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Informatics for Healthcare Systems: Improving Skills for Patient Driven Healthcare (PGCert)

Course content

Our  six-month Informatics for Healthcare Systems CPD course explores the role of informatics in managing healthcare systems, with an emphasis on current issues and future innovations and trends.

The course is led by health problems rather than technologies or organisations, setting the direction of translational thinking that healthcare managers need to take when dealing with information and communications technologies.

Through our own research-driven examples and case studies, you will be provided with the skills and concepts needed to address the core issues in delivering and managing healthcare systems through informatics.

These include topics surrounding data, technologies, information and people in the context of the journey from the maintenance of wellbeing to specialist healthcare for individuals, and the creation of a population-wide picture of health to enable well-informed management of a whole system.

Each course unit will examine a core issue in detail at every stage of the patient pathway in context with other core issues and skills, and will consider its impact on the information usage.

This course is open to anyone who looking to develop their health informatics knowledge and work in the healthcare, pharmaceutical or academic sectors.


We aim to:

  • look at each of the core issues in relation to the requirements of the information systems, and the use of information at each stage in the Pathway together with its impact on the remainder of the pathway;
  • provide you with the key skills required to develop and manage healthcare systems in the new and changing health economy, addressing the agenda of the information revolution, where the patient is at the centre of the healthcare system;
  • emphasise the importance and role of information in patient-driven healthcare;
  • explain key principles and concepts and their practical application.

Teaching and learning

This course uses an engaging blend of lectures, exercises, discussions and case studies designed to put theory into practice.

Our enquiry-based learning approach will encourage discussion and debate, enabling you to actively share knowledge with other students. Face-to-face time will provide you with immediate access to experts and a forum for the informatics workforce to network and to exchange experiences and knowledge.

This will allow you to develop wider awareness of the overall health informatics and patient pathway context, and provide a basis for greater collaboration.

Online material relating to each unit will allow you to review material in your own time and reflect upon your learning and how it can be applied in your own organisation. Material will also be provided as pre-unit preparation and for learning reflection.

Both reflective and preparatory material will enable you to consolidate and advance your learning in ways that suit you on an individual basis.

For those attending more than one unit, online material will connect the subject matter covered during each unit. It will also allow you to directly apply your knowledge and skills in the workplace, enabling you to enhance your practical experience.

Access to the online material will remain available to assist in ongoing consolidation of knowledge and skills.

Course unit details

The course is delivered across seven face-to-face contact days, divided into one block of three days and two blocks of two days. Each block is then interspersed with e-learning content for reflection and preparation. Each unit will have one face-to-face day, except Unit 6, which will comprise two face-to-face days.

  • Unit 1: Essential Informatics in Healthcare Systems
  • Unit 2: Significance of Recording and Coding Information
  • Unit 3: Interoperability in Health Information Systems
  • Unit 4: Health Information and Clinical Governance
  • Unit 5: Human and Organisational Factors in Health
  • Unit 6: Emerging Innovations and Trends in Health

Course collaborators

This course has been developed in conjunction with the School of Computer Science at The University of Manchester, the North West Informatics Skills Development Network, and discussions with clinicians and other members in the NHS and industry. In addition, key competencies have been highlighted using the Health Careers Framework.

What our students say

"During the course I have had the opportunity to look at current practices from a more objective standpoint (rather than being caught up with doing it) and hear perspectives from colleagues in other settings. I have a better and broader understanding of issues across the healthcare system and hopefully will be able to apply some of the academic ways of looking at things going forward."

Robert Konstant-Hambling, Head of Information, North West Specialised Commissioning

"The course has been beneficial to me in a number of areas, in particular it has forced me to investigate above and beyond NHS and DoH literature and see things from a different perspective. I always have good intentions of investigating and reading to improve knowledge and understanding for my work area but find time restricting and seldom have chance to read beyond the high priority documents. I have found the course and networking with NHS staff of a similar level and responsibilities, in this environment, extremely useful in challenging existing knowledge and forcing me to stretch myself."

Erica Fairweather, System Support Manager, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

"The course has enabled me to interact with the rest of the health economy on a more informed basis thereby benefitting both the health economy as a whole and influencing better patient care through the delivery of cohesive systems."

Paul Lucock, Associate Director ICT Delivery, Northwest Ambulance NHS Trust


Computers will be available during the face-to-face sessions held on campus at the University. We offer extensive library and online services to help you get the most out of your studies.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email:

Visit the Informatics for Healthcare Systems: Improving Skills for Patient Driven Healthcare (PGCert) page on the University of Manchester website for more details!




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Recipient: University of Manchester

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