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The University of Edinburgh: Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors (Online Learning)

Institution The University of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department Edinburgh Medical School
Study type Taught


Who is this programme for?

This three year, part-time, online MSc programme in Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors aims to support graduate health care professionals, ranging from nurses, surgeons, anaesthetists, veterinarians, paramedics and those working in healthcare management. Students learn how to use evidence -based tools and techniques to improve the reliability and safety of everyday health care systems and processes.

As an applicant of this degree, you will be looking to distinguish yourself as being an expert in patient safety and 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 experts.

Due to the unique and completely online nature of the teaching, the programme is 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.

Year 1 and 2 of the programme each consist of three 20-credit courses. On successful completion of Year 1 and Year 2 courses, students complete an independent research project in Year 3.

this programme has the following exit awards:

  • Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert: 60 credits)

  • Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip: 120 credits)

  • Master of Science (MSc: 180 credits)

Year 1

Year 1 will cover:

  • a broad introduction into the current state of safety in health care

  • how harm comes to patients

  • a detailed understanding of clinical human factors and ergonomics

Year 2

Year 2 will follow on 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.

You will also focus on quality improvement research and methodologies.

Year 3

Year 3 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

  • completion of a dissertation


Postgraduate Certificate - PgCert

Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip

Edinburgh. Extraordinary futures await.

The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 27th in the 2025 QS World University Rankings.

Our position as one of Britain’s leading research universities was reaffirmed by the results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, ranked 4th in the UK for research power (Times Higher Education, Overall Ranking of Institutions), with 90% of our research activity classified as world leading or internationally excellent in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.

Our …

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