Graduate Diploma in Pharmacy Leadership

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Welcome to the Graduate Diploma in Pharmacy Leadership (GDPL)!

Applications to begin the Program in September 2025 open October 1, 2024.

Accelerating Your Development as a Pharmacy Leader

Working pharmacists like you can now elevate their readiness for leadership roles in just 12 months. The Graduate Diploma in Pharmacy Leadership (GDPL) is an online program comprised of 5 courses designed for working pharmacists to immediately apply the leadership knowledge and skills they gain to their workplace.

Program Overview

The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Diploma in Pharmacy Leadership (GDPL) program is designed to prepare pharmacists with leadership aspirations to respond to the profession’s demand for outstanding leaders with a broad perspective of the healthcare system, and a solid understanding of how pharmacy connects with it. Led by influential faculty members with accomplished careers, and with curricular contributions from the UBC Sauder School of Business, the GDPL’s 12-month, online program (with a one-week in-person leadership immersive component) allows pharmacists to apply learned leadership knowledge and skills to their jobs in real-time. 

Program Details

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 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 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 1-week program orientation and leadership immersive in September, at the UBC Vancouver campus. 

Class size: 15–25 students.

The Curriculum

  1. PHRM 520 Leadership & Organizational Behaviour
    To cultivate leadership development in the self and others, and to enhance organizational dynamics for workplace success
    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 develop and apply decision- and policy-making skills
    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
    To analyze and collaborate to lead challenges and opportunities
    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
    To engage, educate and lead diverse audiences
    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 within or outside pharmacy, regulators, policy-makers, business leaders, government, or students.
  5. PHRM 524 Pharmacy Leadership Seminar
    To examine and develop leadership effectiveness
    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, behaviours, frameworks, principles and practices of contemporary pharmacy and healthcare leaders.

Themes across the curriculum also include the “leader identity formation”, and equity, diversity and inclusion in leadership.

The GDPL curriculum is aligned with the LEADS in a Caring Environment framework, a well-recognized and adopted guide for leadership development in health professions 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 leverages 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, innovation and scholarly record to deliver 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. Applicants whose past academic record is below the threshold required by the Program’s academic requirements will be considered on a case-by-case basis, based on their professional experiences and motivation to develop leadership skills.

See admissions information

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.

Information Sessions

Join our upcoming online information session on September 18, 2024, from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm PT.

Register now

Prior Session

Date of presentation: June 5, 2024

Access slideshow (PDF, 5.4 MB)

Contact Us

To speak with a GDPL program representative, contact our office at 604-822-1945 or

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