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Leading Service Improvement

PG Certificate
Duration: Up to 2 years
Attendance mode: Part-time
Award: PG Certificate
Not suitable for international students
Start date: View attendance dates
Faculty of Health Studies
Apply Download course booklet


This is an innovative Postgraduate Certificate designed for managers and leaders working in the health and social care sector, across wellbeing partnerships and those providing and developing services with communities and patients.
The programme equips leaders and managers with knowledge and skills and helps develop confidence to undertake effective service improvement programmes – leading and co-ordinating systems and service across health, wellbeing and social care settings.
The programme is intended to:

  • Develop a critical understanding of the changing strategy and policy context in the health and social care sector
  • Provide an opportunity for participants to review their own practice within their organisation and others within the partnership context
  • Enable participants to lead service improvement in the health, wellbeing and social care sector
  • Provide opportunities for inter-professional and inter-organisational learning

The Certificate will be of particular relevance to those working in the following areas:

  • CCGs and other commissioners
  • Local Government notably in Public Health and developing services to reduce inequalities
  • Provider organisations including voluntary sector
  • Co-ordination of networks and partnerships, notably those working within Health and Wellbeing Board structures

Entry requirements

The University welcomes applications from all potential students regardless of their previous experience: offers are made following detailed consideration of each individual application.

The decision to offer a place is based on our assessment of a candidate’s potential to benefit from their studies and of their ability to succeed on this particular programme. Whilst you will normally hold a first degree or professional qualification we will consider your application if you do not possess such a qualification but have appropriate work experience.


The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.

Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Learning activities and assessment

The curriculum is organised into two 30-credit modules.
One module will be studied each semester. Each module combines theory with application to practice.

  • Leadership and Management: Theory and Practice - this module analyses a range of approaches to leadership and management, providing the opportunity for students to develop their own skills
  • Quality and Service Improvement - this module covers; service improvement principles and techniques, such as LEAN; quality improvement approaches including how to positively use service feedback and management complaints; effective ways to work in partnerships, networks and with communities

This programme combines study and assessment of theory alongside its application within a work setting.
Study is through a blended learning approach; 4 days attendance on campus for each module (2 blocks of 2 days); a virtual learning environment to support private study; ongoing tutor support.
Assessment of the programme includes practical application of skills and knowledge, demonstrating a theoretical understanding and enabling students to grow in confidence in their role.
Modules studied on the Certificate can go on to contribute to study at Masters level within the Faculty of Health Studies.

Career support and prospects

Career support

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees

See the Fees and Financial Support website for 2018/19 module fees.

Tuition fees are subject to review for students starting their course in subsequent years. See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

Financial support

Funding for eligible staff within the region will be reviewed by Health Education England (HEE) in the coming months for the 2017/18 academic year. We advise all applicants to apply as normal for 2017/18 courses and further information will be provided as soon as it is available.

How do I find out more?

Steps to Postgraduate Study

Find out more about studying at a postgraduate level on the official, independent website Steps to Postgraduate Study (link opens in new window).

How to apply

The easiest way to apply is online.

This will help us process your application more quickly and allow you to submit your supporting documents electronically.

If you are unable to apply online, please email to request a paper application form.

We will also need the following supporting documents, along with any other information specified on the course page:

  • Degree certificates/transcripts
  • Research proposal (if required)
  • Two references (including one academic reference)
  • Evidence of English language level (if required)
  • A copy of your passport

Once you have applied you will have access to the University's Applicant Portal, where you can track the status of your application.

You should also start thinking about how you plan to fund your postgraduate study — you may need to apply for loans or grants at this stage.

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.