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Who is it for?

The course is suitable for professionals from clinical and non-clinical backgrounds, including those who have worked in:

  • Medical and allied health professions
  • Local government
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Research institutions and consultancies
  • Pharmaceutical and healthcare industries

The competencies that you will develop on the course will help you design, conduct and interpret research that aims to understand or improve specific issues in the organisation and delivery of our health services. The course is particularly relevant for professionals working in the health services who wish to expand their role, or move to a new role, that requires a deeper understanding of research methods and evidence-based practice and policy.

Alternatively, the course provides a stepping stone if you are considering  developing your career by pursue an MPhil or PhD- in Health Services Research.


The MSc in Health Services Research  will help you:

  • Gain advanced health services research training.
  • Develop new knowledge of theory and research relevant to health services and practice.
  • Understand the implications of professional and contextual issues for health and social care.
  • Conduct and evaluate research to understand and improve service delivery, quality of care and patient outcomes.
  • Explore the multi-factorial causes of healthcare outcomes to develop and evaluate complex interventions and improve services.

Teaching and learning

Health Services Research is the study of healthcare quality, access and costs in order to make health services more effective, equitable and efficient. Health Services Research is inherently multidisciplinary and requires strong research competencies as a foundation to promote evidence-based practice and policy.

The MSc in Health Service Research provides training in a wide range of qualitative, quantitative, and systematic review methods. Beyond these core modules, you will be able to select from a range of electives modules (subject to availability and compatibility with your other elective choices) that allow you to tailor the programme to your own needs and interests. We offer electives modules that focus on practice, management and policy levels of health services. This flexibility allows you to concentrate on a more specialise area or generalise to gain a broader understanding of health services at different levels (micro, meso and macro).

Teaching and learning for your Health Services Research MSc takes place through an engaging mix of approaches, including:

  • Lectures
  • Class discussions and seminars
  • Student presentations
  • Poster presentations
  • Case study analysis
  • Interactive computer-based exercises
  • Virtual learning environment
  • Self-directed reading.

Modules are assessed through a combination of methods:

  • Research proposal
  • Mini-lab examination
  • Systematic review
  • Poster presentation
  • Data analysis workbook
  • Practical exam and associated lab report
  • Formative online quiz.


This course consists of 180 credits. You will receive comprehensive theoretical and practical training in research methods and data analysis in a programme that comprises a range of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods courses and practical workshops. You will gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of the process of developing theory-driven complex interventions for the improvement of health and healthcare.

The taught component of the MSc in Health Services Research is structured as follows:

  • Four core modules (75 credits) – you are required to study and pass all the assessments on all four of these modules.
  • Three elective modules (45 credits) – you are required to study and pass three (of  five) elective modules.

As a postgraduate student, you will be expected to allocate an average of 150 hours of taught and self-directed learning per 15-credit module.

Core modules

  • Introduction to Research Methods and Applied Data Analysis (30 credits)
  • Advanced Research Methods (15 credits)
  • Advanced Data Analysis (15 credits)
  • Developing Complex Interventions (15 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits).

Elective modules

You will select three of the following:

  • Health Policy Process, Politics and Power (15 credits)
  • International Health Systems (15 credits)
  • Health Policy in Britain (15 credits)
  • Management and Leadership in Healthcare (15 credits)
  • Health Innovation and Change (15 credits)

Career prospects

This course will give you a thorough grounding in practical research and statistical skills. As a result, it will open-up a wide range of career options for you to explore in management, service provision and practice roles.

You can go on to develop your career across the broad scope of health service settings, including:

  • NHS
  • Charities
  • Industry
  • Government
  • Private practice
  • Academic and research environments.

You will gain vital transferable skills which are applicable to all health and medical related careers, where attention to detail, conducting research and evaluation for evidence based practice, and report writing is in high demand.

As a Health Services Research MSc Graduate, you may also wish to pursue further academic achievements by undertaking doctoral-level study.

Visit the Health Services Research (MSc) page on the City, University of London website for more details!




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