Clinical Leadership MSc

Why choose this course?

This innovative course is designed for qualified healthcare professionals, who are keen to learn more about leadership strategies and management techniques. It consists of taught modules, a work-based learning project and enables you to explore a leadership topic of interest in depth, with the aim to publish. You will learn how to lead and manage healthcare practice and implement research advances to enrich evidence-based practice. The course will help you to drive service improvement projects relevant to your practice, and research healthcare issues within your workplace. The course combines academic teaching with interactive learning and incorporates theories of leadership and change management. You will gain confidence to influence decision makers with your recommendations.

The structure of the course allows you to continue working while studying. The full time option has one classroom based day per week (Wednesdays) and the part time option is once per fortnight (Wednesdays). Many of our students have been promoted as a direct result of studying this course.

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year Most Wednesdays January 2021
Part time 2–3 years Alternate Wednesdays January 2021

The modules within this course can also be taken on an individual basis (postgraduate short course).

Location Kingston Hill

2020/21 entry

If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021), please view the information about changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19.


Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2020/21 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2020/21. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas Course page.

Reasons to choose Kingston University

What you will study

The course consists of four taught modules and a final Capstone project which enables you to explore a leadership topic in depth. You will learn how to lead and manage innovations in healthcare practice and implement research advances to enrich evidence-based practice. Part-time students will take the following modules in each year (full time students will undertake all modules in one year).


Core modules

Healthcare Management and Evaluation

30 credits

Examine the theoretical, social, political and economic factors influencing the management, planning, delivery and evaluation of health and care in the UK. International perspectives and models of health and care will be included. Students will be exposed to the most recent health policies and initiatives which influence quality service provision reflecting the key principles of the UK health and care systems.

Leadership and Change Management

30 credits

Take a client-centred and service-based approach to improvements in the patient/client experience. A number of leadership theories/approaches are explored and evaluated. A blend of learning approaches is employed to promote and enhance your learning experience. You will be encouraged to network with key influencers and opinion leaders within the organisation to help them gain practical insights into leadership and change.

Complexity and Reflexive Management

30 credits

This module builds on and critiques traditional ways of thinking about management, leadership, and organizational change. It is aimed at professionals involved in leadership, service development/practice development and/or people management.

Drawing on the complexity sciences and grounded in pragmatist philosophy, this module provides students with the opportunity to explore alternatives to traditional approaches to management and leadership. The module requires students to work with their own experience of unpredictability and uncertainty in their professional lives. Students will be invited to focus reflexively on the details of their interactions at work in order to gain greater insights into how norms, routines, and cultures emerge in organisations and as a means of generating alternative possibilities to how they might approach their daily practice.

Research Methods and Data Analysis

30 credits

Foster an in-depth understanding of the processes, stages and management of research. This module enables you to demonstrate critical appraisal and develop research skills applicable to both quantitative and qualitative approaches.

This module introduces the theories of research and provides flexible opportunities for you to apply your newly developed knowledge. It allows you to practically follow the early stages of research by formulating a research proposal; and the late stages of research by analysing, interpreting, presenting and discussing a data set provided by the module leader(s). Emphasis will be placed on ethical principles, which students will discuss and apply in their research proposal and data analysis.

Final Capstone Project

60 credits

This module is required for students undertaking studies at master's level and is normally taken after achieving postgraduate diploma level. The module will provide you with the experience of utilising principles of research and academic writing and thus demonstrate the intellectual skills learnt on the course. You are expected to review critically research and to evaluate the evidence underpinning your own practice. The module will provide you with the opportunity to implement the knowledge and skills developed during the previous modules by conducting research focused on a topic of your choice related to your area of practice with the support of a research supervisor. The module will enhance your presentation and publication skills as the assessment will include writing an abstract, presenting a poster and writing an article suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

An undergraduate degree at 2.2 or above and at least six months' post-qualifying experience. All applicants should be working in the health and social care setting which will allow them to undertake the practical elements of the programme.

Alternative routes

Applicants with a recent diploma (HE), third class or ordinary degree will be considered if they have relevant experience and may be required to write a short academic essay.

English language requirements

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

Students learn by sharing experiences, using an action learning approach combining creative teaching and learning techniques, such as use of video, role play and peer assessment. Due to the interprofessional nature of this course, you will have opportunities to discuss the wide range of challenges of leadership in the healthcare profession. You will gain practical skills, such as advanced decision making, creative problem solving and critical thinking.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS – the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

29% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 515 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1285 hours

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules

How you will be assessed

Assessment methods include module-related assignments, essays, presentations and a 'capstone' research project.

