Yearbooks

Programme: PGDip Health Systems Management Executive Leadership

Code Faculty Duration Credits Download
10220001 Faculty of Health Sciences Duration of study: 2 years Total credits: 120

Programme information

A curriculum comprises prescribed modules and/or a research report compiled in conjunction with the head of department or Chairperson of the School. Details regarding the curriculum and syllabuses are published in a brochure which is available on request from the department or School. Students may, with the approval of the Head of the Department of Public Health Medicine or the Chairperson of the School of Health Systems and Public Health, register simultaneously for Part I and Part II of a diploma which extends over two academic years.

Admission requirements

Candidates will be required to first register as a special student in the Faculty, in order to pass in a status examination, in the following instances:

  • A three-year bachelor's degree with less than five years' applicable practical (work) experience; or
  • A four-year bachelor’s degree with less than two years’ applicable practical (work) experience; or
  • Any applicant in possession of an approved bachelor’s degree, who the School’s Selection Committee deems fit to register as a special student.

NB:

  • In accordance with the criteria of the Senate of the University, the applications for admission of all such candidates must, apart from any Faculty requirements, also be submitted to the University Senate for approval.
  • All candidates accepted for postgraduate study (MPH or the Postgraduate Diplomas) must be in possession of a National Senior Certificate with admission for degree purposes

Additional requirements

Registration as a special student in the Faculty in order to pass a status examination

  1. Candidates will be required to first register as a special student in the Faculty, in order to pass in a status examination, in the following instances:
  • A three-year bachelor's degree with less than five years' applicable practical (work) experience; or
  • A four-year bachelor’s degree with less than two years’ applicable practical (work) experience; or
  • Any applicant in possession of an approved bachelor’s degree, who the School’s Selection Committee deems fit to register as a special student.

NB:
In accordance with the criteria of the Senate of the University, the applications for admission of all such candidates must, apart from any Faculty requirements, also be submitted to the University Senate for approval.
All candidates accepted for postgraduate study (MPH or the Postgraduate Diplomas) must be in possession of a National Senior Certificate with admission for degree purposes.

  1. Pass requirements for the status examination
  • At least 60% must be obtained in the status examination.
  • The status examination will be written in June.
  1. The application of a student who has passed the status examination must be submitted to the Senate of the University for approval. Successful students may then enrol for the degree programme in the following academic year.

Other selection criteria
(Each on a scale of one to five.)

  • Academic merit
  • National/International need for public health
  • Under-represented groups in public health
  • Public health related employment
  • Track record – e.g. employment, academic, community-building, etc.

Examinations and pass requirements

Students must attend all lectures and practical classes to the satisfaction of the head of department or the Chairperson of the School before they will be admitted to the examinations. Written, oral and/or practical examinations must be passed in all the modules. All diploma programme summative assessments will be externally moderated. The minimum pass mark for prescribed modules and the summative assessment is 50%. Only with the approval of the Chairperson of the School, on the recommendation of the head of department, will a student be allowed to continue his or her studies after having failed two modules (or the same module twice). A second examination in a module (including the diploma-specific summative assessment) is arranged in conjunction with the head of department.

Pass with distinction

A diploma is awarded with distinction to a student who has obtained a mark of at least 75% for the externally moderated assessment component as well as a simple (unweighted) average of at least 75% of all the marks for the other required modules for the relevant diploma; excluding PHM 870 Learning in public health 870.

General information

Concurrent registration for two study programmes

  1. In accordance with the stipulations of the General Regulations, which is mutatis mutandis applicable in the case of postgraduate diploma study, the permission of the Dean is required for concurrent registration, subject to the regulations applicable to the fields of study in question and to any other stipulations the Dean may prescribe. Such a concession may be withdrawn by the Dean if the student does not perform satisfactorily – all assignments and coursework must be completed on time. Concurrent registration will not be accepted as a reason for poor performance or not meeting deadlines for both study programmes.
  2. In the case of registering concurrently for two study programmes in the School of Health Systems and Public Health and elsewhere, students must obtain the written consent of both the coordinator of their current programme and the coordinator of the second programme (or the track co-ordinator in the case of the MPH), and submit it with a substantiating letter to the School’s Academic Programme Committee, for recommendation by the Chairperson of the School, after which the application is submitted to the Dean for approval.
  3. The School of Health Systems and Public Health states that concurrent registration for two study programmes is a privilege and not a right.
  4. Concurrent registration must be applied for annually and is granted based on academic performance in the primary degree/diploma programme. If the current field of study is a master’s degree, then the second field of study can be a postgraduate diploma.
  5. If the current field of study is a postgraduate diploma, then the second field of study can be another postgraduate diploma.

