The MSc in Quality and Safety in Healthcare offers a sound theoretical background to the principles of clinical risk management, quality improvement and patient safety. We provide rigorous academic training, practical experience in safety and quality improvement, an introduction to appropriate research methods and the opportunity for intellectual development within a stimulating and supportive environment.
By the end of the programme, students will have enhanced their understanding of quality and safety related to their discipline, working practice and healthcare in general, and have developed skills in the use of computing and statistics applied to healthcare.
This Masters level programme is designed for Healthcare professionals who have experience in their chosen field, such as surgeons, physicians, anaesthetists, nurses, pharmacists and those from Allied Health Professions. We welcome applicants from the UK and EU, and any students from outside the EU who have a visa to work and study in the UK.
The taught component is composed of 8 Modules (4 per year) which include lectures, workshops, tutorials and Blackboard (an internet teaching tool) tasks. Each module consists of one week of full-time face-to-face teaching.
The programme consists of the following modules:
1. Introduction to Quality and Safety (20 - 24 October 2014)
2. Research methods and applied statistics (17 - 21 November 2014)
3. Epidemiology and Information (9 -13 February 2015)
4. Understanding Adverse Events (18 - 22 May 2015)
5. The Aftermath of an Incident ( TBC September 2015)
6. Improving Safety, Implementing Change (26 - 30 January 2015)
7. System and Organisational aspects of Patient Safety (16 - 20 March 2015)
8. Options module. Students select one further module from a list of options, for example:
A. Theory and practice of learning and teaching (MEd Surgical Education module)
B. Medico-legal skills
C. The history of medicine and disease
D. Health Economics, Health Service Delivery (MSc Health Policy)
Each module provides a strong theoretical component and by the end of each module the student will be able to apply knowledge and skills gained to their clinical practice. Further details of each core module are as follows:
1. Introduction to quality and safety
This module provides a framework for the programme, addressing key issues in healthcare and policy which impact on clinical practice as well as exploring the nature of the discipline and providing an outline of its components. The aim is to give participants an understanding of the wider background and historical perspective within which more detailed study will take place. In particular, this module includes the following: orientation to Imperial College, to Master’s study and introductory training session on the use of Blackboard, as well as research and general learning skills; key elements of NHS structure; important national initiatives (e.g. the Healthcare Commission, the National Patient Safety Agency, Modernising Medical Careers); the history of patient safety; and contributions of different disciplines, such as psychology, human factors and ergonomics, sociology, economics and management.
2. Research methods and applied statistics
This module will provide a general overview of research methods of studies in healthcare and reinforce understanding of the importance of research for the evaluation of clinical practice. Research and learning skills associated with this module and the whole course commence at the beginning of the course in Module 1 and are added to each of the teaching components of the course. The following aspects are included in this course: theoretical and applied statistics; descriptive and inferential statistics; populations and samples.
3. Epidemiology and information
This module explores the various sources of information available and methods used to study the problem of risk and safety in healthcare. Examples of information and methods available include: Trust information systems; use of routine data for monitoring quality and safety; structured record review for assessing clinical specialties; integrated risk management systems; and quality and safety indicators. Students will gain an insight into how effective use of such information can be applied to audit, clinical risk, professional development and information services, including links to clinical outcomes. Various reporting systems both within healthcare and in industry will be examined.
4. Understanding adverse events
This module builds on the previous one. The London framework will be used to explore the various aspects of healthcare and how each contributes to quality and safety. Root Cause Analysis and other incident analysis tools will be used to enhance students’ understanding of the methods and tools available for reducing risk and improving quality and safety. Other aspects of this module include multi disciplinary teams, ergonomics and design, documentation and continuity of care, as well as prospective and proactive methods of risk reduction.
5. The aftermath of an incident
This module covers a number of safety themes that are directly related to the effect of clinical incidents and adverse events on patients and staff. These themes explore research evidence, policy guidelines and current clinical practice on:
a) how healthcare professionals can effectively communicate information relating to risk to patients and their carers or relatives;
b) how adverse events and clinical incidents affect patients and their relatives;
c) how complaints and litigation are managed;
d) how patients and their carers or relatives can facilitate clinical safety and the role of health care professionals in supporting them to do so.
The effects of critical incidents and adverse events on staff are also highlighted along with coping strategies and support systems both for general and work-related stressors and those associated with critical incidents and adverse events.
6. Improving Safety, Implementing change
This module brings together the various themes in the earlier modules and considers recent local, national and international initiatives to improve safety in healthcare. It explores lessons learned in other industries and provides sessions in which to explore change and how to manage change, including how to deal with those resisting new initiatives. Students will explore effective strategies, including the use of multi-dimensional approaches and technological solutions. Associated limitations and advantages will be explored, including current and potential safety mechanisms and alerts/alarms and the importance and transitory nature of culture.
7. System and organisational aspects of quality and safety
This module emphasises the importance on how organisational aspects, including safety culture, affect quality and safety. In particular, there is a emphasis on leadership and on the practical issues of patient safety and focuses on a number of key themes, including medication error, infection control, surgical complications etc. It builds on previous modules and explores ways of using all aspects of the system to reduce the risk of such events including incorporating the patient or carer role as well as national initiatives (for example to reduce infections) and increase public awareness.
Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).
Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.
All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.
Candidates will be expected to hold a degree in medicine or at least an Upper Second Class in a healthcare related subject, and have three years of experience working in healthcare.
Dean's Master's Scholarships
Full tuition fees and a stipend of £17,000
5 places are available
Full tuition fees and a stipend of £17,000
4 places are available
Stipends will be paid in monthly instalments, subject to satisfactory progression. Awardees on courses which last more than a year will have their £17,000 stipend spread over the full lengh of the degree.
The Faculty offers a wide range of Master's degree courses, as well as PG Certificates and Diplomas, and all students will belong to the Graduate School, which provides a comprehensive Transferable Skills Programme.
For any queries not covered here, please email James Osborne (PGT Administrator, Faculty of Medicine) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that there may be other scholarships offered by Schools, Institutes and Departments that make up the Faculty of Medicine. These are separate from the Dean's and Faculty Master's Scholarships described here and entail a different application process.
These awards are open to all students who have made an application to the Faculty of Medicine by 30 April 2015 for admission to study for a full time or part time Master's course* at Imperial College London, starting in October 2015 (*or PG Cert for a course where that is the only route to the higher degree).
Please note that these awards can only be given to students who are studying a course run by the Faculty of Medicine. For a full list of these courses, please see our Master's Degree page.
It is not essential for applicants to have already received an offer of a place on a course, but the initial course application must be made before applying for a scholarship.
Applications are accepted from talented candidates from Imperial College London, the UK and worldwide. There are no restrictions on nationality.
Candidates are expected to be able to provide evidence of outstanding academic ability. This will usually mean being among the highest achievers in their undergraduate cohort and in receipt of, or due to receive, a first class UK Honours degree or equivalent.
An applicant who does not meet this requirement (e.g. holds a second class undergraduate degree, is a health professional who did not undertake a degree course, or is from a non-traditional background*), will be considered if they are able to demonstrate that they have outstanding academic potential and substantial experience relevant to their chosen subject area. This should be included in the Personal Statement section of the application form. (*Those applicants without a degree will be required, where available, to pass a Special Qualifying Examination to gain entry to the chosen course).
Candidates with degrees from overseas institutions are strongly urged to determine if their scores/grades are equivalent to the relevant eligibility criteria.
Candidates who already have a postgraduate qualification should justify their request to have an additional postgraduate course funded by the faculty. This should be included in the Personal Statement section of the application form.
Candidates who wish to apply for a Master's course which starts as a PG Cert or PG Dip will only be considered if they are committed to completing the course to Master's level.
Scholarships awarded based on predicted grades will be conditional upon final results.
How to Apply
In order to be considered for the Dean's Master's Scholarships, potential candidates will need to have first applied for a place on a Master's course in the Faculty of Medicine. It is not essential to wait for an offer of a place to be made, but the initial course application must be made before submitting a scholarship application. To apply for a Master's course, please use our online admission system.
Once the application for the course has been submitted, those who wish to apply for a scholarship should complete our online form (Note: the Scholarship award panel will assess candidates on their scholarship application form NOT their course application, so make sure all key information is included in your scholarship application). The form will need to be completed in a single session, so please have the following information prepared:
Shortlisting will take place in May 2015. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interviews which are currently scheduled for the week commencing Monday 8 June 2015. All interviews will take place via Skype between 9.00 and 17.00 BST. The scholarship application form includes a question regarding your country of residence in June 2015. We will use this information to identify your time zone and try to tailor your interview time accordingly, although we cannot guarantee that the slot allocated to you will be convenient for your time zone.
All candidates will be informed of the decision by the end of June 2015.
We will use the references that you provide as part of your course application process. Please do not send references to us directly as we will be unable to accept them. It is not essential that we receive your references in time to consider your scholarship application, although their absence may weaken your application. It is therefore recommended that you contact your referees directly to ask that they respond to your course application reference request before Friday 8 May 2015 (one week after scholarship applications close).
Terms and conditions
When applying for Faculty of Medicine Master's Degree Scholarships, candidates must agree to Imperial's terms and conditions regarding scholarships and bursaries.
Please note, the following conditions override the standard Imperial terms and conditions:
Both part time and full time students are eligible to apply.
An offer of a place is not required before applying, but candidates must first apply for a Master's course run by the Faculty of Medicine before applying for a scholarship.
Candidates who do not apply through the online form will not be considered for the Dean's Master's Scholarships.
Successful applicants who receive a Dean's Master's Scholarship will not be allowed to accept any other form of scholarship or bursary provided by Imperial College London for study during the 2015/16 academic year.
Scholarship stipends will be paid in monthly instalments over the length of the course, subject to satisfactory progress. Students on courses which are part time or start as a PG Cert will have their stipend paid in equal monthly instalments over the full length of the course.
Awardees will be required to participate in a small number of promotional activities during the course of their studies and allow their image to be used by Imperial for publicity purposes. Such activities may include (but are not limited to) attending special events and producing occassional print or web copy.
Deadline for applications is Midnight 30 April 2015
Applicants will be given a decision by 30 June 2015.
Applications are invited from outstanding candidates from Imperial College London, the UK and worldwide who have the potential to become leaders in their field.
Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas are not available on this programme.
Tuition fees (2015–2016):