The course recognises a need for organisations and their managers to become focused on the integration of quality and continuous improvement and as such, the course has been shaped and designed by leading academics and business leaders using the European Foundation Quality Model (EFQM) Excellence Model as its inspiration.
The European Framework for Quality Management (EFQM, 2013) introduces fundamental concepts of excellence which are practitioner-focused. The framework encourages organisations to strive towards eight concepts of excellence, which can only be achieved by actually doing something about it. As such it is a practical model which helps organisations to realise their potential. All modifications to these eight fundamental concepts of excellence, in addition to the new associated emphases, have been fully reflected in the proposed module content for this revised MSc Business Improvement course.
Students will study a diet of modules which will help them to gain a practical understanding of a variety of business improvement subject areas.
Students first work towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Improvement, taking a total of eight modules. Once these have been successfully completed students can then move on to complete the full Master's qualification by completing a Research Methods module and a Business Transformation Project.
The course provides a structure to business improvement which allows students to follow a logical journey. Part 1 of the course introduces students to the “enabler” aspects of business improvement, part 2 of the course focuses on the “results” of business improvement. In semester 3, students are given the opportunity to research a complex business improvement problem in depth via a supervised project.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand.
This course is primarily aimed at equipping students with the skills to allow them to improve the operational performance of an organisation. The MSc Business Improvement course can lead individuals into positions focused on business improvement within organisations. There is a demand for these skills in the economy as organisations strive to become more efficient and effective.
Students who have studied on the course over the last few years have had successful careers in organisations such as Bombardier, BE Aerospace, FG Wilson, NI Water and other public sector organisations.
Our Implementation and Improvement Science MSc programme is a practical and innovative course for graduates with an interest in improving health services and a desire to do it efficiently. The Implementation and Improvement Science MSc programme is delivered by expert scientists working together under the auspices of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) South London.
Implementation Science is the study of methods to support the application of evidence and research findings in healthcare policy and practice. As well as seeking to understand the behaviour of healthcare professionals, managers and policymakers together with service users and carers. The study also examines the impact of decisions on the sustainable uptake, adoption, and spread of evidence-based interventions.
Implementation and Improvement Science looks to determine which improvement strategies offer the greatest benefit in terms of safety, health outcomes and the experience of service users.
The course provides a thorough training that will enable you to develop research skills to support the design and delivery of effective health services. You will have the opportunity to develop, implement and evaluate health interventions working in partnership with health and social care providers to meet vital service needs.
This research programme offers you the flexibility to study either full or part-time and is made up of optional and required modules totalling 180 credits. If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, while the part-time study pathway will take two years to complete.
Initially, you will explore the Principles of Implementation and Improvement Science, Measurement and Evaluation for Healthcare Practice as well as issues in the conduct of healthcare research methods. You will then choose a range of optional modules to reflect your academic interests before completing a dissertation worth 60 credits. Your thesis will enable you to draw on your knowledge and research skills with a choice of three options: an analysis of an area of healthcare provision, an empirical study, or a systematic review.
If you are following the part-time study pathway, you will typically complete the required core study modules as well as the optional modules in the first year and the dissertation in the second and final year.
The majority of learning for this degree takes place across the four King’s College London campuses, including three Thames-side campuses (Waterloo, St Thomas’ and Guy’s) and the Denmark Hill Campus in South London. Please note that locations are determined by where each module is taught and may vary depending on the optional modules you select.
The course content is suitable for people at the start of their career as well as people who have been working in, or using health services for a longer period of time.
You will be assessed through a combination of coursework and examinations. This can include written assignments such as essays, portfolios and dissertations. In addition, some modules will require you to undertake a presentation as part of the module assessment. A small number of modules are assessed by an exam such as an unseen written examination or a computer based assessment.
King’s College is regulated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
What is Implementation Science?
Implementation Science is the study of methods to promote the translation of research findings and evidence into healthcare policy and practice. It seeks to understand the behaviour of healthcare professionals, managers and policy makers alongside those of service users and carers and how these behaviours impact the sustainable uptake, adoption, and spread of evidence-based interventions.
The methods investigate and address major blockages (eg social, behavioural, economic, management) that prevent effective implementation of practices that have already been shown to have the capacity to improve healthcare, and systematically measure the impact of these practices on patient outcomes, experience, safety and population health.
Implementation science is closely aligned to improvement science, which seeks to determine which improvement strategies offer most benefit in terms of safety, health outcomes and the experience of service users.
The School Improvement and Educational Leadership programme is designed for you to make a difference in schools through leadership that is focused on learning. The knowledge and experience you will gain from this programme will place you in an ideal position to inform the future improvement and make a difference to the overall performance of your school. It will help provide you with the foundations to become a leader in school improvement using evidence-based analysis and by challenging current practices.
