Postgraduate study
This course is for healthcare professionals who wish to develop greater expertise in quality and patient safety improvement, with a strong emphasis on application in practice.
MSc Quality and Patient Safety Improvement
1 year full-time; 2-4 years part-time.
Entry requirements
2:2 or above in any allied health or social care related subject – we also welcome applicants who do not hold a degree, but who have an equivalent qualification and/or evidence of relevant personal, professional and educational experience
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
UK/EU fees
£10,305 - Terms apply
International fees
£17,910 - Terms apply
Queen's Medical Centre



This unique programme, offered by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, will develop your expertise in patient safety, human factors and quality improvement and how this applies to practice, addressing: 

  • Human Factors applied to healthcare practice
  • Systems improvement
  • Improving individual and team performance
  • Measuring improvement
  • Engaging patients in improvement
  • Improvement science methodologies
  • How to lead and implement change

Dissertation (60 credits for award of MSc)

  • Opportunity to conduct a specific improvement project that addresses a significant quality or patient safety issue in practice. Alternatively, participants may choose to undertake a systematic review or meta-analysis of current evidence related to a specific aspect of health or social care. 

Students 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 an award winning e-learning group.

Interdisciplinary focus

The programme has been designed by an interdisciplinary collaboration, involving leading academics in health science, business and human factors, with key input from NHS partners

Collaborative partners include: 

Programme content and delivery will be 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.


The 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

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). This includes:

- 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 

Applications are welcome from both UK and international students. Each application is considered individually and healthcare staff who do not have an undergraduate degree, but do have substantial experience, may still be able to apply.

Please contact David Pinnock for advice. 


Full course details

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). 

Blended learning  

Each module is a blend of online e-learning and timetabled, face to face taught sessions. Our online learning environment gives you access to course materials which may include: 

  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Links to reading on the web
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Interactive learning materials
  • Lecture notes and handouts 

The learning environment also supports development of online networks to share and learn from your tutors and other students.



Core modules (20 credits)

  • Fundamentals of safety, quality and improvement science 
  • Measurement and analysis of improvement in practice
  • Applied human factors in healthcare safety and quality
  • Organisational aspects of risk, safety and quality
  • Leading and following in the improvement process
  • Improvement, Power, professionalism and citizen leadership

Dissertation (60 credits for award of MSc)

  • Opportunity to conduct a specific improvement project that addresses a significant quality or patient safety issue in practice. Alternatively, participants may choose to undertake a systematic review or meta-analysis of current evidence related to a specific aspect of health or social care. 

Can I undertake an individual module? 

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

The above is a sample of the typical modules that 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. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

Home/EU students 

You can find out more detailed information about course fees, scholarships and funding on the school website. Please contact us for information about scholarship and bursary opportunities.

The Graduate School provides more information on internal and external sources of postgraduate funding.

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.

Are scholarships available?

Bursary places are funded by the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network


Careers and professional development

In 2017, 100% of postgraduates from the School of Health Sciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The median starting salary was £32,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Our unique QPSI programme will deliver tangible benefits to both individuals, in terms of professional development, and the workplace. 

Benefits for professional development 

This programme will broaden and deepen your knowledge and skills in the fields of patient safety and quality improvement science. It will: 

  • Equip you with a broader understanding of the allied disciplines associated with quality, e.g. human factors, organisational systems and patient and public involvement
  • Develop your skills in critical analysis of healthcare literature and improvement work, adding value to your leadership development for future career opportunities. You will be encouraged to discuss and analyse quality and patient safety improvement case studies from your own organisation or existing NHS exemplars
  • Equip 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 

Benefits for patients and healthcare systems 

A key benefit is the opportunity to apply science and theory into practice and work based projects. This includes: 

  • Enhancing capability and capacity of healthcare leaders in quality and patient safety improvement through access to an accredited programme of learning
  • Promoting access to expertise within organisations in order to empower staff to improve patient safety, experience of care, and outcomes
  • Recognising the value of patient and public involvement in the design and delivery of healthcare
  • Emphasising the practical application of learning to enhance translation into improvements in practice 
  • Offering a valuable route to enhance interprofessional learning and develop communities of practice with colleagues working within integrated care pathways
  • Developing and strengthening links between healthcare, academic, commercial and charitable partners

Related courses and downloads

Downloads and links


Related courses

No related courses

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

Explore it - Virtual Nottingham
Quality and Patient Safety Improvement MSc-PGCert-PGDip
Get in touch
+44 (0)115 823 0840
Make an enquiry


Donna Jones
School of Health Sciences
Postgraduate Enquiries
The University of Nottingham
B Floor, South Block Link
Queen's Medical Centre

Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
f: +44 (0) 115 951 5812
w: Frequently asked questions
Make an enquiry