The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows:

  • 86% coursework
  • 14% practical exam

(repeat for each year, if part time)

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

The structure of the course allows you to continue working while studying. The full time option has one classroom based day per week (Wednesdays) and the part time option is once per fortnight (Wednesdays).

Who teaches this course?

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education. It is a unique partnership between Kingston University and St George's, University of London.

Course fees and funding

2020/21 fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc full time: £7,880
  • MSc part time: £4,334
  • Postgraduate module part time (30 credits): £1,950

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc full time: £14,980


If you are starting a course at Kingston University, you will be able to apply for a loan of up to £10,000 to study for a postgraduate masters degree. 

Your employer may offer to sponsor you through your course, providing funding, day-release or guaranteed study leave. Please contact us with any queries.

A self-funded option is also available. There are opportunities to apply for funding offered by the Florence Nightingale Foundation.


As a student at Kingston University there are a range of facilities available that will help you during your course.

The unique partnership between Kingston University and St George's, University of London means you have access to excellent resources across two organisations. This course is based at Kingston University, but you can take advantage of the modern environment and latest equipment at both institutions, including:

  • laboratories;
  • clinical teaching facilities;
  • computing facilities at both Kingston University and St George's, University of London - including a range of software applications, plus free email and internet access; and
  • dedicated Graduate Centres on each Kingston University campus, providing seminar rooms, computing facilities and social spaces.

You can also access libraries at:

  • the libraries at each of the Kingston University campuses - offering online database subscriptions, resource materials, PC clusters and a wireless network for laptop use, as well as subject libraries;
  • St George's, University of London - including a specialist medicine and health sciences collection of more than 42,000 books and multimedia materials;
  • the Institute of Cancer Research at the Royal Marsden Hospital; and
  • postgraduate centres at clinical placement sites.

After you graduate

This course will help you:

  • Improve your ability to manage others
  • Lead changes and improvements into practice
  • Develop credibility in your area of clinical expertise
  • Move to a more senior role e.g. Director of Nursing, Consultant, Senior Lecturers
  • Gain confidence and advanced communication skills in the workplace
  • Present at conferences
  • Write for publication

What our students say

I completed my MSc in Clinical Leadership on a part-time basis. The modules in the course solidified my learning experience and were extremely informative. I used the WBL (work-based learning) module to undertake a service improvement project in my workplace. I submitted an abstract on this work to the Euroanaesthesia conference, and was asked to present the poster at the 2015 conference in Berlin and the 2016 conference in London. Presenting at the conference was an incredible achievement, and I couldn't have done this without the knowledge I gained from the course, as well as the support given to me by my supervisors.

Completing the course as well as presenting my work at an international conference have really improved my self-confidence and helped establish myself as a growing leader. I've also been asked to present my completed work project at the British Association of Critical Care Nurses (BACCN) conference this year, and was nominated as a finalist of the Leadership Award category in the RCNi Nurse Awards 2016.

I'm really grateful to my course supervisors at Kingston University and St George's for all their encouragement and support. I wouldn't have been able to achieve important career milestones such as these were it not for the knowledge, experience and leadership skills that I gained by completing this course.

Siby Sikhamoni, Clinical Leadership MSc

Links with industry

The Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education is a unique partnership between Kingston University and St George's, University of London. This means that you benefit from the expertise and facilities of two complementary institutions:  

  • Kingston University has a long-established reputation for vocationally-relevant education; and 
  • St George's, University of London combines teaching and research excellence in healthcare sciences.

Many teaching staff are research active, which keeps your learning cutting-edge, and others are expert practitioners. This combination of academics and practitioners provides a uniquely dynamic environment. Read more in our Research areas section. 

As well as developing your understanding of your specialist area, this course will make sure you:  

  • keep up to date with recent developments, legal requirements and ethically-sound practice; 
  • reflect critically on your practice; 
  • develop your judgement and decision-making skills; 
  • improve your networking skills; and 
  • gain skills in managing others. 

You also have the chance to meet other professionals in the same situation as yourself. 

For more information about the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education (HSCE), visit our HSCE website.

Research areas

Many of our staff in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education are research active, often in partnership with NHS trusts. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies.

Research themes and programmes include:

  • Children and families
  • Midwifery;
  • Emergency and critical care;
  • Healthcare education;
  • Integrative and collaborative working.

Health and social care for people with long term conditions and their family carers - research that informs policy and practice to support people with long term conditions;

Innovation and development in the healthcare workforces and organisation - addressing a broad range of workforce questions, including how best to educate and train people for their current and future work in health and social care.

