The University Of Cape Town Graduate School Of Business (UCT GSB) has introduced a postgraduate Diploma in Management Practice (PGDip) for students wishing to specialise in health care leadership.

The PGDip programme has been running since 2014, with the first intake of the pilot study group graduating in December.

According to UCT GSB’s Dr Shadrick Mazaza, skills shortage in healthcare is often focused at doctors and nurses, yet a lack of skills at leadership and management level is contributing to the challenges already confronting the sector.

“Leadership and management skills in any sector are critical, but in health care, those at the top face a number of additional challenges,” said course convenor, Dr Elanca Shelley.

“We know for instance that managers in health care in South Africa need to understand policy and regulation as well as how to operate with limited resources. We want to assist health care leaders and give them more skills for this complex environment,” continued Dr Shelley.

Dr Shelly said the specialisation streams will offer health care workers the opportunity to apply new thinking and cutting edge theory to their particular challenges facing the industry.

“We want to customise the educational offering to enhance the transfer of learning and ensure that students are able to apply what they learn in their personal work context,” Dr Shelley explained.

According to Dr Shelley, what sets the programme apart from other traditional management programmes is that it offers substantial integration between subjects, allowing for crucial insights into how sections like marketing, accounting and finance all come together in a company.

Students implement knowledge in their workplaces in between modules through practical learning projects. This means companies and organisations see immediate benefits from employees participating in the course.

In addition to the health care programme, students will have the option to choose between five specialisation streams including social innovation and entrepreneurship, wine business management and business acumen.

“The specialisation streams are in line with latest thinking in terms of developing African economies and the growing needs of businesses and organisations on the continent,” said Professor of Marketing and Academic Director, Geoff Bick.

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