organisations Online Semester One (Autumn) 15
HAR699 Leading and Managing Health Services Online Semester Two (Spring) 15

Optional modules - choose 15 credits

Code Title Semester Credits
CBE6191 Marketing of Health Care Organisations Online Semester Two (Spring) 15
HAR6049 Using Policy to Strengthen Health Systems Online Semester Two (Spring) 15

Year 2

Code Title Semester Credits
HAR6044 Systematic Approaches to Evidence Assessment Online Semester One (Autumn) 15
CBE6193 Accounting and Financial Management Online Semester One (Autumn) 15
CBE6192 Strategic Management Online Semester Two (Spring) 15
CBE6195 Foundations of Leadership & Teamwork Online Semester Two (Spring) 15
HAR6053 Dissertation Online Year long (Sept-Sept) 60

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

How this course is taught?

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. Before the course begins, we'll contact you with information on getting oriented to online learning.Our learning technologists are also on hand in case you have any questions about navigating your way around the web site. Many of our students are working full time and have family commitments so are limited to particular times of the day or week for study. We usually place 2-3 weeks of material online at a time, to allow you to complete tasks at your own pace. We recommend that you reserve enough time to complete each chunk of work before the next is posted online, because that will enable you to take part in online discussions and participative exercises with the rest of the class. Your module tutors will be available via discussion boards and online forums to answer questions about the course material.

Student Testimonials

Course Team

Core Staff:


Contact Us


t: +44 (0)114 222 5454