The School Improvement and Educational Leadership programme is designed for those who are aiming to make a difference in schools through leadership that is focused on learning. Leadership in schools takes many forms: through school and departmental leadership teams, but also through collaboration between teachers and schools on specific problems in teaching and learning. You will be part of a research-led community which uses and develops evidence-based practice to identify and share approaches which can be shown to make a difference in particular contexts.
There are three 'M' levels associated with the programme in School Improvement and Educational Leadership.
Masters - 180 credits which are achieved by passing all four core (compulsory) modules, two optional modules and a dissertation (which is worth 60 credits).
Postgraduate Diploma - 120 credits which are achieved by passing all four core (compulsory) modules and two optional modules.
Postgraduate Certificate - 60 credits which are achieved by passing at least two of the core modules and one further optional modules.
Ask our current students and alumni a question
These are experienced postgraduates who have previously studied, or are currently studying, at the University of Birmingham, and they offer help and advice from a student perspective.
This is an international programme which recruits students from around the world as well as from the UK. We welcome applicants from Chile who are applying through CONICYT’s scholarship programme in which the University of Birmingham is participating. Application of the ideas and evidence about School Improvement and Educational Leadership in a Chilean context will be addressed in the programme.
Specific information for students who wish to apply from Chile may be found on our International Pages.
The programme is offered as part of the School of Education’s work with partner schools. There is a strong emphasis on relating theory and evidence to practice. The teaching includes workshops, seminars and tutorials. Classes use a variety of reflective, analytical and enquiry-based activities using journals, qualitative and quantitative evidence of practice in individual schools and school systems. Support is provided through webCT which includes research discussions and case studies which are used for preparation tasks as well in workshops. Assignment and dissertation topics reflect students’ individual interests and contexts.
This programme is designed to provide a firm basis in theory and evidence for new and aspiring leaders in education. This leadership may be exercised in schools, colleges or administrating authorities. Leadership may be in form of direct responsibility for organisational strategy and practice or it may come in form of leading professional development.
This course allows you to explore how to make better use of research and innovation to improve ways in which healthcare is organised and delivered for patient benefit.
It is a work-based course, requiring you to identify and implement service improvement projects in your own work context.
The course is designed to focus on key concepts:
The MSc also includes:
Students may also make a claim (APL) to gain credits for exemption from some modules.
Coursework, including learning contracts, project proposals, reports, reflective commentary, and oral presentation
Healthcare improvement is a hot topic globally, and this programme offers an advanced education in healthcare improvement leadership. Aimed at individuals employed within health care disciplines, you will benefit from the course if your role requires you to lead improvement initiatives and those who wish to adopt a rigorous, evidence informed and systematic approach to their practice.
This programme offers a high degree of flexibility and allows you to tailor your studies to meet your own personal development requirements, the needs of your professional role, and sponsoring employer. The course is inter-professional in nature, suitable for those working in both clinical and non-clinical roles. Work-based projects are central to the assessment and students are encouraged and supported to learn in and from practice.
This programme is part-time with start dates available in January, June and September.
This part-time MSc is usually studied over 3 years. You can also choose to study for the interim award of Post Graduate Certificate or Post Graduate Diploma.
This programme is not suitable for full time study.
Modules within the Post Graduate Certificate and Post Graduate Diploma stages can be taken on a ‘stand alone’ basis as individual units of study.
Year 1 (Post Graduate Certificate stage)
Year 2 (Post Graduate Diploma stage)
Year 3 (Master’s Degree Stage)
The MSc in Healthcare Improvement Leadership is aimed at those already employed in a health-care related organisation. The programme will give you the knowledge and skills to go on to specialise and lead in the implementation of healthcare improvements. The programme also prepares you to progress on to further study, and the University offers a range of research degrees in Health, Nursing and Midwifery.
This course supports the promotion, development and sustainability of effective leadership and applied service improvement within health and social care.
This is a multi-professional programme designed to equip team leaders, senior professionals and managers with the knowledge, skills and capabilities of promoting, developing and sustaining leadership behaviours within health and social care practice and to meet the challenges of improving services to meet local needs and improve patient and client outcomes.
Year 1 core modules
Year 2 core modules
Year 3 core modules
Modules offered may vary.
How you learn
Year 1 focuses on enabling you to develop a comprehensive and critical understanding of using evidence to lead an improvement project relevant to your own role and workplace. You undertake the Using Evidence to Advance Quality, Safety and Governance in Health and Social Care module across semesters one and two. This module is supported by the Advanced Personal Effectiveness module, which runs through semester one, and is a self-assessment of your personal leadership skills, building on strengths and addressing challenges to develop action plans for effective future leadership.
Year 2 enables you to progress the improvement idea from Year 1 through to the implementation stage of the improvement project in the Leading Service Improvement in Health and Social Care module. This module runs across semesters one and two, and is complemented by a critical and comprehensive understanding of the complexities of working with others. You consider how to influence these processes to support collaborative change, particularly through working with service users and carers in the semester one module, Interdependent Working.
