Professional Certificate in Strategic Leadership in Healthcare

This programme is one of a number of programmes offered by the UCD IRIS Centre for Interdisciplinary, Research, Innovation & Education in Health Systems. It focuses on building organisational strategy and sustainable competitive advantage through a shared understanding of purpose. This programme is recognised at Level 9 on the National Qualification Authority of Ireland (NQAI) framework.

Download the brochure (pdf)

Who is the programme for?

The programme is open to applicants from a range of professional backgrounds, clinical and managerial.

Programme objectives

This programme focuses on building organisational strategy and sustainable competivie advantage through a shared understanding of purpose.

What will I learn?

You will gain insight into developing and executing organisational strategy to build sustainable culture for creativity and innovation. You will apply systems and design thinking principles to contemporary healthcare challenges and critically evaluate their contribution.

Programme structure and workshop dates

The programme comprises one module, Strategic Leadership for Healthcare Improvement  and Innovation. It will be delivered through one-day workshops (four in total) and assessed through a variety of continuous assessment strategies. There will be no examinations. The workshops require a high-level of participant engagement and comprise a series of exercises and activities that emphasise the critical evaluation of theory in practice.

Attendance dates 2021

NMHS43610 Strategic Leadership for Healthcare Improvement and Innovation

  • Wednesday 13 January (10am - 4.30pm)
  • Wednesday 10 February  (10am - 4.30pm)
  • Wednesday 10 March (10am - 4.30pm)
  • Wednesday 28 April (10am - 4.30pm)
Student testimonials

The Professional Certificate receives consistently positive evaluations from students.

Samples of student comments:

2017/18 cohort:

"Great module to open the mind to new ways of thinking, has made me think more positively about strategy and future"

"I look at my practice differently now" - "Everyone should be involved in strategy so everyone should take this module"

"Makes you think!" - "Broad coverage of topics, challenges assumptions, useful frameworks for future use"

"Good networking, great group, benefit of multidisciplinary group membership" - "The diversity of group was good. Different grades and professions brought different perspectives to discussions"

"Positive educational experience that can be used in practical terms" - "Great discussions"

2018/19 cohort:

"Makes you broaden your thinking" - "Has opened my eyes to systems thinking, challenged my thinking"

"Thought-provoking module, applicable to real world, new ideas and theories" 

"Learned a new way of communicating using theories and concepts learned in class, empowered to back up plans and ideas"

"This module helped a lot in terms of looking at the organisational system, by understanding the theory and putting it into practice"

"Important subject matter that addresses a huge gap in the health system - huge learning"  - "Content very interesting"

"Blended learning approach much more engaging than didactic teaching approach" 

"Interesting concepts explored, have gained a good understanding of strategy, stepped outside my comfort zone with class presentations and discussions"

"Opens up dialogue and strategic thinking, recommend module, sets out the tools for change and transformation"


Entry requirements

Honours Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent. 

How to apply

Applications are made online through UCD Applications. ​Applicants may be required to undertake an interview (either face-to-face or via telecommunication) as part of the admission process.

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.

Apply online



The fees for your programme can be found at the links below. Search using your major code (the four-digit code beginning with 'X' which can be found in the key information box on this page).

• EU fees information

• Non-EU fees information

Please note that UCD fees are subject to change annually. The fees shown include the student centre levy which must be paid by all students. 


If the fees for your programme are being paid by a third party (full or partial), please ensure your funding organisation/sponsor/hospital contacts Please note this is not a student facing email address. 

Student Queries:

If you have any queries about your fees, please contact the Student Desk: 

Application Fee:

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

More information about fees is available on the UCD website at the link below:

General information about UCD Fees

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) applications must be submitted online through your SISWeb account.

There are two instances in which you can apply to have recognised prior learning taken into account when applying for a programme in UCD.

1. RPL for admission to a UCD programme

If you are a prospective student seeking admission to UCD and you do not meet the required admissions criteria as set down for a particular programme of study in UCD, you may apply to be admitted based on prior learning.

2. RPL for exemption from a module or modules on a UCD programme

If you have been accepted onto a UCD programme and wish to have credit transferred towards the requirements of the UCD programme of study, you may apply for RPL from a module or modules.

When applying for RPL, please note the following:

  • You must submit your application for RPL as early as possible and preferably before you commence the relevant module/stage/programme.
  • An application for RPL relating to a particular module should be submitted before the third week of the trimester in which it is offered. Applications made after this date will only be accepted under exceptional circumstances.
  • Your application will be reviewed by the Taught Graduate Standing Committee and Programme Board. You can expect to hear of the outcome or status of your application typically within four to six weeks of submitting it (depending on committee schedules).
  • Please note that in some cases your application may not be successful or you may not receive RPL for the amount of credit for which you applied, therefore you must register for, attend and participate in the module or modules until you have been informed of the decision of the School Programme Board.
  • If your application is not successful, you are responsible for all assessments associated with the module.


Please read the UCD Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning at this link: UCD Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning