Two years part-time

Advance standing

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Study periods

Jan, Mar, Apr, July, Aug, Oct


$2050 per unit, find out about FEE-HELP




Nursing research ranked highest possible classification in the ERA national report.

Prepare for the future of healthcare

Healthcare is Australia’s largest industry. It’s growing, but it’s also changing. We’re living longer but we also want to live better. The challenge for the health industry is in planning for, responding to and effectively managing change in a complex and busy environment.

Dr Louise Horstmanshof, Course Coordinator for the Master of Healthcare Leadership online at Southern Cross University, says ‘we’re preparing in many ways for an unknown future’.

Rather than focusing on any one health discipline, the online Master of Healthcare Leadership is designed to give you a broad, inter-disciplinary perspective on the changing face of healthcare. You might be a registered nurse with many years of experience and want to move out of direct care, or you might be from an allied health background, such as physiotherapy, osteopathy, counselling or optometry, wanting to start your own practice.

Whatever your health background, completing a Masters in healthcare leadership online gives you more flexibility, more opportunities and more transferable skills you can take with you into the future.

Dr Louise Horstmanshof

Watch Dr Horstmanshof speak about how a Master of Healthcare Leadership can help prepare you for the future of healthcare.

View Transcript

Why study a Master of Healthcare Leadership online?
The Master of Healthcare Leadership is totally online; this provides you with a one-stop-shop. That means that anywhere at anytime you can have everything at your fingertips – whether it’s access to the library, whether it’s the content for your particular unit, whether it’s access to the discussion boards where you speak with your colleagues and your peers, or whether it’s a place where you leave a message for the unit assessor or for the student learning facilitators.

How will I be assessed?
The assessments in the Master of Healthcare Leadership are many and varied. They have been designed so that they are specially tailored to the units that you are doing, and that the assessments are meaningful and would be relevant in the real world.

So for example, you might be asked to do a pitch, where you are telling people what your particular idea is for a research proposal. You might be responding to something where you have to put together a plan of action. You might be critiquing something where you have to give your opinion on how well it was done. You could also be giving your own professional healthcare portfolio – they are different, but in each case are absolutely tailored to the unit you are doing, for the purpose that you are doing it, and so that it can be fit for purpose in the real world.

Who should study the Master of Healthcare Leadership?
I think anybody who’s had experience in the healthcare industry would be suitable.

I know that, in the past, we’ve had people who’ve been obstetricians, we have a lot of nurses who do it, we’ve had occupational therapists, podiatrists – I think we might have even had a few veterinary surgeons.

This is a course that’s open for anybody who is specialising in healthcare, as it is broadly understood.

These units have been designed for people who work in healthcare and who’ve had a history in healthcare, but who are looking to take up the leadership roles for the future.

So they would be people that already have a discipline behind them, they’re already accredited in that discipline, they may already have been experiencing some of those leadership roles, they may have been showing leadership in a lot of ways, but now they will be able to be in a position where they can take up the roles officially and be paid for them, and have the title of leader in this interesting and challenging area.

What you can study

Health management courses teach you how to critically evaluate and translate the latest healthcare leadership research into clinical practice, management and leadership styles and policy. Importantly, your assessments will take inspiration from situations you’re facing every day, which means you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learnt in your workplace immediately.

You’ll assess what makes great managers and leaders. You’ll look at how internal and external environments, for example, funding cuts, internal restructure or a change in government, can impact contemporary health care delivery, and how effective, strategic management can help mitigate negative impacts. From a clinical leadership perspective, you’ll learn how to identify strengths and get the best out of your team, reflective practice and constructive feedback, and how to inspire greatness in others.

Admission requirements

To qualify for entry into the Master of Healthcare Leadership, all applicants must:

  • have successfully completed a minimum three (3) year Bachelor qualification, or equivalent, in a health related discipline;
  • provide evidence of minimum one (1) year full-time and current work experience at degree level in a health related field and/or as acceptable to the School Board;
  • be proficient in English.

Find out more about Rules Relating to Awards and Specific Award Rules.

Flexible exit options

We know that plans change. That’s why we’ve built flexible completion options into the online Master of Healthcare Leadership. This means that if you need to exit early—if home or work demand your full attention—you could still receive a postgraduate qualification based on the units you’ve completed.

Should you decide to return to your Masters at a later date, you’ll receive advanced standing towards your degree. Gaining an online Masters in healthcare is a win-win!

  • To be eligible for the award of Master of Healthcare Leadership

    You will complete all units listed in Part A; all units listed in Part B; and four (4) units from Part C.

  • To be eligible for the award of Graduate Diploma in Healthcare Leadership

    You will complete any eight (8) units.

  • To be eligible for the award of Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Leadership

    You will complete the following four (4) units: Strategic Health Management, Health Systems Polices and Practices, Principles and Practices of Clinical Accountability and Leading Change in Healthcare.

  • To be eligible for the award of Graduate Certificate in Health and Human Sciences

    You will complete any four (4) units.

Advanced standing

We calculate advanced standing by looking at your particular education and experience. However, this outline will give you a good idea of what you may receive.

  • If you have a Graduate Diploma of Advanced Health Practice, you may be granted advanced standing for up to eight units.
  • If you have a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Health Practice, you may be granted advanced standing for up to four units.

Because it is a core unit, you cannot receive advanced standing for Graduate Studies Project, even if you have done it before.

Career opportunities

Where will a healthcare management online degree take you? Where do you want to go? You’ll graduate with the skills to move into leadership and management roles in primary health care, community outreach, area health services, private practice, professional associations, hospitals, and local, state and federal policymaking agencies.

Nurse Unit Manager

You’ll lead, direct and coordinate the nursing and multi-disciplinary care team at the ward or unit level. You’ll ensure practice is safe and efficient while maintaining standards of care through continual quality improvement and staff development initiatives.

Quality and Clinical Governance Manager

Your leadership of the accreditation cycle will ensure excellent clinical and corporate service delivery. Your day-to-day will involve incident and complaints management processes and you’ll support service improvement and risk management for the whole facility.

Program Manager

As a qualified clinician with program management experience, you’ll be responsible for delivering training and high level strategic and operational management of a multi-disciplinary team.

Chief Executive

You’ll be an ambassador for the organisation, providing inspirational leadership coupled with clear vision and commitment, ultimately driving your health facility/service through future phases of development.

Care Manager

Reporting to the Facility Manager, you’ll be responsible for clinical leadership of a multi-disciplinary team of staff working in multi-bed community care facilities. Your leadership skills will help you confidently deliver quality service and continuous improvement.

Practice Owner

This is a wide-ranging position that encompasses everything from significant business development planning down to basic day-to-day duties. Your leadership expertise will help you inspire innovation and shape your dynamic medical practice.

Student Testimonial

There were other universities that offered courses around nursing leadership and nursing health management, but SCU Online’s course was the only one that offered the interdisciplinary approach I was looking for. This focus is the way of the future in terms of working together as a team to provide the best practice, and the best consumer outcomes.

Belynda Abbott, Master of Healthcare Leadership graduate

Learning with Southern Cross University Online

Southern Cross University’s online courses fit around your work and your lifestyle. The Master of Healthcare Leadership online units are delivered by tech-savvy academics via a fresh, smart, collaborative and interactive interface.

  • 100% online and flexible – complete six units a year, or skip a study period if life or work demands your full attention.
  • Student success support – from enquiry to graduation, we are there for you.
  • Networked for success – meet your future colleagues and collaborators.

Find out more about studying online by reading our FAQ or chatting to us via live chat down the bottom right of the window.

This information is correct at time of release and subject to change without notice. Copyright Southern Cross University September 2016.