What you will learn, modules, assessment methods and expected learning outcomes.

The Digital Health Leadership Programme is split into 8 modules. Module 8 runs alongside the other modules.

Module 0 - Onboarding module
Start date 5 September 2024
End date 23 September 2024
Module description This module provides the essential information to successfully study on the programme and will be supported by several live webinars.
Module 1 - Essentials of Health Systems
Start date 1 October 2024
End date 9 November 2024
Module description The health system has been defined by the World Health Organisation as ‘all the organisations, people and actions whose primary intent is to promote, restore or maintain health’.

This module aims to help you understand the building blocks of the health system, such as financing systems, human resources, information policy, service delivery, and leadership and governance. It shows how an understanding of these domains, and their interrelatedness, should inform the design of effective policies, and ensure that resources are used wisely.
Module 2 - Strategy and Transformational Change
Start date 12 November 2024
End date 21 December 2024
Module description This module aims to equip participants with the tools and techniques to implement transformational change in health and social care. As we work in a complex health and social care system; digital leaders require toolkits to assist them in implementing transformational change.

The module will also cover strategy development and financial planning, integrating learning aground project and programme management with business models, enterprise and innovation, and procurement approaches.
Module 3 - Design for Digital Transformation
Start date 2 January 2025
End date 10 February 2025
Module description Understanding the needs, expectations and experiences of healthcare users is vital if we are to effectively commission, design and deliver digital services. In this course we examine the philosophical and practical reasons for engaging and involving people in the design process and analyse the design methodologies used to ensure that products or services are usable, acceptable, effective and customer-centric.

As part of this we will review the current landscape of patient- and citizen-facing innovations and explore the emerging direction of technology and the opportunities and threats this is likely to bring. We will review evidence and experiential learning from the use of innovations such as personal health records, apps, wearables, robots and online decision support. In addition we will examine the importance of inclusive-design for avoiding the ‘digital health divide’, how to engage citizens in decisions about uses of their data, and how to achieve innovations that are ethical, engaging and even delightful.
Module 4 - Principles of Leadership
Start date 13 February 2025
End date 24 March 2025
Module description The development of effective digital health through improving efficiency, managing economic resources, maximising quality and increasing innovation is without worth if leadership in healthcare is not similarly effective.

This course is designed to develop your insights into the kind of leadership required to tackle our most vexing challenges in health care. The aim of this course is to facilitate access to what is required to exercise effective leadership and to successfully deliver reforms in healthcare on an institutional, regional, national and international stage.
Module 5 - Innovation in Healthcare
Start date 27 March 2025
End date 12 May 2025
Module description Healthcare leaders are often criticised for their inability to stimulate or comprehend innovation. This module attempts to address this gap by considering the principles of innovation in healthcare, how innovation comes about, the role of different sectors and the health policy implications of future innovation.
Module 6 - Health Information Systems
Start date 15 May 2025
End date 23 June 2025
Module description In this course, we will introduce students to theoretical frameworks for understanding digitally enabled change. The Information Infrastructures perspective helps to understand distinctive features of the contemporary health digitisation landscape. It highlights how simple, stand-alone “discrete” IT applications become knitted together into increasingly complex “systems of systems”. These Health Information Infrastructures emerge and evolve over extended periods of time, never reaching a final state. Major upgrades are extremely expensive, slow and difficult to implement.

When implementing systems, the generic options available within packaged solutions have to be matched against the specific methods and procedures of particular healthcare settings and specialties.

Benefits evolve only slowly as organisational stakeholders learn to exploit the new functionality. These features call into question many of the recipes you might find in popular change management handbooks or courses. For example, change management guidelines all agree on the importance of engaging the user – but how does this work with a project that takes many years to unfold in which staff who took part in engagement activities at the outset may have moved on by the time the change goes live?
Module 7 - Data-driven Decision Support
Start date 26 June 2025
End date 4 August 2025
Module description This module will allow students to develop expertise in identifying data sources (including electronic patient records; non-health data collected for health purposes). Students will review the different types of data available, and learn when and how to use analytical techniques.

The module will focus on cutting-edge methods and technologies that are likely to allow students to think creatively about how informatics can be used. The module will cover actionable data analytics for quality improvement, and evidence-based decision making for both clinical and non-clinical staff.
Module 8 - Leadership in Practice
Module description Throughout modules 1-7 (at the face-to-face Leadership Forums).

In the leadership in practice course, you will apply concepts, theory and frameworks you have acquire throughout the programme, harnessing the tools and means to lead transformational change in the workplace with the added dimensions of complexity, diversity and disruption inherent in digital programmes.

This module is delivered in a series of mandatory in-person sessions (leadership forums) and is complemented by resources in the online learning community.

How the modules will be assessed

The programme will be assessed through a variety of methods, including:

  • reflective journals - relating to the application of skills acquired during the programme to workplace projects
  • blog posts, press releases and videos
  • process mapping and visualisation of health service design for a range of stakeholders
  • strategy documents
  • practical exercises at leadership forums and write-ups of these exercises
  • structured essays
  • participation in group work and interactive sessions at leadership forums

Expected outcomes

The Digital Health Leadership Programme (DHLP) is an investment in the future workforce responsible for leading large scale digital change and transformation across health and social care. The academic nature of the programme provides you with a range of expected learning outcomes.

It is expected that you will apply your learning to your day-to-day practice which will have increased benefits, not just for yourselves, but for your organisation and beyond. As part of the learning agreement, you are expected to support the on-going evaluation of the DHLP so that we can better understand the short-term outcomes and longer-term impact of the programme. You may therefore be asked to engage in a range of activities during and after the programme which could include surveys, focus groups and interviews.

The table below outlines some of the expected outcomes for you, the employer organisation and the wider health and care sector.

Learner outcomes
Short-term outcomes Increased leadership skills specifically related to organisational level digital change and transformation.

Increased confidence to identify and implement digital change and transformation opportunities.

Improved person-centred approaches to digital change and transformation.
Long-term outcomes More opportunities to build networks and supportive relationships with other senior digital health leaders.

Ability to influence at multiple levels within employer organisation including at senior leaders/board level, organisational strategy, policies and procedures, teams and departments, future leaders, and wider workforce.

Improved professional development and career opportunities.
Organisation outcomes
Short-term outcomes Leaders with increased capabilities to influence and inform, strategies for organisational change and transformation through digitally enabled projects.

Leaders with increased capabilities to empower and develop the workforce with digital transformational skills.
Long-term outcomes Improved organisational culture leading to a good level of sustainable digital maturity.

Retention of senior digital leadership talent and interest in health and social care.
Wider health and care sector outcomes
Short-term outcomes Increased diversity in senior digital health leadership including specialists and generalists that can offer multi-disciplinary ways of working to deliver digital transformation. 

Increased innovation, collaboration, and shared learning across a connected cohort of digital transformation leaders. 
Long-term outcomes Ability to influence at multiple levels outside employer organisation including at national policy level, with other industries, across other organisations or integrated care boards (ICBs), external talent pool, and with future workforce.

A sustainable senior digital leadership workforce talent pipeline.

Page last reviewed: 15 March 2024
Next review due: 15 March 2025