Minimum credits: 120

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Special introduction to fundamentals in Executive Leadership in health
    The emerging student will be taught the fundamentals in executive leadership in healthcare systems which will form the basic platform or foundation for understanding the challenges for application of leadership modalities at the different levels of healthcare service delivery in the public health service and how to begin to think and analyse how the principles of executive leadership at their level of appointment can improve health service delivery.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Executive/Emerging Leadership
    Participants will be required to write up a project which can consist of a Strategic Plan for Leadership at the workplace which they will be required to implement and monitor over a period of 6 months and then write up the strengths and weaknesses of whether this plan made a difference and to what extent they have been able to influence and change the approach of decision-making at their workplaces. A report from supervisors will be required and the project will include a literature review and a detailed analysis of what was achieved, what value-added difference the project made at the workplace, what were the sustainability factors built into the plan and how it had improved service delivery. The health leadership strategies that arise out of the project will be discussed and how its broader application can be implemented towards transforming healthcare delivery at district or hospital level.

    View more

  • Module content:

    The application of the principles of Executive Leadership in the health sector will be examined with focus on several modalities of leadership including meta-leadership with a focus on examining why its application by health leaders are met with so much difficulty. The challenges which prevail in the pilot districts for the National Health Insurance will be analysed. Participants will be expected to do precourse reading in preparation for the module as well as a postmodule assignment which may include the writing up and development of a strategic plan with a focus on executive leadership principles. Application of responsible leadership strategies in to the public health sector. The focus on contemporary views of responsible leadership in South Africa and measures to redress the shortcomings in taking responsibility and being accountable for your actions. What is the vision for responsible leadership on the horizon in the next 5 to 15 years and how can a health manager reposition his/her thinking to meet the demands and the role they are to play in the new NHI funded system in the position they presently occupy. What does it mean to lead in a responsible manner be it at district, provincial or national level. This will include the call for courageous scholarship and strategies to lead collectively in a responsible manner.

    View more

  • Module content:

    The delivery of healthcare services require high ethical values and standards to promote quality of life which improve patient outcomes. The innovative and creative leader in the health sector will be provided with skills in dealing with organisational behaviour patterns which influence behaviour change and policy strategy. The module will focus on the difficulties in changing workplace behaviour and mechanisms of how to sustain change strategies which are workable and enabling.

    View more

  • Module content:

    (District) Health systems (and hospital) re-engineering including public sector centralisation and decentralisation.
    The re-engineering of the health system is one of the key pillars of the SAELPH programme with focus on improvement of services in the DHS. The new thrust of the national DOH with PHC as a key focus requires a new type of health leader who can understand the central role of PHC in a future equitable and efficient healthcare system. This module will assist to reshape the thinking of public health leaders towards building sound foundation strategies for the delivery of essential healthcare services primarily at the DHS level and its impact on the overall healthcare system. Development of a decentralisation case – a South African example focused on a district as the ‘man in the middle’ of the decentralisation process including the need for information, problems of supervision. Understand the international experience in re-engineering public sector providers, with special emphasis on PHC and how they will function in a future NHI.

    View more

  • Module content:

