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.
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:
• Improvement science concepts
• Evidence-based approaches
• Quality improvement and measurement
The MSc also includes:
Students may also make a claim (APL) to gain credits for exemption from some modules.
Delivering excellence in health and social care at an individual, team and organisational level is not just desirable but achievable. The philosophy of this CIEHF recognised course is that for high-quality, safer care to flourish, every member of staff must be committed to, and play their part in, an integrated approach to care. The application of a human factors approach is also crucial if real progress is to be made. A human factors approach involves applying theory, data and design methods about how humans interact with their environment to make it easier for work to be done in the right way.
The programme develops and equips critical advocates and ambassadors for quality, safety and governance in health and social care. It also enables you to apply comprehensive knowledge, understanding, expertise and advanced skills to lead a human factors-based project in the work place to enhance the quality, safety and governance of care. The programme is suitable for you if you work in the public, independent and voluntary sectors, or any other professional field including clinical and support services.
To maximise your success on this programme you need a viable project in line with your departmental or organisational priorities and agreed by your relevant organisational representative and programme leader. Throughout this course you will have access to qualified CIEHF members. You will be asked to complete a brief human factors-based quality improvement project overview form to support your application.We expect that you will have prior knowledge and/or experience of change management, leadership and quality improvement science or a willingness to independently increase your knowledge in these areas before beginning the course.
This course is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors
You develop in-depth, specialist knowledge of human factors and gain experience in using this to enhance the quality, safety and governance of care. You also study improvement science, leading change and a multi-perspective approach to determining and measuring performance and the impact of change. This includes planning an evaluation study based on the change you have implemented.
Modules offered may vary.
How you learn
The programme is taught in short study blocks spread across the academic year over a total of 14 contact days. We use a range of teaching methods including lectures and workshops, student-led seminars, action learning, interactive and online learning activities, directed and self-directed study activities. You are supported by module tutors with extensive experience in this subject area and the programme leader who is a member of the founding cohort for the NHS England and Health Foundation Q Initiative.
How you are assessed
We use a range of assessment modes throughout the programme. These include an essay analysing a quality, safety and governance issue using a human factors approach, a project-based evaluation research critique, and a poster presentation and oral defence of a change project.
Formative processes include an informal presentation on the improvement project plan and initial implementation. This is an opportunity for you to receive early development feedback. Presentations are made to a small panel drawn from the critical friends stakeholder support forum whose members participate in student assessment and support programme design and delivery. This group comprises service users and carers, employer representatives and academic staff to ensure that a person-centred approach extends to all aspects of the programme, maximising employer/organisational benefit.
Graduates from this programme are equipped with specialist human factors knowledge, expertise and experience as well as a range of more generic attributes such as advanced reasoning and decision-making skills. You are able to work collaboratively, present and research. You also have strong ICT skills that highly sought after by employers.
The programme is relevant for you if you work in, or would like to work in a specialist quality, safety or governance role, or one dealing with human factors.