Health Care Management

Study programme

Education objectives 

After graduation, you will have the skills and expertise to analyse and weigh up complex problems from various theoretical and empirical perspectives. You can apply your knowledge derived from fields such as policy sciences, socio-medical sciences and business administration. Strategic and financial management, negotiation and having an eye for stakeholders’ interests will be second nature to you.

Mode of education

Various teaching methods are being used in the master in Health Care Management. In combination, all teaching methods are aimed at training students to be independent academics who are able to further develop and apply their multidisciplinary knowledge and skills in all situations, both in ‘real-life’ healthcare practice and in academia. We offer a wide range of educational methods and experiences, including a serious game and master cafés in which we discuss international topics with experts in the field.


The curriculum for the master in Health Care Management amounts to 60 credits according to the European Credit (EC). All students take seven compulsory courses (5 EC each) and 1 elective course. You also write a master thesis (20 EC) in the final stage of the master's programme. 

Study load

The full-time programme of the master in Health Care Management takes 12 months of intensive study. The study load averages 40 hours per week. Course work runs from September to July. You may use the summer period to finish and defend your master thesis or to do a resit for courses you have not yet passed.

The part-time programme of the master ’Zorgmanagement/Health Care Management’ takes 24 months of intensive study. The study load averages 20 hours per week. The programme is in English and Dutch. The plenary sessions are in English, the workgroups in Dutch. Literature and examination questions are in English but students are allowed to answer the examination in Dutch. The courses are given on Friday during the daytime.

Below is the programme of the year 2019-2020, so be aware that the curriculum can change.

  • Block 1

    • During the course 'Patient Centred Care Delivery' (PCCD) students will be taught the most important theories, recent systematic reviews and empirical findings regarding PCCD. During the last decade more and more attention has been given to PCCD; organisations aim to deliver care that is patient centred in order to improve patient outcomes. Evidence indeed has shown that PCCD results in improved health, health behaviour, and quality of life of patients as well as their family/caregivers. Still, evidence is inconclusive and organisations and professionals are generally unknowledgeable and struggle on how to improve PCCD and support interaction between professionals and patients in such a way that it stimulates co-care delivery between them (week 1).

    • The aim is to enhance students’ quantitative and qualitative research skills, which can later be applied in subsequent courses and in writing the master thesis.

    Block 2

    • Employees are of crucial importance for the delivery of health care and the performance of health care organisations. Therefore, the management of health care organisations involves managing people. This course aims to provide insights in the behaviour of individuals and groups in organisations and the effects on performance and health care delivery. The first part of the course focusses on the management of employees using insights from Human Resource Management and leadership theories. Further, dilemmas and tensions related to leadership, performance management, teamwork, patient-centeredness, professionals, and well-being within healthcare organizations will be discussed.

    • Quality and safety of care are very much on the agenda of health care governance throughout the world. In this course we actively engage students to explore the theoretical backgrounds to, as well as the major themes of, quality and safety governance. In general, the course takes the position that quality and safety in health care needs continuous work. We emphasize the need for both ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches to quality and safety, and place particular stress on theories of the 'middle' - the level where the work of management and leadership usually resides. The course explores six challenges that come from this 'mangle of the middle'. These challenges are said to face each quality and safety improvement effort, and can be structural, political, cultural, technological, emotional and educational.

    Block 3

    • We will focus on the development of health service operations management as a field of research, its relevance to develop and improve health services and on the basic concepts of health service operations management. We will use Operations Management theory and concepts for the operations management of individual units within health service provider organizations (e.g. a ward) and for the operations management of care pathways (e.g. mamma cancer diagnosis and treatment) and care chains (e.g. stroke services).

    Block 4

    • The aim of this course is to introduce participants to both elements and to develop their ability to address financial issues, both in concrete cases, as well as to design and evaluate solutions for financial management issues using scientific methods. Throughout the course, generic concepts of financial management are linked to health service management and analysed out of the perspective of a health service organization.

    Block 5

    • This course aims to provide HCM students with theoretical lenses as well as practical knowledge to the understanding and dealing with governance and strategy issues in healthcare organizations.

    Block 3-6

    • In order to complete the Master of Health Care Management, students are required to write a scientific Master thesis on a topic that is related to one of the subjects covered in the HCM Master. Students write their Master thesis under supervision of a member of the HCM staff. Each supervisor has between 4-6 students that conduct research on a specific theme related to the learning goals of the master HCM. Students may enroll in one of the thesis groups before starting their thesis trajectory. During block 3 through 6, group meetings will be organized -both supervised and unsupervised- during which progress as well as bottlenecks in the thesis process will be discussed.