    The public health leader will be equipped with strategies to address difficult and intractable problems at the workplace and assist health workers to become part of the solution by utilising newly acquired problem-solving skills which will have lasting impact in workplace settings. Negotiating techniques will be analysed for different workplace challenges and its application for greater coherence and coordination in the implementation of policy and effective management of its outcomes to improve service delivery.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Reform in SA – What is the problem? To include variations among provinces and districts, measurement issues, etc. Financing NHI: Revenue sources (general taxes, payroll taxes, etc.) the role of private insurance, fiscal space and the public finance situation in SA, covering the informal sector, etc.
    Pay for performance as a policy tool: practical difficulties and the critical role for management in implementation. Overview of payment: Options for paying doctors and hospitals, the role of contracting, likely consequences and implementation issues. Politics and the reform process: Stakeholder analysis and mobilising support for reform. Financing NHI: Revenue sources (general taxes, payroll taxes, etc.) the role of private insurance, fiscal space and the public finance situation in S.A., covering the informal sector, etc. Organising NHI: national vs. provincial, public vs. quasi-public, roles for private administrators, choices about fiscal autonomy, relationship to various ministries. Government and market failures and the role of the public and private sectors – including corruption issues in both areas. Benefit package and targeting: Introduction to the ‘step pyramid’. What should be covered and for whom? What role for co-payments as incentive and revenue source. The developmental transformation of the healthcare system is informed by the political context and the constitutional imperatives for access to care which are the main function of the health system. This module will provide the participant with analytical tools to interpret the political economy of health and to develop strategies which can respond to the health needs on the ground in a practical manner so that the impact of the health policy is understood and how it informs the type of executive leader required to deliver the results of effective and efficient healthcare delivery. Participants will be trained in costing the pooling, provisioning and procurement of health services as District or Hospital Managers to allow for the effective and efficient running of the services over which they have authority. Training will focus on their Units becoming a Cost Centre for the management of the finances allocated by the Provincial Health Authority as well as capacity building in the event that delegations for autonomy is devolved of their level of employment. The importance of performance management will be the focus in relation to optimal budget performance, allocation within the institution as well as meeting performance targets and outcome measures.

    View more

Elective modules

  • Module content:

    The module will enable the participant to create a messaging strategy that can be used in all marketing materials. To develop a marketing programme appropriate for the target audience using the most effective possibilities such as public relations, advertising, website (and other internet platforms), promotional seminars, conferences and trade booth opportunities, downloadable materials, direct marketing (offline and online), packaging, event sponsorships and merchandising promotions. The participant will be taught the skills to develop a communications programme that complements the marketing programme and provides timely and comprehensive internal, external and strategic communications initiatives in an integrated approach. One of the key issues will be the level of the health message and whether it makes an impact on the improvement of uptake of healthcare services.

    View more

  • Module content:

    The fundamentals of health policy practice implementation will be discussed and methods of analysis will be linked to how the best effective health policy processes can be structured to respond to the health needs. The policy chain from inception to implementation will be analysed to establish why SA health policies, which are rated as very good, never gets implemented and where they are implemented, the results are less than optimal. How can policy practice assist executive leaders in health to work smarter, with fewer resources and achieve greater results for effective service delivery. The role of the community in the policy development and practice process will analysed to see what lessons can be learned to cut down on bureaucracy and red tape.

    View more

  • Module content:

    The module will enable the participant to implement strategies which are practical and implementable in the workplace taking into consideration the complexities and challenges prudent and well thought through financial management strategies which not only addresses the current financial problems but provides for visionary thinking in its application towards a more equitable healthcare delivery system. The importance of adequate skills required for an efficient National Health Insurance will be the focus and participants will be required to develop strategic financial plans based on their workplace objectives so that practical solutions can be developed that is within budget and which are affordable.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Participants will be required to identify the current quality challenges at their place of work and develop an advanced quality improvement strategic plan which they can implement. The plan must respond to the recent audit of facilities conducted by the Department of Health. Participants will be required upon returning to their place of work to implement the plan and after 6 months report on the results and what improvements had occurred as a result of their plans. The key factors to be addressed include waiting times, availability of medication, cleanliness of facilities, the long queues and patient satisfaction. Participants will be taught quality improvement strategies related to executive leadership, learning and organisational change.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Participants will be taught the importance of evidence-based public health and how to use health data, interpret the data, use the data for planning and for evaluation. The critical importance of how to strategically  monitor and evaluate all programmes and systems, as well as how practical leadership requires in-depth knowledge of how to use review systems for forward planning. The use of knowledge management modalities will be used in health planning and participants will be required to design a Monitoring and Evaluation system that can be used at their workplace for better results in healthcare delivery.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Participants will be taught the critical importance of human resource development and management strategies required for an effective district healthcare system which is required for an effective NHI-based healthcare system. HR planning, forecasting, analysis, implementation and evaluation processes will be integrated into service delivery target achievement. The different types of human resources and their roles for effective service delivery in working in an integrated healthcare system will be used in case studies developed in the SA health context.

