HAR682: Leading and Managing Health Services


This module integrates the principles of managing public health care services and leading on rapid changes and advances in improving the operation of health services in regional, national and international contexts. Principles of public health management and different approaches to leadership will be demonstrated through case-based teaching, and field visits to health care organisations and/or communitty settings, in order to enable students to understand how to solve common management problems.

Cases will be used to illustrate the complexity of the operating environment for public health. Students will be supported in developing critical thinking about the relative effectiveness of different approaches to management by analysing their own health care services within a broader cultural, political and policy context. Over the course of the module, students will work in small groups in class to gain practical understanding of how to apply management and leadership theories and styles in different health care context,


The module aims to:

  • link the basic principles of management and organisational theory to specific challenges and applications within the field of public health
  • illustrate how leadership skills can contribute to responsive, efficient and effective public health services

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will have developed;

  • A critical understanding of the relevance of different management and organisational theories to the field of public health;
  • Ability to analyse a range of complex public health situations in terms of the challenges posed to management;
  • An understanding of the relative effectiveness of different management and leadership styles within different cultures, contexts, and health services;
  • Ability to propose feasible solutions to management issues in public health.

Teaching Methods

Interactive lectures will be used to ensure that students from diverse academic backgrounds have a baseline level of understanding of management and organisational theory. Online learning will be used to analyse cases representing common and current issues in public health.
Small groups will be used to compare and contrast the relative effectiveness of different management and leadership styles, drawing upon students’ own experience of public health in different cultures, countries, and health care systems. Independent study and problem based learning will be used to identify feasible solutions to management issues. Guidance for all activities will be provided through interactive lectures and online materials and discussion groups. Students are expected to read and reflect on key texts and journal articles, and complete online exercises prior to each session.

A teacher-led face-to-face teaching approach will be used. Role plays and group discussions methods will be used during some sessions, with the aim to ensure that students gain practical knowledge and understanding of how management and leadership theories and styles can be applied in different health care contexts.

Assessment details

Part A (20% of the overall mark): A group project to be presented mid-semester. Students will work in groups to identify a health management issue or health problem. Students will analyse the issue to generate ideas for the establishment of a health service or an improvement of an existing one with the aim of addressing the issue. Students will present their ideas during a group oral presentation (10 minutes)

Part B (80% of the overall mark): The feedback provided by the examiners during the oral presentation will be used by students to write and individual business plan (maximum 10 pages).

Choose an area in public health (it could be in your workplace if you are working in a health care or public health setting) where there is a need for a service or a programme. Explain whether this is a new need - requiring a new service or programme – or whether it is an existing service or programme that needs to be improved. Clearly describe the health needs and justify the need that the service will address. A business plan outline and an assessment criteria for marking including characteristics of a strong business plan will be provided as a guide when writing your plan.

The pass mark is 50%.