Systems Leadership | Sheffield Hallam University

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Systems Leadership

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This module is intended to give a thorough grounding in the fundamental challenges, principles and practices of leading complex health and social care systems, set within the context of an understanding of comparative international health systems. You will explore systems thinking methods and practices to develop a critical understanding of strategic systems leadership utilised in national health and social care systems.

Who the module is aimed at

All health and social care professionals, including third sector or private organisations.

Benefits of taking the module to the individual, the organisation and the patient

You will be supported to develop:

  • a critical appreciation of the challenges to strategically leading complex health and social care systems from an international systems perspective, and appreciate the practicalities and challenges of leading system change.
  • a critical understanding of systems thinking methodologies: their underlying epistemologies, and their relevance to the strategic commissioning of health and social care.
  • a critical understanding the role of markets and competition as a mechanism for innovation and the delivery of services.

What you learn

We aim to support you in developing a deep understanding of the system leadership challenges facing health and social care over the next decade and developing systems thinking skills that will assist you in analysing complex health and social care system problems and responding appropriately.

General areas covered

  • Understanding UK health and social care system in relation to comparative international health systems
  • Understanding various systems thinking approaches including Hard vs Soft Systems methodologies and the challenge of dealing with multiple perspectives; System Dynamics - feedback, interrelationships and interdependencies; Whole systems approaches as a tool to identify strategic imperatives; Strategies for improving technical efficiency vs strategies for allocative efficiency, and the role of markets and competition in innovation and health reform.

Skills gained for the workplace, technical skills or academic skills

  • Reflective and critical thinking
  • Academic writing

Fees and Funding for 2021/22

Indicative price for stand-alone module

Home student: £710

EU / International students: £1,205 - this is part-time study and therefore cannot provide sponsorship for Tier 4.


This module attracts Workforce Development / Workforce Transformation funding WDF/WTF by the following schemes:

How to apply

To apply for a self-funded place, please complete and return the application form below:

To apply for a Workforce Development / Workforce Transformation funding WDF/WTF funded place, please complete and return the relevant application form below

Further information and Workforce Development Funding / CPD Funding online application form

  • Entry requirements

    • You must have experience of studying and writing at level 6.
    • You must have access to a reliable internet connection
    • Where English is not your first language you must be able to supply IELTS scores.

    The above must be evidenced in your application form.

  • Attendance

    Delivery Method:

    Blended Learning this module will involve a limited number of face-to-face study days supported by online distance learning activities

    View our statement on notional study hours »

    Provisional timetable

    This module will commence in January 2022. Please contact the Module Leader for further information.


    View our statement on timetable changes »

  • Assessment

    Module assessment is made up of one or more assessment tasks. The assessment task(s) for this module are:

    • Written Assignment

    Successful completion of this module will earn you 15 level 7 credits

Further details

For further information please contact the module leader Dr Tony Smith - or contact the student experience team:

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