Clinical Leadership

The Professional Diploma in Clinical Leadership (Online) is a unique interdisciplinary specialist postgraduate programme designed for busy healthcare professionals who wish to develop their leadership skills. Meet your immediate leadership development needs and those of your healthcare organisation with this innovative programme, designed to foster collaborative learning among multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals.

This evidence-based, innovative programme, incorporates best-in-class international thinking derived from advances in positive psychology and positive organisational scholarship and is delivered in a format blending online content, onsite sessions and interactive webinars to offer a collaborative and supported student experience.

Learning Outcomes
This programme will provide you with the skills and knowledge to:

•Analyse and discuss clinical leadership and management models in a healthcare setting.

• Reflect on the feedback from your psychometric profile and how this information can inform and allow you to be a more effective clinic leader.

•Critically and systematically analyse healthcare case studies and apply this learning to your own organisation.

• Discuss the importance of developments in positive leadership and how these develop a resilient strengths-based approach to maintaining a positive outlook to your clinical leadership role.

•Analyse the roles of team members in a clinical team and how they can influence performance outcomes.

• Apply the basic principles of management accounting, budgeting and activity-based costing.

• Discuss the importance of building and maintaining relationships across boundaries and maintaining networks for effective clinical leadership.

• Apply and effectively manage a performance management system using a coaching methodology.

•Critically evaluate and apply team effectiveness in relation to healthcare outcomes.

• Critically debate change management theories and the challenges they present for clinical leaders.

•Evaluate quality improvement methodologies/measures and demonstrate how they can impact healthcare delivery and outcomes.

• Critically discuss the principles and implementation of a patient safety culture and outcomes.

•Develop and present an evidence based business case for a change or quality improvement in their clinical setting.

Entry requirements

All applicants should hold a primary degree and be working in the healthcare sector. As there is an emphasis on clinical leadership, ideally applicants should be working in a clinical setting.

For applicants who don't hold a primary degree, there is a recognition of prior learning (RPL) pathway outlined below.

Recognition of prior learning

The RCSI regulations for RPL provide a process and framework for validating and placing a value on prior learning for the purpose of:

A. Admission

B. Exemption

C. Advanced entry/transfer between programmes

The EU Council (2012) defines validation as a process of confirmation by an authorised body that an individual has acquired learning outcomes measured against a relevant standard which consists of four distinct phases:

1.Identification – dialogue of particular experiences of an

2.Documentation – making visible the individuals experiences

3.Assessment – formal assessment of these experiences

4.Certification – the results of the assessment

These regulations are intended for use by the RCSI staff and faculty involved in admissions processes relating to applicants seeking assessment of their prior learning for the purposes of admission, exemption or advanced entry/transfer between programmes and to provide clarity and direction for candidates during their application process.

Subjects taught


Module 1: The Clinical Leader - Understanding and Managing Oneself (10 ECTS) In order to operate as a leader in a clinical setting, you need to develop a significant level of insight into yourself, others and how organisations work – this is fundamental to all effective models of leadership. The aim of this module is to increase your self-knowledge and understanding of how you can develop your competencies and capabilities to become an effective leader and manager in a clinical setting.

Module 2: Leading People and Managing Resources in the Clinical Context (10 ECTS) Leading and managing people and teams are key capabilities for healthcare professionals. The ability to influence people and events in your clinical organisations and across boundaries is a key requirement. The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge and skills in managing human and financial resources.

Module 3: Leading Change and Quality Improvement in Health Services (10 ECTS) Clinical leaders and managers must keep pace with what is happening in the internal and external environment. In recent years the rapid pace of change and the increasing demand for quality healthcare systems and reduction in patient safety errors, presents real challenges for clinical leaders. Change management is a vital prerequisite for those hoping to lead change, quality or patient safety initiatives. The aim of this module is to provide you with a number of change models and modern approaches to maximising quality and safety culture in your healthcare setting.


The Professional Diploma in Clinical Leadership is delivered online over nine months with three in-class days. On-site classes run from 9am until 5pm and all teaching takes place at the Institute of Leadership, Sandyford, Dublin 18.

Applications for the Professional Diploma in Clinical Leadership are accepted on a rolling basis. Currently there are two intakes each year, in September and May


Student fees


Please note

•The tuition includes all resources, including core textbooks, access to our award-winning online learning portal and access to extensive RCSI-only databases.

•The tuition fee is also inclusive of an NUI fee.

•Fees are payable via instalments or in one lump sum.

•We ask that students who are being sponsored or funded by their employer forward us on a funding confirmation letter. This can be sent to

Enrolment dates

Currently, there are two intakes each year in Autumn and Spring

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