Graduate Diploma in Pharmacy Leadership

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We are excited to announce the upcoming new Graduate Diploma in Pharmacy Leadership (GDPL) program (Launch date: September 2024).

Why a new graduate diploma in pharmacy leadership?

Advancements in the pharmacy profession and its educational landscape, and the enhanced complexity of the Canadian healthcare system along with new technologies and models of care have heightened the demand for pharmacists with leadership skills applied to organizational behaviour and change management at the individual, dyadic, team, and organizational levels, collaborative practice, and public health initiatives and policy decision-making. The profession demands a new cadre of pharmacists who can not only lead, but also support leadership development in others. In this evolving landscape, a wide range of employers across all sectors of the profession are looking to hire pharmacists with a solid understanding of how pharmacy connects with this evolving Canadian healthcare system. We developed the new Graduate Diploma in Pharmacy Leadership (GDPL) program to meet this need.

The GDPL is Canada’s only educational path designed specifically for pharmacists to become leaders. We expect the GDPL to attract pharmacists with leadership aspirations within administrative, corporate, public health, primary care, academic, regulatory, or government roles. Join us, accelerate your career growth, and lead the future of pharmacy!

Who will the GDPL be for and what will graduates be able to do?

Historically, pharmacy leadership roles have been filled by pharmacists with many years of experience in the profession. However, the current demanding labour market, the need to continue to evolve the Canadian healthcare system, and the need to further the profession, all demand market-ready leaders who cannot wait years to gain enough experience to lead effectively. The GDPL curriculum stems from an extensive consultative process involving stakeholders and employers from across the profession. The program was designed for pharmacists with or without leadership experience. We anticipate a diverse pool of applicants: some may bring leadership experience, aiming to elevate their skills and abilities; others may have recently assumed leadership roles, seeking further development and growth; and, there may be those ready to explore new job opportunities, aware of the marketability that leadership skills can bring to their professional profiles.

The GDPL will enable pharmacists to:

  1. Apply organizational behaviour and change management principles to the critique of existing leadership and practice models.  
  1. Apply best practices and latest thinking, to current leadership issues, challenges, and opportunities confronting pharmacy.   
  1. Apply evidence supporting pharmacy decision- and policy-making to the design, development, and implementation of healthcare policy.  
  1. Apply specific models of communication and principles of conflict management to lead in challenging circumstances.  
  1. Interpret and apply best practices and pedagogical principles to lead and educate diverse audiences.  
  1. Enhance and support leadership development in the self and in others, leveraging individual strengths, values, and roles. 

Program Details

The program grants a Graduate Diploma in Pharmacy Leadership (GDPL) credential and is comprised of five courses, designed to be completed in 12 months. The curriculum is delivered online (with mainly asynchronous and some synchronous components), making it accessible and flexible for working pharmacists who live and practice across urban and rural areas. Only a small portion is conducted in-person during the week-long program orientation in September 2024, at the UBC Vancouver campus. Class size: 15–25 students.

The Curriculum

  1. PHRM 520 Leadership & Organizational Behaviour
    Led by the UBC Sauder School of Business, this course focuses on leadership skills in team-based organizations using OB principles and best practices. Students engage in structured activities to enhance their self-leadership, understand human behaviour in organizations, and become effective change agents in the workplace.
  2. PHRM 521 Evidence-Informed Decision-Making in Healthcare
    To engage in policy decision-making, pharmacy leaders must skillfully assess key factors: evidence appraisal, stakeholder input, organizational culture, political climate, and commercial pressures. Among these, evidence appraisal greatly influences informed decision-making and policy development. This course explores evidence-based policy decisions and their impact on regulation, organizations, government, and patient care. Students will study the impact of policy on healthcare innovations and interventions, while developing critical skills to evaluate and make judgments about healthcare policy design, development, and implementation.
  3. PHRM 522 Contemporary Leadership Issues in Pharmacy
    This course prepares pharmacists for healthcare leadership roles by emphasizing teamwork, conflict management, and collaborative problem-solving. Integrating theory and practice through online discussions led by experts, students work in teams to address contemporary pharmacy issues, challenges, and opportunities.
  4. PHRM 523 Leadership in Pharmacy Education
    Pharmacy leaders, regardless of their practice setting, play a crucial role in teaching and skill development in others. This course equips pharmacists with the essential skills to be leaders who can effectively educate their teams and audiences, whether these are made up of health professionals with or outside pharmacy, regulators, policy-makers, business leaders, government, or students.
  5. PHRM 524 Pharmacy Leadership Seminar
    Pharmacy leaders must understand their own abilities and the leadership merits and practices of others. By analyzing and reflecting on different leadership styles, practices, successes, and failures, pharmacists can better prepare for challenging environments. This course focuses on researching and critically evaluating the leadership styles, behaviors, frameworks, principles, and practices of contemporary pharmacy and healthcare leaders.

In this program, students embark on a transformative journey where leadership knowledge and skills become the catalyst for personal and professional growth. The program offers multiple opportunities to engage with a professional coach. Thoughtfully designed activities help students unlock their leadership potential, adopt effective strategies for advancement in their professional endeavours, and chart their roadmap for success.

The GDPL curriculum is aligned with the LEADS in a Caring Environment framework, a foundational guide for facilitating health leadership development in Canada. The five leadership domains of the LEADS framework (Lead Self, Engage Others, Achieve Results, Develop Coalitions, and Systems Transformation) represent an evidence-based model for leadership development around key skills, behaviours, abilities, and knowledge to lead in the Canadian health care system (

The GDPL Faculty

The GDPL will leverage the Faculty’s experience and track record of excellence within the UBC and pharmacy communities. The quality of faculty who have been involved in the design of the GDPL have the expertise, qualifications, innovation, and scholarly record to ensure program excellence. Pharmacists enrolled in the program will learn from expert and award-winning faculty with exemplary teaching experience and who collectively bring decades of experience developing, inspiring, and supporting students, as well as leading within a range of domains in the profession.


To be considered for admission to the Graduate Diploma in Pharmacy Leadership program, applicants must hold current registration, or be eligible for registration, as a pharmacist in their local jurisdiction, and meet the Program’s academic requirements. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the admissions information on our website prior to submitting an application. In the first phase of the program, the University may be limited in its ability to assess international academic credentials.

See admissions information

Apply now

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for the program is currently set at $555.56 per credit for domestic students (estimated total program cost of $10,000) and $972.22 per credit for international students (estimated total program cost of $16,700). In alignment with the University, tuition is payable in September, January, and May, based on enrolled credits.

Official tuition and other student fees can be found on the UBC Academic Calendar ( Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the Board of Governors and are subject to change. Additional fees on top of tuition, as approved by the Board of Governors or Student Societies may also apply. See the Academic Calendar for more details.

Online Information Session

You are invited to join us at our next information session on Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at 6:00 pm.

Register here

Contact Us

To speak with a program representative, contact our office by emailing

Program Director
Dr. Patricia Gerber, Associate Professor of Teaching and Director, Degree Programs for Pharmacists

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