Find out about research in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education.

Changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19

Changes detailed here are for students joining this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021).

Course information (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Composition of the course

We do not anticipate making any changes to the composition of the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Course commencement has been postponed to January, and module start dates rearranged to compensate.


We do not anticipate making any changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Length of course

We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.

In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed, e.g. re-sequencing those modules that can be delivered more effectively under the current restrictions with those which would be more difficult to deliver, such as practical modules and placements.

Entry requirements (changes for 2020/21 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a result of the pandemic. However, the range of accepted alternatives have increased as has the way in which we select students, which now includes virtual interviews and online portfolios.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a result of the pandemic. However, in response to the pandemic, we now accept a much broader list of English language exams for entry to the course; the level of these exams remain the same.

Teaching (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

Due to the current pandemic the course's teaching and learning activities will be delivered through both online and on-campus methods (blended learning) in 2020/21. In order to provide all students with a comparable on-campus experience, the University has committed to ensuring that all courses provide at least 30% of their teaching and learning activities on-campus.

While physical distancing measures remain in place, you will receive your learning and teaching via a blend of on-campus and on-line activities. Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you will still be able to engage with your course in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, support will be available to consider what options are open to you.

Changes to teaching in the event of a further lockdown or adjustments in government advice

The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the current pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.

In the event that a further lockdown is enforced the University will aim to deliver the course fully online. This may require some additional changes being made to planned teaching and learning activities, including assessments. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised significantly, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered appropriately. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

In the event that the current social distancing restrictions are fully lifted and the University is able to resume normal delivery of teaching and learning activities, courses will assess whether it is in the students' interest to resume normal delivery. In some cases it may be better to continue and complete modules under the planned blended delivery mode.

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours will not be made as a result of the pandemic. However, it is possible that some adjustments might be made at module level, e.g. a few more scheduled activities, in order to help ensure student engagement with blended learning.

Any changes made to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

'Scheduled teaching' includes teaching that is online either live or recorded / on demand.


Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. from September 2020 to December 2020) should be available by the end of August 2020. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2021) will not be available until the autumn. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm. To accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing, we will need to maximise the time available for teaching. This means, we may have to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

On campus classes will be delivered in smaller groups to enable social distancing.

Assessment (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Changes can be made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area. Due to the current restrictions in place, i.e. social distancing, it is anticipated that many formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be replaced with alternative assessments which can be completed online. These changes will be considered and approved through the University's processes to ensure that student assessments will be able to demonstrate they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. The approval process will also assess whether the change impacts the status of any professional body accreditation the course benefits from.

Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Staff (changes for 2020/21 entry)

No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.

As a result of the social distancing restrictions in place, on-campus teaching activities may need to be split into smaller groups which may require the support of teaching assistants and student mentors, who will be managed by experienced staff.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2020/21.

Additional costs (e.g. field trips, materials, equipment, etc.)

As a result of the blended delivery of courses in 2020/21, where a significant proportion of the teaching will be done online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities will be restricted due to social distancing requirements.

The University is considering how best to provide support to students who do not have access to suitable hardware and software requirements and access to the internet. Identifying students who require this type of support is an important milestone for the University in our journey to ensure equity of access while we continue to deliver our blended approach. Information about the support that will be available will be provided to students during the induction period.


There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2020/21. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.

Fees and funding for international students

There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2020/21.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead as planned. However, to ensure students are able to gain maximum value from these activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year when current restrictions have been lifted. We acknowledge that this year it may be more difficult for students to secure appropriate placements. In those situations, students will be guided and supported through the various options that will be available to them, including switching courses or interrupting their studies until a time when they can complete their placement.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered. Students will be advised of any changes that may become necessary and appropriate support will be available to students to guide them through the various options that may be available to them.

In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our students, the University will ensure that appropriate risk assessments are made before students are sent on a placement.

Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.

Voluntary placements or field trips may be rescheduled, or, as a last resort, cancelled if it becomes difficult to deliver them and doing so is in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and students.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2020/21 entry)


No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. MSc, as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Additional (changes for 2020/21 entry)

International students

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.

Students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities

The University will ensure students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities are able to effectively engage with their studies remotely. For certain courses an inability to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities may not be in the students best interest, as it may impede their chances of succeeding in the course or lead to them receiving a poor learning experience. In such cases students will be advised and guided through the various options available to them, such as deferring their studies until they can engage fully with the course.