Professional course - distance learning Contemporary Leadership in Rehabilitation

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
School of Health and Social Wellbeing
Course Director
Jacqueline Mullan

30 credit Masters level module

Page last updated 4 October 2021


On successful completion of this distance learning module, you will be able to:

  • Critically examine contemporary leadership approaches and expectations within rehabilitation.
  • Critically evaluate your role and attributes as a leader and explore strategies and tools to develop further.
  • Critically evaluate and explore aspects of the leadership process including issues of aligning leadership focus with local/national drivers, negotiating support for change and leading by example.
  • Design, execute and critically evaluate a change initiative based on service need and contemporary drivers.

Careers / Further study

This module can contribute towards the MSc Rehabilitation.



The module topics will be informed by current evidence and drivers in relation to leadership and change in healthcare and rehabilitation.

Key areas that will be addressed include:

Context of leadership

  • Contemporary leadership styles and thinking
  • Local and national drivers for leadership and change
  • Aligning your leadership and change initiatives with contemporary agendas and priorities.
  • Challenges of leadership in healthcare
  • Current national and local toolkits and resources for leadership and change

You as a leader

  • Leadership style, strengths and weaknesses
  • Self-development, resilience, support of self and others as a leader
  • What does successful leadership mean to you?
  • Sustainable leadership - understanding leadership agendas and priorities and what is achievable and most worthy of time and resource investment.
  • Identifying your future specific leadership learning/CPD priorities

Leadership in practice - key principles

  • Identifying leadership challenges within your context
  • How to increase the chance of success in a change initiative
  • Designing and implementing a change innovation or service improvement
  • Writing a business case and getting support within your organisation
  • Change models - e.g. PDSA (plan, do, study, act), NHS change model
  • Demonstration of outcomes and reflection on self in leadership role

Learning and Teaching

This distance learning module uses a distance learning approach utilising asynchronous online activities including lectures, podcasts, reading, videos and synchronous tutorials (online discussions). Progress through the module is managed through time dependent release of online resources to ensure structured progression through the learning materials and the synchronous activities promote development of the student-tutor relationship and encourage a cohort identity in addition to supporting core learning. Approximately 60 hours of independent study (e.g. online lectures, seminars, reading etc.) are delivered via Blackboard.

Teaching is delivered in the format of three online lectures delivered as video capture to introduce the three main sections of the module. Associated with these will be examples of contemporary considerations, opportunities and challenges of leadership in today's rehabilitation settings. Theoretical and pragmatic issues will be integrated to provide an overview of the multiple concepts requiring exploration.

Podcasts/webinars/video conferencing will be used to enable engagement with the learning and discussions and as an opportunity for you to explore your progress with your change initiative, receive formative tutor and peer feedback, and prepare for the assessment requirements.

Scheduled learning includes tutorials and synchronous online activities.

Independent learning includes hours engaged with online lectures, seminars and tasks, essential reading, change initiative preparation, assignment preparation and completion, online tasks etc.

Study time

The module will be delivered as a distance learning module. The majority of the module is based on self-directed learning using a range of online resources, directed reading, independent reading and discussion forums. A small number of contact hours (typically up to 4 hours) will be scheduled during the module for tutor support (typically up to 2 hours) and time-bound online group discussion.


In leadership change processes, putting a case, defending it to others, and getting buy in is often required, hence the defended poster presentation in component A. Evaluating, reflecting and learning from ones experiences and applying to the next is vital hence component B.

The summative assessment allows you to present the planning, design, execution and evaluation of a change initiative within the challenges of contemporary practice.

Component A
The poster presentation will be via an electronic poster template and may be carried out in person or via virtual means. The defended poster format will provide subsequent potential opportunity for the presentation of a leadership initiative at a conference thus encouraging dissemination of the findings. The 20 minute poster presentation would be a 10 minute presentation with 10 minutes to defend via questions. This would mirror the timings of many conference proceedings.

Component B
The 3000 word critically reflective essay will enable you to evaluate your role as a leader in change by contextualising your reflections with leadership theory and practice, national/local drivers of leadership and the opportunities and challenges that have presented through the change initiative. It will help you to identify ongoing learning needs thus sustaining the leadership Continuing Professional Development journey.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

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How to apply

How to apply

You are required to apply online for your CPD modules, which you can take as stand-alone courses or as part of an undergraduate or postgraduate (Masters level) programme.

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