MSc Strategic Leadership (Health and Social Care)

The Strategic Leadership (Health and Social Care) is an innovative Masters course that caters for the educational needs of those in, or aspiring to be in leadership roles, with a distinct focus on leadership in challenging arenas.

Available to study on a part time or full time basis, this postgraduate qualification will develop effective, dynamic and creative leaders, in health and social care, as well as critical thinking practitioners who have the ability, knowledge and practical skills to influence at a local and strategic level. With this in mind, it includes one module on the 7 Questions, a decision-making tool widely used within the British Armed Forces to formulate a plan.

With its flexible delivery and multidisciplinary approach, the MSc Strategic Leadership programme will appeal to those working in professional organisations such as the NHS, Defence Medical Services and the third, public and private sector who wish to improve their competence and practice in readiness for operational and strategic leadership roles. 

There are three exit points, so you can study for a Postgraduate Certificate; Postgraduate Diploma or the full Masters qualification in Strategic Leadership.

2020/21 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 3 Years February Newport City C
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 3 Years February Newport City C

Stage One: Postgraduate Certificate Strategic Leadership

Strategic Systems Thinking (20 credits)
This module is a critical review of practices involved in the formulation and implementation of strategy. This module, however, takes the discussion of strategy formulation and implementation beyond a simplistic application and considers the social systems that inform and enable effective decision-making.

Psychology Applied to the Workplace (20 credits)
To develop learners’ understanding of the historical underpinnings and core areas of psychology relevant to application in working environments.

Leaders and Followers: Contemporary Critical Perspectives in Practice (20 credits)
Often people are placed in leadership roles and inherently believe that their teams will follow them due to their title and not the substance of their character. Leadership is as much about being the person that people want to follow as it is about knowing where the team is headed.

Stage Two: Postgraduate Diploma Strategic Leadership

Coaching for Executive Leadership and Management (20 credits)
To develop knowledge and skills for effective coaching in support of executive leadership and management development.

Strategic Planning and Decision Making - 7 Questions (20 credits)
Defining and exploring the theories and principles of planning and decision making. Interpretation of management information and intelligence data. Problem solving, decision making and planning approach using the “7 Questions” which is a tool used by the British Military to ensure that all the facts surrounding any decision are explored before a decision is made on the course of action to be followed.

Leading Organisational Culture and Change (20 credits)
To develop learners’ knowledge and understanding of the psychology of organisational culture, climate and change management. To provide opportunities to apply knowledge and understanding of the module content to experiences of organisational culture, and organisational change

Stage Three: MSc Strategic Leadership

Research Methods (20 credits)
Develop the learner's understanding and skills of research in a management and/or professional development context.

Open Module (40 credits)
To support negotiated learning activities to facilitate the student to meet their individual learning needs through a process of tutorial and independent study and concurrent use of the framework supporting the IQT Silver Award (1000 Lives Improvement 2015).


With topics such as intelligence preparation for the environment; psychological theory and applications in the workplace; managing organisational culture and change; critical reflection in the workplace and research methods, the MSc Strategic Leadership is designed for those who are leaders and those aspiring to be so.

The strategic leadership course is available to study on a full or part-time basis and is delivered by block teaching on or over the weekend with approximately five days contact time per module.

Teaching is provided through a balanced mix of lectures, tutorials and scenario based learning/practical sessions. The course will utilise Blackboard virtual learning environment. Blackboard provides an opportunity for learning to be supported on-line with discussion forums and email groups. These methods are used to supplement contact and support from course tutors and provide an innovative way for the delivery of the course to professionals.

There are three exit points - Postgraduate Certificate; Postgraduate Diploma or the full MSc Strategic Leadership.

  • PG Cert exit point - after successful completion of three 20-credit Level 7 modules totalling 60 credits
  • PG Dip exit point after successful completion of six 20-credit Level 7 modules totalling 120 credits
  • MSc - After successful completion of 180 credits of Level 7 modules


Assessment will be driven by the specific learning outcomes of individual modules. Methods employed may include online discussions and reflection upon discussion threads, essays, reports, presentations, and portfolios.

Each assessment component within modules will permit development and demonstration of intellectual skills, and this will be one of the assessment criteria. Evidence of assimilation of conceptual elements of the course will be sought and a balance achieved between practical relevance and the ability to critically reflect on course materials and the wider leadership environment. The research module will be assessed via a summative assessment. The third year (MSc) will require completion of a project.

Admission to the course is typically through the following qualifications:

  • A good Honours degree (2:2 or above) in a relevant discipline
  • Relevant professional qualification 

Those without such qualifications will be considered on an individual basis, where appropriate experience is taken into account. All applicants will be interviewed under these circumstances. 

Ex-armed forces personnel can earn up to two thirds of a masters degree at USW, based on the training and knowledge they acquired while serving. More details on our Armed Forces scheme.

International Entry Requirements

The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2019 - July 2020 Fees

  • Part-time UK and EU:  £1000 per 20 credits

August 2020 - July 2021 Fees

  • Part-time UK and EU:  £1000 per 20 credits

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

Please register and apply directly to the University for this course.

Admissions statement.


The MSc Strategic Leadership course will equip students with a range of knowledge and transferable skills that will benefit any modern/future working environment, thus improving quality of service. Graduates of this course will, with continued practitioner experience, become more skilled in strategic leadership techniques and have opportunities to tailor their practice to their professional requirements with special interest and enhanced skills.

There is currently significant demand for professional development in the area of Strategic Leadership and this field is moving toward the postgraduate arena in order to ensure that the body of academic knowledge and skill-base increases. It is anticipated that students who enrol onto the MSc will complete the course of study. However, it is recognised that some practitioners may already hold a Level 7 qualification and may wish to exit with a Postgraduate Certificate/Postgraduate Diploma award which may be attractive to present and future employers.