Leading healthcare improvements will assist you to investigate change in your local practice setting and to develop your leadership skills in relation to policy, innovation and service improvement. This is achieved by studying concepts taught through the study materials (an understanding of leadership, policy and innovation), exploring your local practice (to gain new insights), and discussion with your tutor and study group peers (thinking as a leader). The course represents a guided enquiry into what leadership might achieve locally and the ways in which you might develop your potential as a change agent.
|About this course:|
|Course work includes:|
|4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)|
|No residential school|
This course is available for study in the countries shown. Fees and financial support may vary by country.
The course is divided into four blocks through which you explore a chosen area of practice that is amenable to policy review, practice innovation and change agency. For example, you might examine patient rehabilitation, liaison with social care agencies or in-house staff development, and explore the nature of policy, innovation and change agency in your chosen area. It is acknowledged that ‘practice’ will reflect the nature of your work, be it clinical, management, education, health promotion, technical, research or something else health-related.
Your studies will begin with a short block introducing the part played by improvement in healthcare. An understanding of change and the ways this can be harnessed to enhance healthcare is at the heart of what you do as a practitioner. You will view change in different ways through professional values, reflection on past experience and with regard to what stakeholders in healthcare aspire to. Improvement is therefore defined with reference to a range of considerations.
In Block 2 you will begin an exploration of what it is to be a leader in healthcare. Focusing on your chosen area of practice, you are assisted to review theories of leadership and evaluate their strengths and limitations. You then consider the way in which modern healthcare can be led by individuals who develop a clear vision for the future, and who make selective use of different ‘intelligences’: those associated with practice improvement, working with others, influencing the direction of work and working with your values and beliefs about best practice. Change agency skills are introduced that can be used to advance healthcare projects in your area of work.
Block 3 looks at policy and its implementation. A great deal of leadership is associated with the implementation of policy – national, regional or local (which you may have played a part in developing). You will examine what drives policy and the agendas that it might serve, and then explore the policy–practice interface where different demands compete for the commitment of leaders and followers alike. You also examine factors that help to advance policy and improve its implementation, and the different ways in which practitioners may interpret, as well as deliver, a particular policy.
In Block 4 you explore the opportunities for innovation that may then exist in your workplace. Innovation is in many regards the ultimate change and the greatest opportunity for leaders to improve healthcare. You will study what constitutes an innovation, how innovations are shaped by the circumstances in which they evolve and how we might assess whether an environment is ready for innovation. You explore some of the methods that can be used to innovate and determine which of these fit best in particular circumstances.
On successful completion of this course you will:
Entry is open to registered healthcare professionals who have current access to a practice environment and have successfully completed a bachelors degree in a relevant subject. Your professional registration will be with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Health Professions Council or the General Medical or Dental Council. You may present evidence of equivalent registration (with English translation) if working and studying abroad.
If you do not hold a professional healthcare qualification, but have completed a relevant degree and work in a health or social care environment to the furtherance of patients’ health you are invited to present a case for non-standard admission. You will need to demonstrate that you are able to make a strategic contribution to healthcare practice, have regular access to practice and are ready to work with the tenets of reasoning and reflection appropriate to a postgraduate qualification with scientific underpinnings. Successful non-standard applicants have included practice managers, project leaders in healthcare charities and those involved in health promotion. If you do not hold a bachelors degree, but can provide evidence of healthcare achievements, such as publications, successful completion of modules at higher education level 3 (level 6 on the Credit and Qualifications Framework in Wales or levels 9/10 on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework) or other evidence of healthcare leadership and innovation, your application will be considered by the Advancing Healthcare Practice qualifications team. An exploratory assignment may be used to test your ability to reason at an appropriate level.
You do need to have a reasonable standard of spoken and written English to study successfully with us. Poor language skills will make study more difficult, and it will take longer. The normal requirements for English language skills are explained on our website. If you have any doubts about whether your level of English is good enough for you to study this course you may find it helpful to look at our Skills for OU Study site.
Please note that you will need to spend approximately 11 hours a week on your studies over one calendar year. You are strongly advised not to undertake this course alongside other substantive part-time study.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.
No assumptions are made regarding your understanding of healthcare leadership, change and innovation. It will be useful though to begin a reflective diary identifying changes associated with your work that may have been viewed as improvements. Sensitising yourself in this way will help you to explore concepts more fully in the course. The following texts are useful preliminary reading:
K827 is a compulsory module in our:
K827 is an optional module in our:
Some postgraduate qualifications allow study to be chosen from other subject areas. We advise you to refer to the relevant qualification descriptions for information on the circumstances in which this module can count towards these qualifications because from time to time the structure and requirements may change.
Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with our Student Registration & Enquiry Service before registering.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.
Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader and scientific, foreign language and diagrammatic materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. Alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.
Part of this course is delivered through a website providing resources and including the use of online activities. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet and have concerns about accessing this type of material you are advised to talk to the Student Registration Enquiry Service about support which can be given to meet your needs.
If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:
You will receive a module guide and a printed companion guide. You will have access to a dedicated website through which teaching and Library resources will be available. Electronic versions of most of the printed study materials are provided on the website.
You will need a computer with internet access to study this course as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.
You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.
You are assigned a tutor who will help facilitate your study of the course and answer queries relating to your reading and local practice observations. Your tutor is accessible by email and telephone and through the tutor group forums associated with this course. Your tutor can be regarded as an ‘investigative companion’ as you explore leadership skills in healthcare, those linked to policy and innovation, as well as to practice in general. Regular contact with your tutor will help sustain study and increase the chances that you address the assessments in an appropriate way.
Your tutor will lead a series of one-hour telephone tutorials. Each tutorial focuses on a unit-specific topic and is designed to deepen your understanding of key concepts within the course. You will have a tutor group forum which will provide opportunities for you and your tutor group colleagues to discuss course study issues, drawing on the guidance of your tutor. It is a good place to explore assignment preparation and to compare notes on concepts applied to practice.
There will also be a course-wide forum which will enable you to take part in the exploration of course subject matter as it is discussed in the media. Leadership, change, innovation and policy all frequently feature in media discussion and debate, so here you will be directed to valuable additional contemporary resources and have the opportunity to discuss these with all students registered on K827. Using this resource will deepen your appreciation of leadership concepts in practice and associated issues.
Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.
The assessment details can be found in the facts box above.
You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.
The assessment is by coursework. All coursework will closely reflect your observations and discussions in practice, making it essential that you have access to a healthcare practice environment throughout the entire duration of this course. This required access may be associated with full or part-time work, or through regular work as a volunteer. You are not required to negotiate a practice assessor.
The details given here are for the course that starts in October 2013. We expect it to be available once a year.
Students who studied this course also studied at some time:
To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.
The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.
For more information about distance learning at the OU read Study explained.
|About this course:|
|Course work includes:|
|4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)|
|No residential school|
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