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Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors (Online Learning) PgDip

Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors (Online Learning) PgDip

Key information

Qualification type

Postgraduate Diploma

Subject areas

Ergonomics Health Legal / Ethical Issues Flexible Learning Design

Course type


Course Summary

Programme description

This 3-year part-time online MSc programme in Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors 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.

Applicants for this degree will be looking to distinguish themselves as being experienced in patient safety and, in some may, looking to move towards specialising or taking a management lead in this field. The programme will draw on teaching materials from a global network of enthusiasts.

Year One will give a broad introduction into the current state of safety in health care, how harm comes to patients and a detailed understanding of clinical human factors, ergonomics.

Year Two will then go from the state of healthcare to look at how we can improve safety in healthcare. This involves examining how good teamwork influences patient outcomes, as well as improving healthcare and medicine management. We will also focus on quality improvement research and methodologies.

Year Three will follow the highly successful iterative module used by the Masters in Surgical Sciences, involving submission of a project outline, abstract submission with poster preparation, and completion of a dissertation.

Due to the unique completely online nature of the pedagogy, the programme would be an attractive option for those professionals wishing to secure academic credit or a higher degree in patient safety and who are unable to commit to attend on-campus teaching.

Learning outcomes

The five Learning Outcomes have been mapped onto the SCQF level 11 characteristics:

  • To 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.
  • To put into practice the applied knowledge, skills and understanding by planning and executing a significant project of research, investigation or development.
  • To develop the necessary cognitive skills to deal with complex issues and make informed judgements in situations in the absence of complete or consistent data/information. *To recognise contributory factors towards adverse events and use this knowledge to inform improvement plans and learning at a local and organisational level (including audit/M&M meetings and Duty of candour as well as ethics).
  • To develop communication skills. To communicate, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge/expertise; to access a wide range of routine skills and a range of advanced and specialised skills as appropriate to a Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors.
  • To exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities. To demonstrate leadership and initiative and make an identifiable contribution to change and development and/or new thinking. To demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the chosen research topic; 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; Demonstrate originality and creativity in the development and application of new knowledge, understanding and practices.

Career opportunities

A graduate of this programme may be looking to develop specific skills in this area within their current position and some may 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 developing their current role.

Different course options

Study mode



2 years

Start date



Individual and team skills (20 Credits) - Core
Introduction to healthcare delivery and what leads to harm (20 Credits) - Core
Clinical Human Factors and ergonomics in Healthcare (20 Credits) - Core
Training for safety (20 Credits) - Core
Quality improvement for safer practice (20 Credits) - Core
Learning from current practice and governance (20 Credits) - Core

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in healthcare, with subject areas including medicine, biomedical science or pharmacology/pharmacy, nursing, psychology.