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The University of Southampton
Health SciencesPostgraduate study

MSc Clinical Leadership in Cancer, Palliative and End of Life Care


This unique, interdisciplinary programme is the only one of its kind in the UK and is aimed at emerging and established clinical leaders working in cancer, palliative, or end of life care, who wish to develop their leadership qualities. You will enhance your ability to critically champion compassionate and informed care, to provide quality services and to create learning environments enabling staff to strive for excellence. The programme was created in partnership with local stakeholders in response to Department of Health directives and offers you the opportunity to complete an assignment that is most relevant to your workplace and personal learning needs.

Introducing your course

This programme will enable you to develop the qualities needed by ‘practice leaders …who are firmly grounded in direct care provision or clinical work with patients, families and populations … constantly working to improve the quality of services and patient care’ (DH, 2010:7). They include clinical acumen (the ability to lead and manage complex care), clinical interpretation (the ability to interpret policy and research, and design and lead clinical services fit for purpose), and clinical relationships (the ability to develop others and foster excellence).

Patient hand with IV line present

Duration: One year full time; two to five years part time

The programme has been mapped to the attributes of advanced level practice outlined by government bodies in the United Kingdom (Department of Health 2010, National Health Service Scotland 2008). UK professionals who may need to demonstrate their advanced level attributes to registration bodies will be able to do so through the completion of this programme.

The key features of this programme are:

  • This programme can be undertaken by any registered health or social care practitioner working with people of any age with cancer, other life limiting or life-threatening illnesses and those with palliative and end of life care needs.
  • The interdisciplinary community that this creates provides a rich learning environment fostered by educational approaches that encourage discussion and debate.
  • You can expect to experience seminars and symposiums, leadership skills rehearsals, master-classes and to receive academic and personal support and research coaching.
  • The programme is designed to have impact in your workplace, and therefore the assignments of the core modules are negotiated by you with the module lead to meet both your workplace and professional development needs.
  • You will also be a member of an internationally renowned research group.
View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

All applications should be made through the University of Southampton online portal. Visit our How to Apply page for information on the application process.

For further information about the course, please contact programme lead, Kay Townsend:

Related Staff Member

Typical entry requirements


The normal entry requirements for the Clinical Leadership in Cancer, Palliative and End of Life Care Masters degree courses are:

  • A UK 2:2 Hons degree or above or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University, in a relevant subject from an approved institution of higher education. Admission to the programme will take account of applicants’ clinical experience and expertise as well as academic credit
  • A current professional registration with relevant professional/statutory body or equivalent
  • Current employment in a clinical service providing care to adults or young people or children with cancer, or palliative care (as a consequence of any illness) or end of life care needs
  • A satisfactory reference and evidence of support from your manager or evidence of relevant professional expertise
  • Overall IELTS of 6.5 or above with no less than a 6.0 in each component
Selection process

Applicants may be required to attend an interview.

The University’s Admissions Policy, available at, applies equally to all programmes of study. These are the typical entry criteria to be used for selecting candidates for admission. The University’s approved equivalencies for the requirements listed will also be acceptable.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

The core modules of the MSc in clinical leadership in cancer, palliative and end of life care are designed to enable you to progressively develop your leadership ability. Three core themes are integrated within the core modules – leading and managing complex care, interpreting policy and research, and the development of others.  These are explored with respect to your practice, the service in which you work, and your ability to develop others and to engage in national and international agendas.

Two optional modules will be selected from the choices available across the University, appropriate to your practice. for further information visit the full list of individual modules page.

The programme consists of five modules and a dissertation: two speciality core modules; two student selected core modules; an e-learning research module; a dissertation.

Year 1

Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

A student selected (optional) module (10 ECTS) A negotiated student selected (optional) module agreed with the programme lead that develops your clinical leadership expertise in one of these three areas (10 ECTS):

Clinical Acumen (the ability to lead and manage complex care).  Examples include:

Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

Clinical Interpretation (the ability to interpret policy and research and design and lead clinical services for purpose).  Examples include:

Clinical Relationships (the ability to develop others and foster excellence). Examples include:

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Tuition fees

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
NameAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
Clinical Leadership in Cancer, Palliative and End of Life CareMSc 2020Full-time£9,250£25,910
Clinical Leadership in Cancer, Palliative and End of Life CareMSc 2020Part-time£4,625not offered
Clinical Leadership in Cancer, Palliative and End of Life Care (DL)MSc 2020Part-time£4,625£9,406
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile. You will be expected to submit two hard copies of assessed course work. This work needs to be word processed. The University provides access to IT resources and printing but you will be expected to pay for printing costs, any visual reproductions and any binding of work required.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from most good book sellers. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentIT: The programme utilises information technology to support your learning, e.g. a web based learning environment, emails and hyperlinks to online resources. The University has over 1,700 workstations with high-speed internet access, so you do not need to purchase your own, but if you do use your own device there is free WiFi access across campus and software free to download such as Endnote which manages references.
Printing and copyingYou will be expected to submit two hard copies of assessed course work. This work needs to be word processed. A list of the University printing costs can be found here:
OtherTravel: You will be expected to manage your own transport and associated costs, such as car parking charges, associated with attending study days and any observational visits undertaken for the work-based component of the programme. Accommodation: You will be expected to manage your own accommodation and associated costs if needed to attend the programme. The University of Southampton Accommodation website offers information and guidance about accommodation in both private rented and halls of residence. A list of local bed and breakfast accommodation is also available.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Student centred learning and teaching has been designed to develop your knowledge, understanding, and research skills, taking account of the context in which clinical leadership is situated. The learning and teaching activities will develop people who are independent, intrinsically motivated thinkers who can use reflective practice to critically analyse their own and others’ practice, both in academic and practice settings.

Examples of learning and teaching activities include:

  • master-classes with internationally renowned researchers,
  • student and tutor led seminars,
  • debates and critical reflection that provide opportunities for considering clinical experience in relation to theoretical explanations and research knowledge,
  • key-note lectures,
  • structured e-learning and work-based learning.

Study locations

University of Southampton

University of Southampton Highfield Campus

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