Postgraduate Course

MSc Leadership in Health and Care

MSc Leadership in Health and Care


The details
Leadership in Health and Care
October 2024
1 year
Colchester Campus

This programme aims to develop compassionate & inclusive senior leaders at all levels for local and international learners. It will equip senior leaders to tackle inequalities in services; become key decision-makers and to develop behaviours that will support a culture of learning. Graduates will be able to apply their skills and behaviours to a work setting and become central to setting and implementing change to address health inequalities, improve health and care services and embracing a collective responsibility for the sustainable use of resources.

Our overall philosophy is to develop leaders by focusing on the systems around the leader, the healthcare strategy and individual leadership skills. This will form the first half of the programme. The second half will focus on the practical application of the knowledge and skills; linking this to active research to inform leaders behaviours and strategies.

We welcome applications for our MSc Leadership in Health and Care from the UK and around the world. Our programme is on-campus only for 12 months full-time. No DBS is required to participate in this innovative programme.

Our MSc Leadership in Health and Care is also available as a credit accumulation route. We have guidance on making your application and the forms to download on our how to apply page. If you are interested in taking a credit accumulation route, please get in touch to discuss your eligibility.

Why we're great.
  • Our teaching staff are clinically and academically qualified, providing learners with insights from their own specialist fields and contextualising learning through evidenced approaches. Experienced healthcare workers, leaders and management experts in our own school and Essex Business School collaborate across the programme.
  • Our facilities provide state-of-the-art practical applications, alongside our integrated approach to develop your employability and networking confidence through exposure to our large network of health leaders in the UK and overseas.
  • We provide an exceptional learning experience and are ranked 3rd for facilities spend in the Complete University Guide 2025.

Our expert staff

Our teaching staff are qualified practitioners, providing you with contextualised learning on the challenges of health leadership in a global sector. Management experts from Essex Business School and Health and Social care combine to offer insight, evidenced learning and exceptional development opportunities.

Specialist facilities

As part of the University, you have access to our state-of-the-art library and the very latest equipment and IT facilities to assist you with the effective learning and acquisition of new skills. As a School, we have purpose built facilities where you can meet to discuss your progress and ongoing work.

Our staff offer approachable support at all levels. Our university student support network can also offer you help with personal and study issues during your time with us.

You also have access to an excellent theatre and sports and social club experiences at Essex.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

We will consider applicants with a 2:2 honours degree, or international equivalent, in a medical, health, social care or social sciences discipline.

Applicants with a 3rd class degree, or a 2:2 degree in any other discipline, will be considered where they can demonstrate at least 1 year's relevant experience in the field of health policy and systems, or in the development sector working on health and care issues, or in a healthcare setting. This will be assessed based on information provided at the application stage (for example, in a CV, reference, or other proofs of employment).

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please contact our Graduate Admissions team at to request the entry requirements for this country.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.


Course structure

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We'll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, we'll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Components and modules explained


Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.


Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms



This final module consolidates your learning and equips you to take your career forward with a range of skills and knowledge relevant to your professional practice. It is an opportunity to undertake an independent research project relevant to your field of practice. You will formulate a research question, plan and carry out the project, analyse and write up the results. You can undertake primary or secondary research, or audit/service evaluation or a library based critical literature review research project. If you are undertaking the MSc in Health Research you will undertake a primary or secondary research project, engaging with empirical data.

View Dissertation on our Module Directory


Strategic Management and Senior Leadership in Health and Social Care

The module will cover traditional approaches to leadership, the differences between management and leadership, current issues, including leading change, and critical issues in leadership from a theoretical and practical perspective. At the end of the module, students will have developed a critical appreciation of leadership and be able to relate this to their work context.

View Strategic Management and Senior Leadership in Health and Social Care on our Module Directory


Innovation and Change Management in Health and Social Care

This module will encourage you to experience, think and reflect upon the nature of change, creativity and innovation within health and social care organisations. The module provides you with an advanced understanding of change in organisations where creativity and innovation emerge as a key challenge or represent a necessity. A variety of examples will be used but you will be expected to consider the application of creativity, change and innovation management in the context of health and social care organisations.

View Innovation and Change Management in Health and Social Care on our Module Directory


Leadership in Health and Social Care

The aim of this module is to provide you with the theoretical basis of leadership as applied to practice, which supports health and social care organisations in meeting the needs of patients and service users. This course is suitable for health and social care practitioners including nurses, allied health professionals, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and, speech and language therapists and other health professions, as well as social care staff working in relevant roles.

View Leadership in Health and Social Care on our Module Directory


(HS900-7-AU and HS908-7-SP) or HS909-7-PS


HS676-7-AP or (HS856-7-SP and HS887-7-AU)


On this programme, you can expect to have approximately 16 taught hours per week across all three terms. Teaching takes place every day, Monday to Friday, but this can vary, and either Monday or Wednesday will be free depending on the optional modules that you choose. In the Summer term, there are fewer contact hours so you can spend more time working on your dissertation.

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee


International fee


What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2024 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday 21 September 2024 - September Open Day
  • Saturday 26 October 2024 - October Open Day


You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we'll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply' information.

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Visit Colchester Campus

Set within 200 acres of award-winning parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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