Health Systems - Leadership Innovation & Management for Healthcare

This flexible, interdisciplinary programme is taught by faculty from the UCD Iris Centre for Interdisciplinary, Research, Innovation & Education in Health Systems and takes a systems and design thinking approach to develop your capabilities in leadership, strategy, innovation and management across a range of healthcare settings.

The programme's flexible, negotiable structure, together with its interdisciplinary, applied and experiential focus, will appeal to healthcare professionals at all levels and in all settings within the health system who wish to think and practice strategically and innovatively to foster collaboration across traditional boundaries to deliver safe, high-quality, responsive, integrated and person-centred care.

Graduates of the UCD Graduate Diploma in Process Improvement in Health Systems (formerly the Graduate Diploma in Lean Six Sigma for Healthcare) can complete the MSc by taking an additional 30 ECTS credits from the ten-credit modules available.

To discuss whether the programme is suitable for you please contact the Programme Director, Professor Martin McNamara

The programme aims to:

enhance awareness of the ways in which you and others practice leadership and management

develop an appreciation of the contribution of systems and design thinking to your practice

enable you to acquire and apply knowledge to improve the systems and processes that underpin the delivery of safe, high-quality, responsive, integrated and person-centred care

enhance your understanding the nature of health policy formulation and implementation nationally and globally

develop and strengthen your strategic sensing capabilities in order to enhance strategic capacity, engagement and alignment in your organisation

develop and strengthen your creative, innovative and knowledge management capabilities

enhance you capacity to develop colleagues leadership and management potential

The programme will contribute to your personal and professional development by enabling you to identify, analyse, critique and evaluate the ways in which you and your colleagues currently lead and manage. You will acquire the capacity to locate ways of leading and managing within relevant conceptual frameworks and to situate them in systems, policy, organisational and team contexts.

You will be prepared to be a more responsive, effective and resilient leader and manager who thinks and practices strategically and innovatively to improve patients' and colleagues' experiences of the health system.

You will be equipped with theories, concepts, models, frameworks, tools, techniques and research findings that will enable you to develop a deep appreciation of how the health system works and how you can maximise yours and your colleagues' contribution to it.

Subjects taught

The MSc in Leadership, Innovation and Management is a 90 ECTS credit, QQI Level 9, flexible, modular and interdisciplinary programme that can be taken over a timescale of your choosing.

The minimum time to completion is two years for part-time students; the maximum time is five years. Most students opt to complete the MSc in three years and we strongly recommend at least this timeframe for students in full-time employment. The structure outlined below assumes a three-year timeframe.

For students commencing the programme from September 2022 and taking the programme over three years, the programme structure is as follows:

YEAR 1 (2022-23)

Trimester 1 (Sept to Dec):

NMHS32280: Improving Processes in Health Systems
NMHS42700: Quality, Patient Safety & Outcomes
Trimester 2 (Jan to April):

NMHS43830: Collective Leadership & Effective Teamwork
YEAR 2 (2023-24)

Trimester 1 (Sept to Dec):

NMHS (tbc): Health Policy and Health Systems
NMHS (tbc): Global Health Landscape and Leadership
Trimester 2 (Jan to April):

NMHS (tbc): Enhancing Strategic and Innovative Capacity in Health Systems
YEAR 3 (2024-25)

NMHS43400: Managing Process Improvement Theory & Principles

NMHS43810: Implementing a Process Improvement Project (year long)

NMHS44020: MSc Dissertation: Evidence Synthesis or Translation
For the 2022//23 timetable please contact the Programme Adminstrator.

Holders of the UCD Graduate Diploma in Process Improvement in Health Systems (previously the Graduate Diploma in Lean Six Sigma in Healthcare) can complete the MSc by taking an additional 30 ECTS credits from the ten-credit modules available.

You should contact the Programme Director to discuss which configuration and timescale will best suit your individual circumstances, needs and aspirations.

Entry requirements

Applicants will normally hold an NQF Level 8 academic award but consideration will be given to applicants with relevant and appropriate qualifications and experience working in the health system

Experience in a management and/or leadership role is desirable

A willingness to explore your own leadership and management practices and their impact on the systems in which you work is essential.

Please contact the Programme Director before you make your application.

Application dates

Closing date
30 June 2022 Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and programmes will close once they are filled. We advise you to apply as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Please contact the Programme Director before you make your application. Contact details can be found in the Key information section of this page. We advise early application as only 25 places are avaliable on all MSc modules.

Applications are made online through UCD Applications. ?

Please note that all applicants are required to pay a €50 application fee. Your application cannot be processed fully unless the application fee has been paid.


2-5 years. At least 3 years is recommended for students in full-time employment

Post Course Info

The knowledge, understandings and skills acquired throughout the programme will prepare you to make a significant contribution as a leader and manager in a number of areas and at many levels in the health system, including:

Organisational development
Strategy design and implementation
Policy design and implementation
Quality and service improvement
Clinical leadership and management
Practice development
Management and administration

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider