HP4D1E      Half Unit
Introduction to Management in Health Care

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Brittany Jones NAB 4.04


This course is compulsory on the Executive MSc in Health Economics, Policy and Management. This course is available on the Executive MSc in Health Economics, Outcomes and Management in Cardiovascular Sciences. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The course aims to introduce students to the main principles of management and strategy and related issues that impact on organisational change, group decision making, innovation and leadership. Key models and academic tools will be presented and their application to real world situations discussed. The course aims to give students a strong academic understanding and also enable them to apply this knowledge to their practice. 

The course outline is below

1. Strategy and Managerial Work

In this session, we will explore the development of the modern practice of ‘strategy’ and what it means today. Along the way, we will show how organisational practices like planning met emerging ideas in academia, especially in economics, to develop new tools and ways of thinking that transformed the practice of management in the late 20th century. The development of strategic management and planning tools and the competitive environment in which they emerged will be discussed and the application of these tools will be examined in competitive markets.

2. Innovation Management

This part of the course will introduce the topic of innovation management. In particular, it introduces participants to the conceptualization of innovation as a means to affect the competitive process. Participants will be introduced to the basics of the competitive process and the effect of innovation on the competitive process. Participants will be active in analysing the competitive process surrounding their organization and the competitive position their organization occupies within it and activities will be used to promote thinking about how innovations, small or large, can defend and/or improve their competitive position.

3. How Individuals and Groups Organise and Make Decisions and Take Risk

This part of the course will introduce issues related to working as individuals within an organisation and as a group. It will look at the “benefits” and “harms” of group decision making processes – especially with reference to health care where collaborative multi-disciplinary teams are commonplace – and also discuss how group decisions making can be undermined by systematic biases.

4. Behaviour Change and Social Marketing

This part of the course will introduce the drivers and mechanisms of behaviour change in organisations. In particular, we will discuss how different organizational-level factors may influence behaviour change, including resistance to change from various levels and sustainability of changes across time, and how organizational behaviour change can be measured. Models of organisational behaviour change will be introduced and the principles of managing and leading change in established systems will be discussed with a focus on the stages of planning and implementation of change. Alongside this appropriate tools and resources will be introduced to aid future organisational changes. The coverage of social marketing will deal with the formulation and execution of strategies designed to influence behaviour change amongst groups at risk of cardiovascular disease.

5. Culture and Leadership

This part of the course will explore the definition of culture within organisations and leaders’ role in creating and supporting successful teams. Key components of leadership, like the ability to establish direction and motivate and inspire a workforce as well as handle relationships with external stakeholders, will then be introduced with a consideration of how they affect culture and working practices.


This course will be delivered as a combination lectures and seminars, totalling a minimum of 25 hours. During the course students will also undertake a writing seminar series covering critical reading and writing skills for effective management communication. 

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay.

The formative assessment is a 500 word outline of the summative assessment essay question. 

Indicative reading

Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B. and Lampel, J. (2008). Strategy Safari: The Complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management (Second Edition). Prentice-Hall. Chapters 1 and 4

Whittington, R. (2000).  What is Strategy—and Does it Matter? (Second Edition) Thomson International. Chapters 1, 2 and 4

Barney, J. 1995. Looking Inside for Competitive Advantage. The Academy of Management Executive. 9(4): 49-61.

Christensen, C.M., Raynor, M.E., McDonald, R. 2015. What Is Disruptive Innovation? Harvard Business Review. December Issue (available online athttps://hbr.org/2015/12/what-is-disruptive-innovation)


Essay (100%, 3000 words).

The course will be assessed on the basis of a 3000 word essay on a specific topic. In writing this essay, students will be able to demonstrate and synthesise what they have learned from the lectures, reading material, group discussions and their own independent research and thinking. The content of the assessments will lead on from the simulation exercises that have been used in the seminars and students will be encouraged to use topics they have identified during reflections on their own work.

Formative assessment will be based on a 500 word outline of the essay. This will give students an opportunity to develop their thoughts ahead of the summative assessment and will allow feedback from course teachers that will guide students when they work on their longer answers.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Health Policy

Total students 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness