Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module NHS-4380:
Leadership in Context

Module Facts

Run by School of Health Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr David Evans

Overall aims and purpose

This module explores the processes involved in leading and facilitating the implementation of change in health and social care.

Effective leadership is essential in health and social care to optimise organisational performance and quality of patient care.

Drawing on a range of theory and evidence, the module also examines the role of the organisation and wider context, as well as inter-professional teams in shaping how improvement and innovation is, or can be facilitated.

Overall, this module provides students with the opportunity to identify, apply and critically evaluate strategies and interventions to support improvements in the quality of health and social care.

Face to face session will be delivered where possible, but replaced by online sessions if Covid-19 requirements demand it.

Course content

The module will provide students with the opportunity to critically evaluate the organisation and wider contexts for improving quality in health and social care context from different theoretical and methodological perspectives.

The module content also provides students with the opportunity to identify, apply and critically evaluate strategies and interventions to support improvements in the quality of health and social care.

Through the use of action learning, students will be encouraged to reflect and learn from their own leadership challenges and facilitation skills employed in their professional work.

Topics may include:

  • The use of theory and research from different professional fields and disciplines in the designing and facilitating improvements in health and social care settings.
  • Examine evidence and evaluate leadership and management concepts and practice.
  • Explore & evaluate the role of culture, value and beliefs in organisations including their role is securing change & improvement
  • Examine the multiple perspectives in assessing and evaluating quality improvement and change, including how quality and risk are assessed and improvement measured
  • Identify organisational characteristics and factors influential to addressing the issues of risk and quality
  • The importance and role of multi-disciplinary and inter-professional teams
  • Examine the strategic environment including the role of regulation, legislation and policy.

Assessment Criteria


Threshold C grade, minimum 50% (pass)

  • Demonstrate knowledge of key areas/principles.
  • Have some, if only limited, evidence of background study.
  • Be focused on the question (assessment brief) with only some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure
  • Attempt to present relevant and logical arguments.
  • Not contain a large number of factual/computational errors.
  • Describe major links between topics.
  • Attempt to analyse and/or explain problems.
  • Be free of major weaknesses in presentation and accuracy.


Good B grade, minimum 60% (merit)

  • Demonstrate strong knowledge and understanding of most of the subject area.
  • Demonstrate evidence of background study.
  • Be well structured and focused.
  • Contain coherently presented arguments.
  • Be mostly free of factual/computational errors.
  • Include some elements of original interpretation.
  • Describe well known links between topics.
  • Analyse and/or explain problems using existing methods/approaches
  • Be presented to high standards with accurate communication.


Excellent A grade, minimum 70% (Distinction)

  • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and detailed understanding of the subject area.
  • Demonstrate extensive background study.
  • Be well structured and highly focused.
  • Contain logically presented and defended arguments.
  • Be free of factual/computational errors.
  • Include significant elements of original interpretation.
  • Demonstrate an ability to identify, develop and present new links between topics.
  • Include new approaches to analysing and/or explaining a problem.
  • Be presented to very high standards with very accurate communication.

Learning outcomes

  1. Analyse and critically discuss the contribution of a range of disciplines to the theory and practice of leading quality improvements in order for the student to be able to select the most appropriate tools to achieve improvement outcomes

  2. Explore and critically review the management of change process involved in the delivery of improvements in order for the student to be able to lead change in the most appropriate manner and to realise the benefits from improvement

  3. Review and critically evaluate techniques & tools employed in the process of leading quality and improvement in health and social care

  4. Critically examine the student's own role, the role of other individuals, the organisation and wider context in shaping quality improvement in order to lead effectively and deliver quality improvements in service delivery

  5. Evaluate the application of theory to demonstrate the practical skills necessary to lead the engagement of a multidisciplinary team in the improvement of health and social care in order for the student to have an understanding of the risks and risk management required to deliver effective, efficient and acceptable quality improvements

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment, including essay Critical analysis of leading change

A critical analysis of leadership in healthcare organisations in practice and the impact on quality improvement. Your assignment will:

  • consider, and demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and detailed understanding of the leadership literature.
  • apply your understanding of leadership theories to a real example, or case study of improvement within a health or social care organisation in order to account for the success (or failure) of the project.
  • critically interpret the literature, research and practice in order to present your own argument for what is important in leadership and quality improvement.

A critical reflection of the approaches to leading improvement in practice. The presentation should:

  • identify an example of quality improvement in practice and provide an overview of what happened and clearly identify the change intended to be delivered
  • identify and critically review the improvement methodology used
  • Critically review how the role of the team impacted on the leadership and improvement approach
  • Identify and discuss the facilitators and barriers to leading quality improvements in organisations
  • Critically appraise the literature and the application of this theory in your example.