In Year 3 your 15,000-word dissertation: Evaluating the Impact of Service Transformation presents a detailed account of your audit or evaluation research project. You evaluate the impact of the service improvement project and transformation implemented in the Leading Service Improvement in Health and Social Care module. You will have a supervisor to support you through this process. This module runs across semesters one and two.
How you are assessed
Assessments require you to evidence your learning in each module by applying theory to practice. You need to demonstrate a critical and comprehensive understanding of theory and the application of service improvement tools and techniques to a change that you initiate in your practice area. The assessments have been specifically designed to capture the learning journey through the programme and the application of theory to practice.
This course is suitable for graduates wishing to build a professional career in Quality and Business Improvement, as well as experienced professionals who want to develop knowledge, understanding and business management and skills in Quality and Business Improvement. It will lead to an advanced qualification that will support your practical industry knowledge and experience.
Our MSc Strategic Quality Management has been adopted by Hewlett Packard (HP) since 2010 to build on its Lean Sigma Black Belt training for specially selected staff. It provides an academic dimension which encourages strategic thinking and critical awareness leading to more effective and sustainable improvement solutions. HP has reported significant benefits and major financial returns. This annual arrangement has also benefited the University with current practice within the technology sector feeding into the course.
You will be introduced to a broad range of current theory and best practices covering operational, functional and strategic quality management. Critical thinking and self-directed study are important aspects of working at postgraduate level and the programme includes practical ways to deepen existing skills, which can be applied in both academic and business settings.
The course provides you with a deep understanding of quality and its role in the organisation together with techniques to enable you to make a significant contribution to an organisation’s strategic vision for success. It will also help you in the effective implementation of policies to achieve customer focus and continuous improvement. You will be working with academically qualified and enthusiastic staff with research and consultancy experience and links with industry.
The course provides you with quality, organisational and people management skills, and techniques to enable you to make a significant contribution to an organisation’s strategic visions for success. It will also enable you to make an effective contribution to the implementation of policies in order to achieve customer focus and continuous improvement.
Our graduates are in employment in quality management roles, operations management, training and development, and auditing and business process improvement.
Portsmouth Business School is a member of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM),) and the British Quality Foundation (BQF). On completion of the course, students are able to use their MSc qualification as part of their portfolio of evidence to apply for individual membership of the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI).
The course is very flexible. You can either study full-time in Portsmouth in a classroom environment.
This well-established course comprises four units followed by a dissertation:
Business Transformation through Quality Management introduces you to the fundamental concepts of Total Quality Management and Organisational Behaviour, focusing on the application of these concepts in the organisation. It includes driving a culture of continuous improvement and managing change.
Quantitative and Research Methods evaluates concepts of quantitative methods and the application of specialist statistics to aid decision-making within organisations. It also covers the theory and application of research methodologies to support organisational improvement activities. These skills are further developed in the dissertation.
Business Operations – the Quality Management Perspective will give you knowledge of business systems for quality planning, quality standards and the benefits accruing from integrated management systems and their application in the workplace to generate organisational efficiencies. It shows you how tools such as SERVQUAL, FMEA, QFD and Benchmarking can help evaluate how an organisation is performing against their strategic vision and goals.
Strategic Organisational Excellence looks at the links between concepts of excellence (as used by EFQM and other excellence models) and their use in the strategic management of an organisation. It explores issues raised by variations in culture and sector, both within the organisation and in its relationships with its stakeholders. It will also introduce you to Corporate Social Responsibility and Quality in the Supply Chain.
The Dissertation provides the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to identify, design, plan and undertake research and effectively communicate your findings in an individual research project. Your dissertation will focus on a specific quality management issue of your choice, which may relate to a work situation. You will receive one to one supervision during the dissertation.
The course uses a range of teaching methods including formal lectures, tutorials, in-class exercises and work based assignments. Classes are also interactive with the use of case studies and invited speakers. The University’s virtual learning environment (VLE) further supports student study by hosting a range of activities and resources online. There will be staff-led online tutorials with other students for distance learning. We encourage and develop critical thinking and self-directed study, with academic support from University Tutors.
Performance in all units is assessed by means of coursework. The assessment comprises a mixture of individual and group work assessments, case study analyses and reports, essays and presentations. Individual and generic feedback is provided for all assessments.
The aim of this course is to enable you to improve performance at a professional and organisational level. In turn, this should boost your own career prospects by helping you to take the next step up the managerial ladder.
Our previous graduates have gone on to undertake a variety of roles in the Public and Private sectors including quality manager/director, quality engineer, quality adviser, quality analyst, quality consultant, quality environmental and health and safety manager, amongst others.
On successful completion of the course you are eligible to apply for Associate and Practitioner membership of the Chartered Quality Institute. You also may qualify for Chartered Quality Professional status through the qualification route, subject to satisfying the work experience criteria - at least five years' quality management or systems experience, two of which should be in a managerial or supervisory capacity (including the management of people, processes or systems).