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Certificate of Advanced Studies in Leadership

A six-month programme to help you become a leader in cardiovascular medicine

The Certificate of Advanced Studies in cardiovascular management and leadership (CAS-Leadership) is a new type of postgraduate programme developed by the European Heart Academy and Maastricht University. This short course aims to meet the specific needs of future leaders and managers in cardiology. 

Applications are now closed. 

Programme overview

The programme will provide healthcare practitioners with the skills required to lead and manage the healthcare systems of the future.

In contrast to the many generic leadership courses on offer across Europe, CAS-Leadership combines the core principles of effective leadership with instruction in essential modern skills such as hospital management, digital transformation, and dealing with complex systems.

The six-month programme comprises both online teaching and face-to-face interaction.


About UMIO|Maastricht University :

Logo UMIO-UM.pngUMIO is the professional development branch of Maastricht University School of Business and Economics. It draws upon the university’s broad range of academic expertise and uses innovative methods to design unique, cross-disciplinary learning journeys that enable individuals and organisations to have a meaningful impact.


Who should attend?

Future leaders in cardiovascular medicine from all fields

This leadership course is a transversal programme tailor-made for mid-career healthcare professionals with an interest in cardiology who want to become managers and leaders with broad societal and economic perspectives.

How to apply


Applications are now closed. If you are interested in joining the next intake please contact us: 

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must be:

  • an ESC member
  • motivated to grow as a leader in cardiology
  • proficient in English

Tuition fees

Tuition fees: €12,500 

Tuition includes:

  • Six months of online training and in-person teaching in Brussels
  • One-on-one coaching sessions to help shape your role as a leader
  • Refreshments, lunches and get-togethers in Brussels during in-person sessions
  • Free membership to UMIO Prime, during the course
  • Access to the ESC Academy Alumni network

Travel and hotel accommodation during the in-person sessions in Brussels are not included in the tuition fees.

What will you learn?

You will develop new skills to:

  • Shape your own leadership role
  • Manage a hospital unit
  • Lead digital transformation
  • Deal with complexity

In six month's time, you will:

  • Come away with an understanding of different evidence-based perspectives on management and leadership;
  • Be able to recognise how these translate into different leadership behaviours and apply your insights;
  • Learn to spot emerging new realities and analyse their implications for strategy formulation, implementation, and current operations;
  • Be equipped with the competencies to proactively engage with diverse stakeholders within the cardiologist’s work context.
Learn from our course director and managerial behavior expert Prof. Mariëlle Heijltjes, on "How to become an great leader".

Teaching format and module topics

Distance learning - four modules of six weeks each, plus self study

  • Lectures
  • Master classes
  • Seminars
  • One-on-one coaching session
  • Online community

In-person sessions in Brussels: two half-days per module

There are four in-person sessions, organised in Brussels - one for each module. 

These face-to-face are taking place on two half-days, from Monday noon to Tuesday noon, to allow fly-in/fly-out on the same days. 

In-persons are a key element of the course, they allow

  • Face-to-face interaction with teachers, guest lecturers and peers
  • Group work
  • Events and get-togethers
Module 1: Shaping your own leader role 


Module 2: Managing a hospital unit


Module 3: Leading digital transformation 


Module 4: Dealing with complexity 




Scientific content

Module 1 – Shaping your own leadership role

Online Sessions

Face to face day

Session 1

·        Perspectives on leadership

·        Discovering your own preferred leadership style

Session 2

·        Choices in leader behaviours

·        Becoming aware of the impact of your leader behaviour

·        Crafting your own leader identity

·        Understanding expectations and behaviour of others

·        Leadership embodiment

·        Assessing the impact of your leadership

 During the first module we will explore what it requires for you to lead. We will draw from your own experiences as well as from theory and research findings. This will help define challenges from different perspectives. Being able to adopt different perspectives and understand what happens in the interaction with others is the basis for leadership action.

It demands a willingness to engage in a learning journey on how you interact with yourself, other individuals, teams, and the organisation and an examination of the impact that your (leadership) behaviour generates.


Module 2 – Managing a hospital unit

Online Sessions

Face to face day

Session 1

·        Strategy development

Session 2

·        Multi issue bargaining case (concrete case)

·        Power and influence


Session 1

·        Strategic finance

·        Case study

Session 2

·        Single issue bargaining (concrete case)

·        Basic negotiation theory

Being a professional and creating value for your patients, asks that you take many many factors into account when taking decisions. Finding the right balance between financial results, healthcare quality and safety and patient experience can often be challenging. Within this module you will start with gaining a better insight in the financial models from a strategic perspective. 

During the second part of this module you will learn about the complexities and dynamics of human behaviour and will be equipped with the right tools to master any negotiation. You will gain insights that help mitigate conflict situations in your work or personal lives and you will know how to find win-win solutions for yourself and your unit. 


Module 3 – Leading digital transformation

Online Sessions

Face to face day

Session 1

·        The playing field of digital transformation.

·        Explore opportunities for digital transformation in your own unit.

Session 2

·        Resource enables and blockers for a successful digital transformation.

Session 1

·        Developing a vision and strategy for digital transformation.

·        Discover how to create more value for patients through digital transformation.

·        Convincing stakeholders of the need for digital transformation (develop your pitch).

Digital technology and transformation has long been seen as a challenge for IT, and Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technology in hospitals.

Faced with this reality, many managers in health care expect digital transformation to equate to disruptive innovation, coupled with massive investments in technology, a complete shift from physical to virtual or the acquisition of tech start-ups. However, in most cases transformation means small steps to arrive at a better value proposition for patients.

In this module, in addition to discussing the theory and the latest insights, there is a lot of space to share experiences and to practice and experiment with situations that come straight from your own professional environment. 


Module 4 – Dealing with complexity

Online Sessions

Face to face day

Session 1

·        Exploring the stakeholder playing field

·        What is complexity, what are the drivers of complexity?

Session 2

·        Leadership in complexity: understanding your ability to adapt

·        Co-creating prototypes to navigate complexity

·        Stakeholder analysis and perspective taking

·        Experiencing complexity

·        Dynamics of mutual influencing

·        Working with your own complexity topic towards actionable options

·        Inquiry, debating and dialogue skills

 To better understand the complexity of the cardiologists playing field we will focus on exploring this playing field together. Depending on the group’s learning needs, stakeholder analysis, health economics, or how risks and volatility are defined and perceived by stakeholders can be part of this module.

During the first module we looked at shaping one’s own leadership role and saw that what makes an effective leader cannot be captured in one, all-encompassing definition. Different challenges demand different approaches. Leaders thus have to develop a diverse set of competences to navigate the complexity of the context. Finding yourself in a leader role amidst all these developments, can be a mindboggling experience.


Contact and information

For more information about UMIO and your application to the programme, please contact Ingrid Voncken.

For more information about the ESC and the in-person session in Brussels please contact the European Heart Academy