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Lectures – class based and on-line for example, Panoptos

Face to face session may move to online groups if the Covid-19 regulations require

Study group

Individual and group presentations based on lectures and directed study group activities. Class based and on-line for example, via the VLE facility

Group Project

Action Learning. Use of ITC to support group interaction e.g. blogs, on-line activities and discussion

Individual Project

Individual and group presentations based on lectures and directed study

Private study

Additional reading to support ALS Use of ITC e.g. blogs to develop arguments around specific course content


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Retrieve, source and select information including digital Information regarding health leadership from a variety of health or social care sources.
  • Critically appraise and interpret policies and legislative documents relevant to health leadership.
  • Manage complex issues in an organised and creative manner, make justifiable judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate conclusions clearly to health and social care colleagues


Resource implications for students

Students will need access to the internet and to information and communication technology Study materials will be made available through the programme black board site, directly the module team or via Bangor University library.

Reading list


Northouse, P. (2018). Introduction to leadership Concepts and Practice (4th ed). SAGE Publications

Storey, J., & Holti, R. (2013). Towards a New Model of Leadership for the NHS. Retrieved from

West, M., Armit, K., Loewenthal, L., Eckert, R., West, T., & Lee, A. (2015). Leadership and Leadership Development in Health Care: The Evidence Base. The Kings Fund, 1–36.

Yukl, G. (1999). An evaluation of conceptual weaknesses in transformational and charismatic leadership theories. Leadership Quarterly, 10(2), 285–305.

Stirk, S. and Sanderson, H. (2012) Creating person-centred organisations: strategies and tools for managing change in health, social care and the voluntary sector. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Hewitt-Taylor, J. (2013) Understanding and managing change in healthcare: a step by step guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Kotter J. P. (2012). Leading change. Boston: Harvard Business



Adair, J. (1997). Decision Making and Problem Solving. London: Institute of Personnel and Development.

Bass, B. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York: Free Press.

Bennis, W., & Nanus, B. (1985). Leaders Strategies for Taking Charge.

Blake, R; Moulton, J. (1964). The Managerial Grid. Houston: Gulf.

Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. Harper & Row.

Carlyle, T. (1841). On heroes and hero worship and heroic in history. Boston MA: Adams.

Charlesworth, K., Maggie Jamieson, C., Professor Rachel Davey, A., & Colin Butler, D. D. (2016). Transformational change in healthcare: an examination of four case studies.

Collins, J. (2001). Good to Great : Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don t. Harper Collins.

Daft, R. (2016). Management (12th ed). Retrieved from

Davidoff, F., Dixon-Woods, M., Leviton, L., & Michie, S. (2015). Demystifying theory and its use in improvement. BMJ Quality and Safety, 24(3), 228–238.

Fayol, H. (1925). General and Industrial Management. London: Pitman and Sons.

Fielder, F. (1967). A theory of leadership effectiveness. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Goetsch, D Davis, S. (2013). Quality Management for Organizational Excellence: Introduction to Total Quality. Retrieved from

Greenleaf, R. K. (1977). Servant leadership : a journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness /. Paulist Press.

Hersey, P; Blanchard, K. (1969). Life-cycle theory of leadership. Training and Development Journal, 23(5), 26–34.

James, W. (1890). The principles of psychology. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Johnson, G. (1992). Managing strategic change- strategy, culture and action. Long Range Planning, 25(1), 28–36.

Lewin, K. (1951). Field Theory in Social Sciences. New York: Harper & Row.

Lowe, K. B., Kroeck, K. G., & Sivasubramaniam, N. (1996). Effectiveness correlates of transformational and transactional leadership: A meta-analytic review of the mlq literature. Leadership Quarterly, 7(3), 385–425.

Mannion, R., & Davies, H. (2018). Understanding organisational culture for healthcare quality improvement. BMJ (Online), 363(November), 1–5.

Marquis, B; Hutson, L. (2012). Leadership and Management Function (Vol. 53).

McGergor, D. (1960). The human side of enterprise. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Rosener, J. B. (2011). America’s Competitive Secret: Women Managers. In America’s Competitive Secret: Women Managers.

Schein, E. H. (1985). Organizational culture and leadership (1st ed). San Francisco : Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Spencer, H. (1873). Principles of Sociology. New York: Appleton and Company.

Vroom, V., & Jago, A. (1988). The new leadership. Eaglewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.