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Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Leadership


This postgraduate certificate course is targeted at doctors and other clinicians, working both in primary care and in acute services. It offers development in aspects of leadership relevant to you as a clinician working on the ward or in the clinic, so that you can play a fuller role in improving health service quality and discuss performance issues and potential innovations effectively with managerial colleagues. Studying for this postgraduate certificate will deepen your understanding of service performance and clinical team-working. This qualification requires developing detailed improvement plans for the service you are working in.

This postgraduate certificate course is relevant to clinicians at any stage in their post-qualification career. If you are in formal charge of a clinic or practice, you can use your studies to demonstrate and deepen your leadership competence. If you are in a more junior clinical role, you can use your certificate studies to explore leadership opportunities available to you in your current role, demonstrating knowledge and competence needed to a build your promotion case.

The certificate is commenced by study of a series of short tailored distance learning courses, each requiring only 25 or 50 hours of study. When you have several of these courses, you can use them within the framework of an assessment module, which on successful completion will give you 30 credits at postgraduate level. You can then go on to study a further 30-credit postgraduate module. Successful completion of the two modules will enable you to achieve the Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Leadership.

Each CPD course can be studied and completed within 8 to 12 weeks. There are two opportunities a year to register for the assessment module. 

Planning your studies

You will need to register separately for each continuing professional development (CPD) course and the two modules Continuing professional development in practice (clinical leadership) (UYC810) and Improving your practice (BYC834). The CPD courses and two credit-bearing modules are all individually priced.

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 20 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Career relevance and employability

The modules meet the quality improvement agenda and relate to the medical leadership competency framework.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.


For this postgraduate certificate you require 30 credits from the following compulsory module:

Postgraduate compulsory modules Credits Next start
Continuing professional development practice  (UYC810)
30 To be confirmed
Improving your practice (BYC834)
30 To be confirmed

To successfully achieve UYC810, you need to complete the following:

100 study hours from the following compulsory CPD courses:

Plus one of the following 50-hour CPD courses:

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.

Credit for previous study elsewhere

For this qualification, we do not allow you to count credit for study you have already done elsewhere. You may be able to count some appropriate CPD study from the OU or elsewhere towards the requirements for UYC810.

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Leadership entitling you to use the letters PG Cert Clin Lds (Open) after your name.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.

How to register

If you want to study for this qualification, read the description and check you meet any specific requirements (for example, some of our qualifications, require you to be working in a particular environment, or be sponsored by your employer). Then select the module you wish to study first and ensure it is suitable for you before following the registration procedure for that module. During the registration procedure you will be asked to declare which qualification you are studying towards.

See a full list of modules available for this qualification

About this Certificate
Code K04
Level Postgraduate
Made up of 60 credits

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