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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    1 year full-time; 2-3 years part-time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees

    See website for information (click on "Finance")

  • Last Updated

    05 February 2018

Course content

The global burden of disease and challenges of safe and accessible health services means that more than ever we need to be developing, testing, evaluating and implementing evidence-based healthcare in highly complex situations.

This programme has been designed to give you the skills and knowledge to enact meaningful change and gain a comprehensive grounding in health services research methods as a platform for developing a career as a health researcher.

It is suitable for those from a wide variety of backgrounds including:

  • Science, mathematics and social science graduates
  • Medical researchers
  • Academic clinical fellows
  • Nurses
  • Allied healthcare
  • Healthcare professionals wishing to develop their research skills

You will be taught by the leading international experts and authors in complex interventions research methods. Topics such as patient and public involvement, collaborative working, evidence-based practice, complex interventions, health economics, clinical trials and medical statistics will provide a common thread that runs throughout the programme.

Previous topics that students have chosen for independent study include:

  • Exploring facilitators and barriers of patients’ trust in clinical pharmacists in Primary Care.
  • Improving the physical health monitoring of patients taking Clozepine.
  • Intravenous antimicrobial therapy in the home.
  • Effectiveness of group psychological interventions in reducing the burden for caregivers of patients with dementia residing in the community.

Programme structure

The programme has been designed to be flexible and well-defined with four integrated and mandatory modules (each 30 Masters level credits) plus a dissertation (60 Masters level credits) that can be studied on a part-time or full-time basis.


Some examples of recent modules and the topics covered are as follows;

Core Concepts & Paradigms, which covered;

  • Health services & systems;
  • Complex interventions;
  • Systematic reviews;
  • Qualitative and quantitative research;
  • Evidence-based practice;
  • Patient and public involvement.

Implementation Science, which covered;

  • Diffusion of innovations;
  • Behaviour change;
  • Quality improvement and indicators;
  • Surveillance and intervention mapping
  • Environmental impact and sustainability.

Fundamentals of Health Services Research Methods, which covered;

  • Ethics and governance;
  • Research questions;
  • Outcome measures and survey design;
  • Qualitative methods; Statistics;
  • Health Economics
  • Modelling in Health and Social Care.

Advanced Health Services Methods which covered;

  • Observational study designs;
  • Clinical trials design (including feasibility and pilot studies);
  • Adapting methods to complex situation;
  • Process evaluation (qualitative, quantitative methods);
  • Statistics (advanced techniques);
  • Health economics (advanced);
  • Qualitative methods – secondary data analysis and qualitative synthesis
  • Designing a research protocol.

Please note constituent modules and pathways may be updated, deleted or replaced in future years as a consequence of programme development. Details at any time may be obtained from the programme website.

Visit the MSc Applied Health Services Research page on the University of Exeter website for more details!





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