Leadership and Management in Health Care


The Leadership and Management in Health Care course provides a greater understanding of how healthcare organisations work and the key role of the medical staff within it. This increased understanding gives the chance to become much more effective in initiating and managing quality change.

The course content is generic and is not dependent on knowledge of any medical or surgical specialty.

The five main academic components are:

  1. An understanding of the strategic domain of healthcare settings
  2. An understanding of the operational domain of healthcare settings
  3. An understanding of the interpersonal domain of healthcare settings
  4. An understanding of how these three domains relate to one another and the principal tasks and roles of management and leadership in healthcare systems.
  5. Demonstrate some generic tools for leadership especially those related to teamwork and change and which help to make decisions in complex healthcare environments.

The module will illustrate the various ways in which finance, healthcare markets in different countries, organisational systems, and professionalism operate together. The relationship between these factors generates four basic themes:                                   

  1. Healthcare systems and the way they work
  2. Leadership and the tasks involved in creating quality healthcare
  3. Ways in which managers and leaders can be more effective.
  4. Developing and implementing a plan for change including insights into how and why decisions are made

Effective participation in the case study scheduled for the last day will require a good understanding of these three themes and how healthcare organisations work. The post-course assignment makes possible more critical reflection of the course material.

Offered by Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences and the Department for Continuing Education, the taught week is led by Professor Richard Canter, Visiting Professor of Surgical Education at the University of Oxford.

It features face-to-face lectures and tutorials in small groups.

Class sizes are kept small to allow full interaction with tutors. Study before and after the course is supported by a rich virtual learning environment.


Faculty to deliver the course come from a wide range of healthcare backgrounds including national policy decision makers, executives in primary and secondary care, government advisors, management advisors, frontline staff, patient advocates and other experts in healthcare. Faculty are chosen for their ability to link theory and practice so the guiding principle is to introduce some key theoretical concepts and then link them to actual examples of clinical and management practice.

Course content and faculty are adjusted each year to keep up contemporary developments in understanding the tasks and roles of leadership and management in healthcare.

Comments from previous participants:

"I loved the flexibility of the course. It allowed good, in-depth discussion with the faculty. I have learnt more about leadership and management in five days of this course than six years of working! Definitely recommended."

"I was pleasantly surprised at how approachable the faculty were. From very early on the lines between faculty and delegate were blurred and it was refreshing to be treated as a fellow colleague rather than mentor and student."

"The role playing scenario at the end of the week was a fantastic way of summarising and applying all that was taught during the week."

Programme details

This course can be taken:


This course will be held at the Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, Oxford.


Short course participants who do not wish to undertake the assessed work required for academic credit but who do satisfy the course attendance requirements will receive a Certificate of Attendance.

Those successfully completing the couse for credit can apply to receive a CATS point transcript.


Description Costs
Students on the MSc in Surgical Science and Practice £2080.00
Students on the PG Cert in Patient Safety £2080.00


Details of funding opportunities including grants, bursaries and scholarships are available on our sources of funding page.


The course fee includes:

  • Tuition
  • Course materials
  • Refreshments and a three course lunch on each day of the course
  • Access to the following University of Oxford libraries and services:
    • Radcliffe Science Library
    • Rewley House Continuing Education Library
    • Bodleian Libraries e-Resources
  • Access to facilities from the Department for Continuing Education, including:
    • The Graduate School
    • Canvas virtual learning environment

Stand Alone fees for May 2022 have not yet been confirmed. 


Professor Richard Canter

Module Coordinator

Visiting Professor of Surgical Education, University of Oxford

Richard Canter has been visiting Professor of Surgical Education at the University of Oxford since 2007, Associate Fellow at Green Templeton College and an emeritus consultant at Oxford University Hospitals since 2015. After appointment as a consultant surgeon in Bath he completed a PhD in Management at the University of Bath. This led to appointments on the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Project reforming surgical education and an appointment as Deputy Director (curriculum development) of Surgical Education at the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He has undertaken reviews of surgical training in the UK for the Royal College of Surgeons and Kosovo for the European Agency for Reconstruction after the Balkan War and made recommendations for improvement. An interest in professionalism and leadership led to research grants on clinician/management engagement. He delivers leadership and management courses to postgraduate trainees in medicine, consultants and other healthcare workers. He supervises students in Masters and D Phil programmes at Oxford.

Assessment methods

Assessment will be based on submission of a set written assignment, not exceeding 4,000 words.

Academic credit

Those wishing to may apply to take the course with accreditation. The University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education offers Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points for the course. Participants attending at least 75% of the taught course and successfully completing assessed assignments are eligible to earn credit equivalent to 20 CATS-equivalent points which may be counted towards a postgraduate qualification.


Application deadline: four weeks before the commencement of the course.

We strongly recommend that you download and save files before completing to ensure that all your changes are saved.

This course requires you to complete and submit the application form below and a copy of your CV. If you are applying to take this course for academic credit you will also need to complete section two of the reference form and forward it to your referee for completion. Please note that if you are not applying to take the course for academic credit then you do not need to submit a reference.

Please ensure you read the guidance notes before completing the application form, as any errors resulting from failure to do so may delay your application.

Places on the course are limited, so early application is strongly recommended. Once we have received your completed application it will be considered by the admissions panel.

This course is part of the MSc in Surgical Science and Practice. If you would like to apply for the MSc in Surgical Science and Practice please visit the programme page.

Selection criteria

To apply for this course you should:

  • be a graduate or have successfully completed a professional training course
  • have at least two years' professional work experience in the health service or a health-related field
  • be able to combine intensive classroom learning with the application of the principles and practices within the work place
  • demonstrate a suitable level of English (if this is not your first language).


Accommodation is available at the Rewley House Residential Centre, within the Department for Continuing Education, in central Oxford. The comfortable, en-suite, study-bedrooms are rated 4-star, and come with free high-speed internet access and TV. Guests can take advantage of the excellent dining facilities and common room bar, where they may relax and network with others on the programme.

IT requirements

This course uses the Department’s online assignment submission system and online courseware. In order to participate in the course, and to prepare and submit your course assignments you will need access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification. Students of this course may use the student computing facilities provided in Departmental buildings.