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Course overview

This unique degree programme develops your expertise in patient safety, human factors and quality improvement and how this applies to practice.

You will benefit from a strong practical element, as each module offers a mix of classroom-based teaching and access to a comprehensive suite of online learning resources, designed by our award winning e-learning group.

Our programme is designed by an interdisciplinary collaboration, involving leading academics in health science, business and human factors, with key input from collaborative partners including:

Course content is delivered from nationally-recognised experts drawn from patient safety, improvement science and human factors. Our Advisory Board also includes national and international experts whose role is to highlight emerging developments in these fields.

Why choose this course?

Collaborative working

designed by leading academics in health science, business and human factors

Access eLearning

resources from our award-winning HELM group

86%

of research activity is rated as world-leading and internationally excellent with significant impact on people's health and well-being

School of Health Sciences, REF 2014

Course content

This course aims to deliver safety in the delivery of healthcare, via:

  • broadening and deepening knowledge and skills in quality and patient safety improvement, including human factors and organisational systems
  • the application of tools and techniques to explore practice-based problems
  • translating scientific and academic principles to practice
  • implementing sustainable solutions for improvement in the quality of patient care

The programme can be undertaken full-time over one year or part-time over a maximum of four years, and studied to the level of PGCert (60 credits), PGDip (120 credits) or MSc (180 credits).

Who is the programme for?

This course will benefit a broad audience, including:

  • those planning or developing their career in Health and Social Care (public, private and voluntary sectors)
  • clinical staff (nurses, doctors, allied health professionals) from primary, secondary or community care services
  • professional managers and commissioners involved in design and delivery of primary care, secondary hospital-based care, mental health, community and pre-hospital care services
  • those interested in education and teaching in this field and associated research, innovation and scholarship
  • patient safety departments

Please note modules can be taken on an individual, stand-alone basis. Please contact Lisa Burr for more information.

Modules

Modules

Fundamentals of Safety, Quality and Improvement 20 credits

Develop your understanding of the fundamental principles of patient safety and the methods used for improvement of quality in healthcare.

This course considers:

  • the fundamental principles of patient safety, including safety science 
  • the fundamental methods used for improvement of quality in healthcare
  • the role of improvement science in quality and patient safety in health care
  • the approach to undertaking projects in improvement in a healthcare setting
Measurement and Analysis of Improvement in Practice 20 credits

Develop your understanding of the need for measurement in improvement of healthcare activities and the range of tool and techniques used in creating robust improvement plans in practice.

This course considers:

  • the need for measurement within healthcare improvement activities
  • the steps that might be taken to develop robust measurement plans for improvement projects
  • the range of tools and techniques which can help in developing such plans
  • the application of measurement within specific topic areas within quality and safety improvement
Applied Human Factors in Healthcare Safety and Quality 20 credits

Develop your knowledge of human factors in a healthcare setting and the methods and tools that can be used to identify the need for change.

This module covers:

  • the definitions and application of Human Factors in a healthcare setting
  • the methods and tools that can be used to identify the need for change and to evaluate for improvement
Organisational Aspects of Risk, Safety and Quality 20 credits

Examine the strategic, operational, social and political aspects of risk, safety and quality with healthcare structures.

This module considers:

  • the strategic and operational structures and approaches to risk and its management at the organisational and policy level
  • the social, political and cultural dynamics of organising and managing for safety, including the role of regulatory bodies and patient-public involvement in guiding and governance of system change
  • concepts and methods of organisational learning and change along with monitoring and implementing improvement
  • the concept of organisational and professional culture in relation to safety and improvement
  • the utilisation and challenges of quality improvement when located in a systems context
Leading and Following in the Improvement Process 20 credits

Develop your understanding of external influences that impact upon the improvement process and a critical appreciation of the role of leadership and teamwork in delivery improvement.

This module considers:

  • theories of leadership and followership, and their relation to improvement processes
  • the formation and development of teams to delivery improvement
  • the concept of change and the challenges of changing practice 
  • the importance of environmental context and culture in the process of improvement and a range of strategies to address these issues 
Improvement, Power, Professionalism and Citizen Leadership 20 credits

This module will develop your understanding of the stakeholders involved as key contributors to safe care and improvement of quality. You will use their feedback to learn how to design quality improvement interventions.

You will consider:

  • the perspective of the public and patients, relatives and carers as key contributors to safe care and improvement of quality 
  • how to engage the public and patients, relatives and carers appropriately in quality improvement 
  • the use of patient feedback in designing improvement interventions 
  • philosophy, background and common structures of involvement and engagement, and awareness of person-centred public involvement in research and education 
  • working with patient and public led initiatives and exploring the value of co-production 
Dissertation 60 credits

An opportunity to conduct a specific improvement project that addresses a significant quality or patient safety issue in practice.

Alternatively, you may choose to undertake a systematic review or meta-analysis of current evidence related to a specific aspect of health or social care.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Thursday 19 November 2020.

Modules

Fundamentals of Safety, Quality and Improvement 20 credits

Develop your understanding of the fundamental principles of patient safety and the methods used for improvement of quality in healthcare.

This course considers:

  • the fundamental principles of patient safety, including safety science 
  • the fundamental methods used for improvement of quality in healthcare
  • the role of improvement science in quality and patient safety in health care
  • the approach to undertaking projects in improvement in a healthcare setting
Measurement and Analysis of Improvement in Practice 20 credits

Develop your understanding of the need for measurement in improvement of healthcare activities and the range of tool and techniques used in creating robust improvement plans in practice.

