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MBA Health Executive

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  • Objectives
    The MBA (Health Executive) programme, established in 1986, was the first of its kind in Europe. It provides senior managers, policy-makers and professionals concerned with health and healthcare with a top-level qualification which enhances both career and intellectual approach to the subject. The MBA offers an advanced scheme of study involving knowledge, skills and techniques which can variously be applied to any health services agency or health-related organisation in the public or private sector. Recent graduates are Chief Executives in the NHS (and overseas), board level directors of hospitals and health authorities and in primary care organisations and senior doctors and nurses. The MBA is both a professional qualification and contributor to generic skills in health policy and management. It provides the traditional MBA options and core courses with an innovative approach to developing health and healthcare agendas.
  • Entry requirements
    A degree at (upper second) honours or equivalent; and/or appropriate professional and/or work experience. (Normally a minimum of five years in health services or health related employment.)
  • Academic Title
    MBA Health Executive
  • Course description
    Part-Time study


    Based at Keele University in Staffordshire, the Centre is specifically concerned with the planning and management of health services. Created in 1986, it is acknowledged as an important research and development centre and a major provider of innovative postgraduate teaching. The research and development activities of the Centre operate under three broad categories: Health Policy, Health Services Management and Health Services Research. The teaching programmes focus on strengthening the managerial capacity and sensitivity to policy of health service personnel, both in the UK and internationally.

    In all areas of work, the Centre has established a proven track record of quality and innovation. Its achievements have earned the Centre a well-deserved reputation for its significant contribution to understanding contemporary issues and for the quality of its publications. Building on its success, the Centre is continually developing further areas of excellence in order to enhance the relevance and effectiveness of its activities.

    Course participants will:

    • Acquire a solid grounding in the corpus of management related subjects
    • Develop a range of analytical problem-solving and decision-making skills
    • Extend existing interpersonal skills
    • Gain new knowledge and insights into the nature of the health policy-making process
    • Appreciate more fully the social, economic and political environment in which their organisation operates
    • Be equipped with a wider and deeper understanding of the strategic challenges facing the health sector, in order to manage them better
    • Enhance career potential and capacity for lifetime self-learning and self-development

    Course Structure and Content

    The MBA comprises 8 taught modules (each of 20 credits) plus a research project leading to the writing and submission of a dissertation (60 credits). The taught element of the programme is spread over 2 years. The teaching for each module lasts one week with a further 6 weeks allowed for submission of the written assignment. The whole programme, including the dissertation, normally takes years.

    Course Modules

    The 8 taught modules are as follows:

    Health Economics and Management – The aim of this module will be to familiarise candidates with the key analytical concepts and
    methodologies of health economics, in order to increase their capabilities in applying these to the planning and management of
    health services.
    Health Policy and Strategy – This module aims to provide a synthesis of policy and management objectives, skills and techniques
    to expose candidates to opportunities and issues in the process of policy formulation, implementation and review.
    • Management Science – The module aims to develop a numerate approach to the challenge and practice of management, by means
    of both well tried and experimental techniques and the concepts of statistics, operations research and computing.
    • Management of Human Resources – This module aims to increase the candidate’s understanding of, and ability to manage, the human
    aspects of the healthcare business.
    Health Services Customer Relations and Marketing – The perspective is a practical one, in which customer relations and marketing are
    considered to be integral parts of a manager’s responsibilities, whether in the public or private sectors of the healthcare industry.
    • Accounting and Financial Management – The objective of this module is to provide candidates with an appreciation of the nature
    and analysis of budgets, costs, and activities, and an understanding of resource management and financial information systems in the
    health sector.
    • Comparative Healthcare – One week is given over to a study visit to a chosen country, to allow critical comparison of key issues with Britain.
    • Operations Management – This module provides insight into the major requirements to be met in the design, planning, operation
    and control of hospitals and community health services.


    Assessment is by assignment and a research project leading to a dissertation. Each of the 8 modules are assessed by assignment (around 3,000 words) which is a role-playing exercise in which participants are asked to critically apply theoretical concepts to a real-life situation and to assess the value of so doing.

    The research project is an important and challenging culmination of the MBA Programme. It involves the formulation, conduct and presentation of an independent investigation of a health management issue within the candidate’s employment and one that simultaneously provides ample scope for integrating the curriculum content of the programme and the key health service management issues of the day. This interplay between theory and practice, evident in all aspects of the programme, is perhaps most visible in this final phase. The outcome of the research activity is the submission of a dissertation of 15,000 words. It is intended that the dissertation should be viewed by the employing organisation as an important piece of internal consultancy work. The dissertation marking uses the same banding as for the assignments. It is judged by two internal markers, neither of whom will be the participant’s supervisor. The pass mark for the dissertation is 50%. The External Examiner again validates the marking profile.

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