Including key dates, time commitments, funding and student support information.


The Digital Health Leadership Programme (DHLP) is an important Digital Academy programme. Established in 2017 following a Secretary of State commitment on the back of the Wachter Review, it aims to address the need to develop and invest in the capability and capacity of digital change leaders. The DHLP is delivered by Imperial College London and partners and is now entering its 6th cohort, with learners due to start their journey from September 2023. Around 500 change leaders have completed or are completing the programme to date.

What is the Digital Health Leadership Programme?

The programme is a 12-month fully accredited Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Digital Health Leadership and is funded centrally. It is delivered through 8 modules via a mixed delivery model including self-learning with group virtual and group face-to-face sessions. Participants who successfully complete the PGDip have the option to extend their learning journey by completing a master’s degree (subject to participants securing their own funding, this master’s option isn’t funded centrally). 

We have secured places for 108 change leaders from across the health and care workforce in England for Cohort 6.

Key dates

5 April to 14 May 2023 – Application window open

  • Submit your application form by 23.59 on 14 May
  • Sponsor to submit the senior organisational sponsor form

Late June 2023 - outcomes communicated

Applicants will be notified if they have been successful or unsuccessful in their application.

  • Successful applicants will then start the enrolment process with Imperial College London. Learning will begin in September 2023. 
  • Applicants placed on the reserve list will be notified before the start of Cohort 6 if place has become available for them. Those on the reserve list who are not offered a place on cohort 6, will be offered a guaranteed ring-fenced place on a future Cohort. This is subject to them still meeting the necessary eligibility criteria for that cohort, and subject to future cohorts receiving approval to proceed. 
  • Unsuccessful applicants will be given the option to receive more detailed feedback on their application. 

End June to September 2023

Successful applicants submit the Imperial College Application form which is reviewed by the College’s admissions team. You will need supporting documentation to successfully obtain a place. The documentation can be found on the Imperial College application guide.

September 2023 – Start the Digital Health Leadership Programme

Teaching for Cohort 6 of the Digital Health Leadership Programme will run from 4 September 2023 to 4 August 2024. The deadline for the final assessment is the end of August 2024. In-person leadership forums will take place on the following dates:

  • 28 and 29 September 2023
  • 26 March 2024 
  • 27 June 2024 

We expect that students commit to these dates, and participate fully in the learning sessions, together with their peers.

The end of Cohort 6 celebration (in-person) - will take place in April 2025 (date to be confirmed) and we would hope that all our delegates will be able to attend.

Time commitments

Experience tells us that around 10-15 hours of study time/work is required outside of work, per week. The programme contents specify about 25-30 hours in total, but this includes the time spent applying your learning to your work, within working hours.

Your overall workload consists of weekly online learning sessions and independent learning on the virtual learning environment and through work-based learning. While your actual time spent working through content may vary according to the modules you study, the following gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the programme. At Imperial, each European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credit taken equates to an expected total study time of 25 hours. Therefore, the expected total study time is 187.5 hours per 7.5 ECTS module, for a total of 1500 for the PGDip and 2250 for the MSc.

We expect that you will spend 15-20% of the time engaging with online content, while the remainder will be comprised of independent and group study, completion of assignments, and up to 50% of your time directly applying your learning into practice through multiple improvement projects in your organisation.


Places are funded through the (NHS England) Digital Academy. Funding also covers overnight stays for multi-day leadership forums, as arranged by Imperial. This is significant central funding support per delegate and is in place to ensure delegates get the most value possible from the programme. 

Individuals (via their organisation’s policy) will need to pay for: travel and related subsistence expenses (for example, meals while travelling) as well as any additional accommodation either side of a leadership forum.

Support available from Imperial College London (ICL)

Imperial College London have lots of support available for students.

Teaching Fellows

A team of Teaching Fellows support you throughout your academic journey. They will supervise work, provide advice on study skills, and assess work and progress. 

Personal tutors

Personal tutors support you in personal, pastoral and general academic development. You will have regular contact and establish a supportive and professional relationship. Personal Tutors maintain an overview of their tutees' academic progress, development and wellbeing. 

The Disability Advisory Service (DAS)

This service commits to providing the best possible support for all students, by offering flexible and tailored support.

Understanding that each person's disability or impairment can affect them in different ways, the DAS team has a wealth of knowledge, experience, and resources to support students who are disabled, have specific learning difficulties or have other short or long-term conditions.

We encourage students to engage with the DAS team for screening if they feel they may have an undiagnosed difficulty and register for support. The team will then be able to provide the most relevant student focused resources and reasonable adjustments. 

If you have a disability or health condition, and feel you need support or reasonable adjustments throughout the application process, please contact us at [email protected].

Peer support groups

Students form peer support groups as part of the programme. These are invaluable for boosting morale, networking and building communities of practice. These have had long-lasting positive impacts on alumni. 

Other support

We also have information and communications technology (ICT) support, student wellbeing teams and staff to help you navigate the various procedures. 

Related information

Page last reviewed: 3 April 2023
Next review due: 3 April 2024