Healthcare Management - Clinical Leadership

Why Clinical Leadership?
The Professional Diploma in Clinical Leadership is a unique healthcare management course designed to foster collaborative learning among multidisciplinary health professionals. The principles of clinical leadership are taught using best-in-class international approaches from emerging disciplines such as positive psychology and positive organisational scholarship.

This course is suitable for clinicians, interdisciplinary health and social care professionals, healthcare managers and administrators, and those working in the wider healthcare sector who wish to develop their leadership and management capabilities and take the next step in their career.

Follow in the path of former students who have embraced 230 years of teaching excellence. Driven by the promise of 'leading the world to better health', RSCI has been at the forefront of international healthcare education since our establishment in 1784, and we have a worldwide reputation for delivering excellent undergraduate and postgraduate health professions education.

RCSI's singular healthcare focus is evident through all our postgraduate programmes, offering innovative, insight-rich and immersive development opportunities for both current and future leaders in healthcare.

Course details
Develop your leadership skills, wherever you are and on your terms.

The Professional Diploma in Clinical Leadership is a nine-month, part-time academic programme delivered in a digital format via our online teaching platform, making it accessible to busy healthcare professionals wherever they may be working. The programme has supported and accelerated the career progression of many of those now in senior leadership positions within both public and private health and social care organisations.

As a participant, you will undertake a unique programme of study that is evidence-based, cutting-edge and designed to meet the immediate development needs of both you and your organisation.

Find out more about the Professional Diploma in Clinical Leadership curriculum below.

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 your clinical setting.

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.

Entry requirements

To apply for the Professional Diploma in Clinical Leadership, you must:

- Hold a bachelor degree. (If you don’t hold a bachelor degree, see the recognition of prior learning pathway outlined below)

- Be working in the healthcare industry

- Meet the English language requirements (unless exempt): IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent score on another standardised test (certified proof should be uploaded with your application; see below for exemptions).

Recognition of prior learning
If you do not have an undergraduate degree at level 7 or above you may still be eligible to apply through recognition of prior learning (RPL). RPL is the assessment of knowledge, skills and competence previously acquired.

Learning occurs in many contexts which include work, involvement in social and community activities, or learning through life experience generally. RPL does not give credit for experience as such; rather it considers the learning that was acquired as a result of the experience.

RPL may be used to gain:
- Admission to courses/programmes where a person may not have obtained the standard entry requirements.

- Exemptions from course modules which duplicate the learning outcomes an individual has already demonstrably acquired through prior learning.

English language requirement exceptions
Exemptions may apply for:
- Applicants who have completed their school or undergraduate studies (three or more years) through English in a country where English is the majority native language

- Applicants who have completed their school or undergraduate studies (three or more years) in an English speaking institution in a country where English is not the majority native language and where an IELTS score of 5 or more was a requirement for admissions to the programme

- Applicants who have been working in a country (three years or more) where English is the majority native language or for an employer where English language is the official language

- Graduates of an RCSI Undergraduate, Masters or Professional Diploma programme in Dublin and Bahrain

Please note: Certified proof must be uploaded as part of your application.


9 months part-time.

Mode of delivery
The programme is delivered through a blend of online content and activities and live interactive sessions, offering a collaborative and supported student experience. All webinars last for one hour, workshops run for 2.5-3 hours and live sessions are recorded.

Our experienced team have the skills and technology to provide a rich and engaging online experience and to support and guide new students, no matter their level of technical ability.

You will have the opportunity to become part of an international, healthcare-focused, learning community, supported to engage through collaborative group work, team building and networking opportunities – benefiting from each other’s experience in a safe and supported environment.

Enrolment dates

Start date Spring 2024

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Special Purpose Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Blended

  • Apply to

    Course provider