This course considers:

  • the need for measurement within healthcare improvement activities
  • the steps that might be taken to develop robust measurement plans for improvement projects
  • the range of tools and techniques which can help in developing such plans
  • the application of measurement within specific topic areas within quality and safety improvement
Applied Human Factors in Healthcare Safety and Quality 20 credits

Develop your knowledge of human factors in a healthcare setting and the methods and tools that can be used to identify the need for change.

This module covers:

  • the definitions and application of Human Factors in a healthcare setting
  • the methods and tools that can be used to identify the need for change and to evaluate for improvement
Organisational Aspects of Risk, Safety and Quality 20 credits

Examine the strategic, operational, social and political aspects of risk, safety and quality with healthcare structures.

This module considers:

  • the strategic and operational structures and approaches to risk and its management at the organisational and policy level
  • the social, political and cultural dynamics of organising and managing for safety, including the role of regulatory bodies and patient-public involvement in guiding and governance of system change
  • concepts and methods of organisational learning and change along with monitoring and implementing improvement
  • the concept of organisational and professional culture in relation to safety and improvement
  • the utilisation and challenges of quality improvement when located in a systems context
Leading and Following in the Improvement Process 20 credits

Develop your understanding of external influences that impact upon the improvement process and a critical appreciation of the role of leadership and teamwork in delivery improvement.

This module considers:

  • theories of leadership and followership, and their relation to improvement processes
  • the formation and development of teams to delivery improvement
  • the concept of change and the challenges of changing practice 
  • the importance of environmental context and culture in the process of improvement and a range of strategies to address these issues 
Improvement, Power, Professionalism and Citizen Leadership 20 credits

This module will develop your understanding of the stakeholders involved as key contributors to safe care and improvement of quality. You will use their feedback to learn how to design quality improvement interventions.

You will consider:

  • the perspective of the public and patients, relatives and carers as key contributors to safe care and improvement of quality 
  • how to engage the public and patients, relatives and carers appropriately in quality improvement 
  • the use of patient feedback in designing improvement interventions 
  • philosophy, background and common structures of involvement and engagement, and awareness of person-centred public involvement in research and education 
  • working with patient and public led initiatives and exploring the value of co-production 
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Thursday 19 November 2020.

Modules

Fundamentals of Safety, Quality and Improvement 20 credits

Develop your understanding of the fundamental principles of patient safety and the methods used for improvement of quality in healthcare.

This course considers:

  • the fundamental principles of patient safety, including safety science 
  • the fundamental methods used for improvement of quality in healthcare
  • the role of improvement science in quality and patient safety in health care
  • the approach to undertaking projects in improvement in a healthcare setting
Measurement and Analysis of Improvement in Practice 20 credits

Develop your understanding of the need for measurement in improvement of healthcare activities and the range of tool and techniques used in creating robust improvement plans in practice.

This course considers:

  • the need for measurement within healthcare improvement activities
  • the steps that might be taken to develop robust measurement plans for improvement projects
  • the range of tools and techniques which can help in developing such plans
  • the application of measurement within specific topic areas within quality and safety improvement
Applied Human Factors in Healthcare Safety and Quality 20 credits

Develop your knowledge of human factors in a healthcare setting and the methods and tools that can be used to identify the need for change.

This module covers:

  • the definitions and application of Human Factors in a healthcare setting
  • the methods and tools that can be used to identify the need for change and to evaluate for improvement
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Thursday 19 November 2020.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Presentation
  • Group study
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • eLearning
  • Interactive learning
  • Lectures

Each module is a blend of online e-learning and timetabled, face to face taught sessions.

How you will be assessed

  • Assignments
  • Presentation
  • Dissertation

Your work will be assessed during or at the end of each module through a variety of means.

To complete a module and gain its credits you will need to make sure you attend your timetabled sessions and get over the 50% pass mark.

  • In order to achieve the MSc, you will need a total of 180 credits
  • In order to achieve the PGDip, you will need a total of 120 credits
  • In order to achieve the PGCert, you will need a total of 60 credits

Contact time and study hours

You are expected to work roughly 10 hours for each credit on the course including teaching and independent study, so a 20 credit module should take around 200 hours to complete.

Teaching contact time for a full-time student is approximately 6 hours each week. You will also take part in self-guided independent study outside of timetabled contact hours.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:2 (or above) in any allied health or social care related subject.

Applying

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

Qualification MSc PGDip PGCert
Home / UK £11,000 £7,333 £3,667
International £20,000 £13,333 £6,667

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, such as printing, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

Graduate destinations

Our unique programme delivers tangible benefits for graduates, in terms of professional development, and the workplace. It equips you with the skills to undertake future research projects, pursue publication or apply to undertake a higher research degree.

Students completing the MSc programme will have the opportunity to apply for short term clinical or non-clinical placements with partnering organisations.

Career progression

96.9% of postgraduates from the School of Health Sciences secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £29,708.*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for NHS trusts (such as clinical specialists, advanced practitioners, modern matrons), universities (such as lecturers and senior academics, lecturer practitioners, researchers) and in private practice.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
Play video

Quality and Patient Safety Improvement at the University of Nottingham

Hear staff and students from the School of Health Sciences discuss our Quality and Patient Safety Improvement course and the opportunities this postgraduate qualification provides for your professional development.

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Thursday 19 November 2020. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.