The MSc in Surgical Science and Practice is a part-time, modular course completed in two to three years by surgical trainees.
Delivered in collaboration with the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (http://www.nds.ox.ac.uk/) it is designed to prepare senior surgical trainees for life as independent specialists by providing key skills and knowledge essential for modern practice, which are not fully represented or are omitted from most postgraduate training curricula. The course is unique as its part-time nature is designed to allow students to fit their study around work.
The MSc in Surgical Science and Practice provides a foundation in some of the most important additional life long skills which the future leaders of the profession need to acquire. Surgeons in the future will work as part of multi-disciplinary teams in complex organisations, and will need to adapt and develop new skills and roles throughout their professional lives. Thus the syllabus covers management skills, quality improvement, leadership, teamwork and patient safety, as well as an introduction to the principles of medical education and clinical research methods. The knowledge gained during this course will stand students in good stead throughout their careers.
The MSc in Surgical Science and Practice is organised around six compulsory modules, plus a work-based research project and dissertation. The programme is normally completed in two to three years. Students are full members of the University of Oxford and are matriculated as members of an Oxford college.
The course features a significant component of online and distance learning, as well as one week of intensive teaching in Oxford per module.
- Becoming a Medical Educator - Human Factors, Teamwork and Communication - Introduction to Surgical Management and Leadership - Quality Improvement Science and Systems Analysis - Surgical Technology and Robotics - The Practice of Evidence-Based Health Care (Surgery)
Each module takes place once a year, giving students the opportunity to individualise their patterns of study.
During the course there is an exceptional opportunity for an introduction, with hands-on experience, to leading edge modern surgical technology such as the Da Vinci robot. The programme also features lectures by staff from the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine based in the world-renowned Department of Primary Care Health Sciences.
Taught by global experts, the modules in this programme can also be taken as individual stand-alone courses.
The overarching aim of the MSc in Surgical Science and Practice is to provide the next generation of surgeons with the tools to build and lead successful surgical units delivering safe, high quality, high reliability care.
By the end of the course candidates will be able to understand the following important principles:
- How to evaluate clinical research evidence critically and understand how it should be interpreted and applied to one’s own context and practice;
- How to design, conduct and evaluate teaching and training for postgraduate clinicians, and how to assess curricula and teaching programmes;
- Financial and quality management ideas, and methods for analysing and restructuring the systems in which surgeons work;
- A theoretical understanding of the use of modern surgical technology linked to baseline practical training in minimally invasive and robotic surgical techniques;
- The teamwork, leadership and communication skills required for effective and safe working in a modern surgical environment.
What will you gain from attending the programme?
At the end of the programme you will be able to:
- Critically appraise relevant clinical research and estimate its validity and relevance to your practice;
- Understand in principle how to design your own clinical research studies, and what expert support you need to be successful;
- Understand basic business and financial planning in the health care industry;
- Develop your own business plans and cases for your practice;
- Understand the principles of leading a team and how to foster an appropriate culture to promote good teamwork and communication;
- Analyse and improve systems of work within surgery using standard industrial quality improvement and human factors principles;
- Understand how to act as a mentor and trainer for postgraduate trainees, how to set up and run courses and curricula, and how to evaluate and improve trainee progress;
- Understand and have some experience of using up to the minute surgical technology which is likely to become important during your career.
The class-based modules include a period of preparatory study, a week of intensive face-to-face lectures and tutorials, followed by a period for assignment work. Attendance at modules is a requirement for study. Some non-classroom activities are provided at facilities elsewhere in the University, including surgical simulators and operating theatres on the University's hospital sites. The course includes taught material on research skills.
The taught modules include group work, discussions, guest lectures, and interaction and feedback with tutors and lecturers. Practical work develops the student's knowledge and understanding of the subject. This includes supervised access to surgical simulators and robots as part of the Surgical Technology and Robotics module.
A virtual learning environment (VLE) provides extensive support between modules.
- The Cairns Library at the John Radcliffe Hospital - Radcliffe Science Library - Rewley House Continuing Education Library - Bodleian Libraries e-Resources
Plus facilities from the Department of Continuing Education, including:
- The Graduate School - WebLearn virtual learning environment
To complete the MSc, students will need to:
- Attend the six compulsory modules in Oxford, and undertake assessed written assignments for each module; - Complete a dissertation on a topic selected by the candidate in consultation with the supervisor and approved by the Standing Committee.
The dissertation will be founded on a work-based research project that will build on the material studied in the taught modules. The dissertation should normally not exceed 15,000 words.
The project will normally be supervised by an academic supervisor from the University of Oxford, and an employer-based mentor.
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