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Students in a seminar setting
Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Healthcare Leadership and Commissioning

BSMS > Postgraduate > Healthcare Leadership and Commissioning

Healthcare Leadership and Commissioning

Key facts

MSc, PGDip, PGCert

Full-time: 1 year

Part-time: 3 years

Eligible applicants: UK, international

Due to visa restrictions, international students requiring a student visa (including EU/EEA who require a student visa) are eligible to apply for BSMS full-time Masters courses only. Part-time Masters courses, all PGDip and all PGCert courses are open to UK and Irish students and international students (including EU/EEA) who have an alternative visa/immigration permission to stay in the UK (such as settled/pre-settled status, Tier 2/work visa, indefinite leave to remain etc).

Location: University of Brighton, Falmer campus; University of Sussex, Falmer campus

Course Leader: Breda Flaherty

Read Breda Flaherty's profile here >

Course Co-Ordinator: Ian Angell

Read Ian Angell's profile here >

General enquiries:

Download our course application handbook here >

This course is validated by the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex. Applications for 2024/25 entry are now open.

apply for the healthcare leadership and commissioning course here >

Leadership and Commissioning group having discussion

Key areas of study

  • Leadership and change management in clinical services
  • Quality, safety and service improvement in clinical services
  • Principles and practice of public health
  • Research methods and critical appraisal 
  • Economics of health and health-related behaviour

Course overview

This innovative course offers clinicians and managers the opportunity to look in depth at healthcare leadership, policy and practice, combining academic research with an up-to-the minute take on current policy, structured practical projects and work-based investigations.

With an innovative blend of leadership theory, contemporary healthcare policy and active application to practice, we equip clinicians, leaders, commissioners and managers to develop their knowledge and understanding of healthcare leadership. Uniquely, we focus on clinical expertise and clinical contexts indepth, alongside research and implementing change in practice.

Elliott Sharp photo

“The MSc in Healthcare Leadership. and Commissioning offered a blend of both theoretical and practical teaching across many areas. Being allowed to choose between optional modules gave me the flexibility to shape my Master’s to suit my individual interests whilst the core modules made sure I learned essential leadership and commissioning theory. Partnered to theoretical teaching was practical teaching from regional healthcare leaders who spoke about the challenges they face. The wide variety of students on this course from both clinical and non-clinical backgrounds created exciting discussions and networking opportunities that would not have otherwise been possible.” 

Elliott Sharp, MSc Healthcare Leadership student

Course structure

Modules are usually assessed via presentations, seminars, abstracts, posters or a 3,000 – 4,000 word written assignment.

PGCert (60 credits)

  • Leadership and Change Management in Clinical Services (20 credits)
  • Quality, Safety and Service Improvement in Clinical Services (20 credits)


  • One module from the core list or optional list (20 credits)

PGDip (120 credits)

PGCert modules


  • Principles and Practice of Public Health (20 credits)
  • Research Methods and Critical Appraisal (20 credits)


  • Two modules from the optional module list (20 credits) See below.

MSc (180 credits)

  • PGDip modules


  • Two modules from the optional module list (20 credits) See below.


  • Dissertation (60 credits)

Optional modules

  • Diabetes Practice in Primary Care (20 credits)
  • Understanding Dementia (20 credits)
  • Management of Long-Term Conditions in Children (20 credits)
  • Communication, Learning and Teaching in Health and Social Care (20 credits)

Career opportunities

This course is delivered by a multi-professional team based both within the university and in health and social care services, bringing clinicians, leaders and commissioners together from all parts of the health and care system.

We have been offering indepth academic study of healthcare leadership and commissioning at BSMS for over 10 years. Our graduates will apply their range of specialist skills to real healthcare challenges. They will conduct research and enquiry into challenges to the dominant 20th century models of healthcare and help to shape healthcare for the 21st century.

Entry requirements

Applicants will normally have clinical, managerial or leadership experience and/ or be educated to degree level. Students are normally in practice in the health and social care field. Full-time students, or students not in healthcare practice, will be identified and supported through the tutorial process.


Successful completion of at least three years’ basic medical science at a UK medical school (having gained at least 360 credits) with a guaranteed place to continue medical studies on completion of the MSc.

For international students a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 is required.

Fees and funding 

The fees listed below are the overall costs for full-time courses taken in the academic year 2023/24. Where courses are taken part-time over more than one academic year, fees are usually charged pro-rata for the modules taken during each academic year.  

With effect from 2021/22 onwards, EU nationals starting new postgraduate courses will pay international fees and will not be eligible for student funding from the UK government. However, there are exceptions to this for Irish nationals and EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. For the latest information, please see If you do not have settled status in the UK and require a work visa, then you will be fee assessed as Overseas and will therefore be subject to the International fee rate.

Find out more about 2024-25 fees and funding >


All BSMS students on Masters courses accredited jointly by the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton are eligible to apply for University of Sussex postgraduate scholarships in 2024/25. 

Read more about fees and funding here >

Apply here

Applications are made through the University of Brighton online portal. Applications for 2024/25 entry are now open.

APPLY for the hlc course here >