Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors MSc, PgCert, PgDip (Online Learning)
The University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 - 3 year
GBP 6,370 / per year
25 Aug 2023
Earliest start date
11 Sep 2023
The programme aims to support any graduate health care professionals – ranging from nurses to surgeons and anaesthetists – in using evidence-based tools and techniques to improve the reliability and safety of everyday health care systems and processes.
The programme is taught entirely online, making it an attractive option if you are a professional wishing to secure academic credit or a higher degree in patient safety and are unable to commit to attend on-campus teaching.
- This programme is three years of online, part-time study
- The three-year programme leads to the degree of Master of Science (MSc). There are also exit points after one year of study (PG Certificate) and two years of study (PG Diploma)
Our online learning technology is fully interactive, and award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.
Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.
What to expect at the University of Edinburgh
As a student within the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine, you will join more than 7,000 students studying a range of postgraduate programmes. Following the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, our vet school and our medical school were both among the UK top five, ranked by research power (Times Higher Education, Overall Ranking of Institutions REF 2021).
Your postgraduate experience here will be supported and enhanced by the wealth of resources and opportunities we offer. We are committed to delivering high-quality, innovative teaching. The latest report from the Quality Assurance Agency awarded us the highest rating possible for the quality of the student learning experience.
The University of Edinburgh is currently ranked 15th in the World in the QS World University Rankings 2023.
This programme in Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors is suitable for:
- Those looking to distinguish themselves as being experienced in patient safety and, in some way, looking to move towards specialising or taking a management lead in this field
The Master’s in Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors programme's learning outcomes have been mapped onto the SCQF level 11 characteristics.
On graduating from this programme, you will:
- demonstrate an extensive, detailed and critical knowledge and understanding of the current background and principal theories regarding the extent of and causes of harm in healthcare, reliability, patient safety and human factors
- be able to put into practice the applied knowledge, skills and understanding by planning and executing a significant project of research, investigation or development
- have developed the necessary cognitive skills to deal with complex issues and make informed judgements in situations in the absence of complete or consistent data/information
- be able to recognise contributory factors towards adverse events and use this knowledge to inform improvement plans and learning at a local and organisational level. This includes audit/M&M meetings and duty of candour, as well as ethics
- have highly developed communication skills, and be communicate, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge/expertise
- gain a wide range of routine skills and a range of advanced and specialised skills as appropriate to Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors
- be able to exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities. You will demonstrate leadership and initiative and make an identifiable contribution to change and development and/or new thinking
- demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the chosen research topic, You will identify, conceptualise and offer original and creative insights into novel information and/or recently published data
- produce a written critique of a defined piece of research, as well as demonstrate originality and creativity in the development and application of new knowledge, understanding and practices.
Why study a Master’s in Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors
As a graduate of this programme, you may be looking to develop specific skills in this area within your current position. You may also be looking to secure an appointment as a patient safety officer, a position that is increasingly promoted and advertised in the UK.
We anticipate that this qualification would not necessarily result in a change in career for graduate health care professionals so much as develop your current role.
The demand for individuals with knowledge and skills in teaching and assessing patient safety and quality improvement is growing rapidly. Both NHS England and Scotland are driving initiatives in this area and this is being observed globally.
As a graduating student, you will have a significant advantage in signalling not only your commitment to patient safety and quality improvement, but you will have also demonstrated the skills needed in identifying and measuring patient safety risks from a Human Factors science perspective.
You will also gain the ability to apply quality improvement methodology to make effective changes to improve safety. These skills are highly sought after particularly within the NHS and other developed healthcare systems.
How the University of Edinburgh can support you
We are committed to helping you to develop skills and attributes that will enhance your ability to compete in the job market, to progress your career, and to achieve your full potential within the global community. In addition to the provision of dedicated support through our award-winning Careers Service, we broker strategic partnerships between academics, industry specialists and other institutions, to enhance your personal and professional development and provide relevant career insights.
Our graduates are ranked 24th in the world by employers, making the University an excellent choice for a postgraduate education with prospects (QS World University Rankings 2023).
The programme has two elements: the taught element and the dissertation element (in Year 3).
The taught element of the programme is divided into six 20-credit courses; three are needed to complete the Certificate, and six are needed to complete Diploma.
Each academic year consists of three teaching blocks, each running over a period of 11 weeks.
During the dissertation element of the programme, you will have the opportunity to further develop your skills and design and conduct your own quality improvement project in your workplace.
This dissertation year consists of a phased assessment.
60 credit = PgCert
- Introduction to healthcare delivery and what leads to harm (20 credits)
- Clinical Human Factors and Ergonomics in Healthcare (20 credits)
- Individual and team skills(20 credits)
120 credit = PgDip
- Learning from current practice and governance(20 credits)
- Training for safety(20 credits)
- Quality improvement for safer practice(20 credits)
180 credit = MSc
- Dissertation and independent improvement project (60 credits)