Graduate Diploma in Pharmacy Leadership (GDPL)


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 component allows pharmacists to study and apply learned leadership concepts to their jobs as they work.

What makes the program unique?

The GDPL is Canada’s first, and only educational path designed specifically for pharmacists to become leaders. The part-time program aims to equip working pharmacists with the relevant, pharmacy-specific leadership skills needed to meet or exceed the expectations of employers seeking experienced leaders in administrative, corporate, public health, primary care, academic, regulatory, or government roles.

Graduates of the GDPL will be able to:

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

Program Structure

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.

The curriculum includes:

  • PHRM 520 Leadership & Organizational Behaviour
  • PHRM 521 Evidence-Informed Decision-Making in Healthcare
  • PHRM 522 Contemporary Leadership Issues in Pharmacy
  • PHRM 523 Leadership in Pharmacy Education
  • PHRM 524 Pharmacy Leadership Seminar

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry


Other Requirements

Applicants need to present proof of licensure or eligibility for licensure in applicable jurisdiction by the applicant's local regulatory licensing body (e.g., the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia)

Career Options

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 sophisticated leadership skills. Strong leaders in today’s pharmacy profession are defined by their ability to apply organizational behaviour and change management at the individual, dyadic, team, and organizational levels, in collaborative practice, in public health initiatives, and in 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.

Career options include decision-making positions in the following fields:

  • Government
  • Corporate
  • Education
  • Industry
  • Clinical
Program Enquiries
If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

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