    View more

Minimum credits: 120

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Special introduction to fundamentals in Executive Leadership in health
    The emerging student will be taught the fundamentals in executive leadership in healthcare systems which will form the basic platform or foundation for understanding the challenges for application of leadership modalities at the different levels of healthcare service delivery in the public health service and how to begin to think and analyse how the principles of executive leadership at their level of appointment can improve health service delivery.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Executive/Emerging Leadership
    Participants will be required to write up a project which can consist of a Strategic Plan for Leadership at the workplace which they will be required to implement and monitor over a period of 6 months and then write up the strengths and weaknesses of whether this plan made a difference and to what extent they have been able to influence and change the approach of decision-making at their workplaces. A report from supervisors will be required and the project will include a literature review and a detailed analysis of what was achieved, what value-added difference the project made at the workplace, what were the sustainability factors built into the plan and how it had improved service delivery. The health leadership strategies that arise out of the project will be discussed and how its broader application can be implemented towards transforming healthcare delivery at district or hospital level.

    View more

  • Module content:

    The application of the principles of Executive Leadership in the health sector will be examined with focus on several modalities of leadership including meta-leadership with a focus on examining why its application by health leaders are met with so much difficulty. The challenges which prevail in the pilot districts for the National Health Insurance will be analysed. Participants will be expected to do precourse reading in preparation for the module as well as a postmodule assignment which may include the writing up and development of a strategic plan with a focus on executive leadership principles. Application of responsible leadership strategies in to the public health sector. The focus on contemporary views of responsible leadership in South Africa and measures to redress the shortcomings in taking responsibility and being accountable for your actions. What is the vision for responsible leadership on the horizon in the next 5 to 15 years and how can a health manager reposition his/her thinking to meet the demands and the role they are to play in the new NHI funded system in the position they presently occupy. What does it mean to lead in a responsible manner be it at district, provincial or national level. This will include the call for courageous scholarship and strategies to lead collectively in a responsible manner.

    View more

  • Module content:

    The delivery of healthcare services require high ethical values and standards to promote quality of life which improve patient outcomes. The innovative and creative leader in the health sector will be provided with skills in dealing with organisational behaviour patterns which influence behaviour change and policy strategy. The module will focus on the difficulties in changing workplace behaviour and mechanisms of how to sustain change strategies which are workable and enabling.

    View more

  • Module content:

    (District) Health systems (and hospital) re-engineering including public sector centralisation and decentralisation.
    The re-engineering of the health system is one of the key pillars of the SAELPH programme with focus on improvement of services in the DHS. The new thrust of the national DOH with PHC as a key focus requires a new type of health leader who can understand the central role of PHC in a future equitable and efficient healthcare system. This module will assist to reshape the thinking of public health leaders towards building sound foundation strategies for the delivery of essential healthcare services primarily at the DHS level and its impact on the overall healthcare system. Development of a decentralisation case – a South African example focused on a district as the ‘man in the middle’ of the decentralisation process including the need for information, problems of supervision. Understand the international experience in re-engineering public sector providers, with special emphasis on PHC and how they will function in a future NHI.

    View more

  • Module content:

    The public health leader will be equipped with strategies to address difficult and intractable problems at the workplace and assist health workers to become part of the solution by utilising newly acquired problem-solving skills which will have lasting impact in workplace settings. Negotiating techniques will be analysed for different workplace challenges and its application for greater coherence and coordination in the implementation of policy and effective management of its outcomes to improve service delivery.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Reform in SA – What is the problem? To include variations among provinces and districts, measurement issues, etc. Financing NHI: Revenue sources (general taxes, payroll taxes, etc.) the role of private insurance, fiscal space and the public finance situation in SA, covering the informal sector, etc.
    Pay for performance as a policy tool: practical difficulties and the critical role for management in implementation. Overview of payment: Options for paying doctors and hospitals, the role of contracting, likely consequences and implementation issues. Politics and the reform process: Stakeholder analysis and mobilising support for reform. Financing NHI: Revenue sources (general taxes, payroll taxes, etc.) the role of private insurance, fiscal space and the public finance situation in S.A., covering the informal sector, etc. Organising NHI: national vs. provincial, public vs. quasi-public, roles for private administrators, choices about fiscal autonomy, relationship to various ministries. Government and market failures and the role of the public and private sectors – including corruption issues in both areas. Benefit package and targeting: Introduction to the ‘step pyramid’. What should be covered and for whom? What role for co-payments as incentive and revenue source. The developmental transformation of the healthcare system is informed by the political context and the constitutional imperatives for access to care which are the main function of the health system. This module will provide the participant with analytical tools to interpret the political economy of health and to develop strategies which can respond to the health needs on the ground in a practical manner so that the impact of the health policy is understood and how it informs the type of executive leader required to deliver the results of effective and efficient healthcare delivery. Participants will be trained in costing the pooling, provisioning and procurement of health services as District or Hospital Managers to allow for the effective and efficient running of the services over which they have authority. Training will focus on their Units becoming a Cost Centre for the management of the finances allocated by the Provincial Health Authority as well as capacity building in the event that delegations for autonomy is devolved of their level of employment. The importance of performance management will be the focus in relation to optimal budget performance, allocation within the institution as well as meeting performance targets and outcome measures.

    View more

Elective modules

  • Module content:

    The module will enable the participant to create a messaging strategy that can be used in all marketing materials. To develop a marketing programme appropriate for the target audience using the most effective possibilities such as public relations, advertising, website (and other internet platforms), promotional seminars, conferences and trade booth opportunities, downloadable materials, direct marketing (offline and online), packaging, event sponsorships and merchandising promotions. The participant will be taught the skills to develop a communications programme that complements the marketing programme and provides timely and comprehensive internal, external and strategic communications initiatives in an integrated approach. One of the key issues will be the level of the health message and whether it makes an impact on the improvement of uptake of healthcare services.

    View more

  • Module content:

    The fundamentals of health policy practice implementation will be discussed and methods of analysis will be linked to how the best effective health policy processes can be structured to respond to the health needs. The policy chain from inception to implementation will be analysed to establish why SA health policies, which are rated as very good, never gets implemented and where they are implemented, the results are less than optimal. How can policy practice assist executive leaders in health to work smarter, with fewer resources and achieve greater results for effective service delivery. The role of the community in the policy development and practice process will analysed to see what lessons can be learned to cut down on bureaucracy and red tape.

    View more

  • Module content:

    The module will enable the participant to implement strategies which are practical and implementable in the workplace taking into consideration the complexities and challenges prudent and well thought through financial management strategies which not only addresses the current financial problems but provides for visionary thinking in its application towards a more equitable healthcare delivery system. The importance of adequate skills required for an efficient National Health Insurance will be the focus and participants will be required to develop strategic financial plans based on their workplace objectives so that practical solutions can be developed that is within budget and which are affordable.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Participants will be required to identify the current quality challenges at their place of work and develop an advanced quality improvement strategic plan which they can implement. The plan must respond to the recent audit of facilities conducted by the Department of Health. Participants will be required upon returning to their place of work to implement the plan and after 6 months report on the results and what improvements had occurred as a result of their plans. The key factors to be addressed include waiting times, availability of medication, cleanliness of facilities, the long queues and patient satisfaction. Participants will be taught quality improvement strategies related to executive leadership, learning and organisational change.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Participants will be taught the importance of evidence-based public health and how to use health data, interpret the data, use the data for planning and for evaluation. The critical importance of how to strategically  monitor and evaluate all programmes and systems, as well as how practical leadership requires in-depth knowledge of how to use review systems for forward planning. The use of knowledge management modalities will be used in health planning and participants will be required to design a Monitoring and Evaluation system that can be used at their workplace for better results in healthcare delivery.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Participants will be taught the critical importance of human resource development and management strategies required for an effective district healthcare system which is required for an effective NHI-based healthcare system. HR planning, forecasting, analysis, implementation and evaluation processes will be integrated into service delivery target achievement. The different types of human resources and their roles for effective service delivery in working in an integrated healthcare system will be used in case studies developed in the SA health context.

    View more


The information published here is subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information. The General Regulations (G Regulations) apply to all faculties of the University of Pretoria. It is expected of each student to familiarise himself or herself well with these regulations as well as with the information contained in the General Rules section. Ignorance concerning these regulations and rules will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression.

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