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MSc Quality Improvement

Course Description

Designed to focus on the delivery of sustainable, measurable improvements in quality, the MSc Quality Improvement is suitable for a multi-professional audience. It will enable participants to develop an understanding of the science and art of improvement and its application in their organisation.

To ensure that participants have access to the expertise to support them in the development of their own theoretical and practical knowledge of quality improvement approaches, the programme has been developed in partnership between the University of Dundee and the Tayside Centre for Organisational Effectiveness (TCOE).

The programme is supported by a faculty of academic and experienced improvement and organisational development practitioners from NHS Fife and NHS Tayside. This collective expertise ensures an exceptional student experience.

The multi-professional ethos of quality improvement is reflected in the development and delivery of the programme across the College of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing and the School of Education, Social Work & Community Education.

Why study Quality Improvement at Dundee?

The challenge to deliver safe and effective care whilst maximising the utilisation of resources remains a continuous challenge for all practitioners involved in health care both nationally and internationally. The six dimensions of quality are often referred to as safety, effectiveness, patient-centred, timeliness, efficiency and equity. Our course will explore all of these aspects.

On completion of this programme, you will be equipped to influence and lead quality improvements in practice, making a real difference in your place of work.

What's so good about studying Quality Improvement at Dundee?

Here in Scotland, the NHS Scotland Healthcare Quality Strategy places significant emphasis on the provision of "high quality, person-centred, clinically effective and safe health care services".

The programme utilises professional expertise across the College of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing and the School of Education, Social Work and Community Education to enable you to develop sound theoretical knowledge regarding the principles and processes of quality improvement.

Participation in the development and planning of the programme has also been greatly assisted by Healthcare Improvement Advisers from Tayside Centre for Organisational Effectiveness and the Quality and Clinical Governance Lead from NHS Fife.

Who should study this course?

The course is aimed at those who are working in a health or social care organisation and who have completed an undergraduate degree.
Students undertaking this programme should be engaged in promoting quality improvement in some capacity across a range of settings.

How you will be taught

Primarily this is a part-time distance learning programme (minimum of three years) enabling participation from national and international students. This programme can be delivered entirely in a distance learning format, depending on choice of modules. All core modules are delivered in distance learning format. Some option modules are delivered in a blended approach for local students. We deliver the online programme using the Blackboard Learning System, the University's virtual learning environment (also referred to as MyDundee). The programme is intended to be interactive and supportive, giving you the opportunity to share ideas, knowledge and experience and to discuss and debate issues. Access to journal articles will be available as part of the resource provided for each module.

What you will study

Module information:
Each module attracts 30 credit points at SCQF level 11:

Quality Improvement in Action: (distance learning)
This module gives the student the opportunity to critically evaluate the theoretical background to the concept of improvement science and to develop critical awareness .of quality improvement principles, approaches and application to service delivery.

Leadership, Change and Organisational Development: (distance learning)
This module introduces students to the concept of leadership for change. It examines key issues in the improvement of service delivery with a focus on effective leadership of services undergoing change. Optional workshops will be available for local participants.

Developing Research and Evaluation Skills: (distance learning)
This module enables the student to develop their knowledge of a variety of research and evaluation approaches and develop a rigorous proposal which they can then implement at dissertation stage.

Option modules:
Students are required to complete an option module from the following portfolio:

Measuring Quality
Coaching in a Systemic Context
Practice Development: Independent Study

(*Candidates will be required to take both of these 15 credit modules to gain the necessary 30 credit points.)

Dissertation (Quality Improvement):
(distance learning)
Students are also required to complete a double-weighted dissertation/project attracting 60 credit points. The dissertation/project provides students with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate, under supervision, their academic, organisational and technical skills in the formulation, execution and writing-up of a research project investigating a topic pertaining to quality improvement.

There are three exit points to this programme. Modules required for each are listed below:

Postgraduate Certificate in Quality Improvement (PGCert)
Quality Improvement in Action
Leadership, Change and Organisational Culture.

Postgraduate Diploma in Quality Improvement (PGDip)
Quality Improvement in Action
Leadership, Change and Organisational Culture
Developing Research and Evaluation Skills
One option module (30 credit points)

Masters in Quality Improvement (MSc)
Quality Improvement in Action
Leadership, Change and Organisational Culture
Developing Research and Evaluation Skills
One option module (30 credit points)

How you will be assessed

For 30 credit modules, assessment will normally be via one written piece of work of 4,500 words or equivalent to this
For 15 credit modules, assessment will normally be via one written piece of work of 2,500 words or equivalent to this
At dissertation stage, students are required to complete a 20,000 word study


This new programme is designed for a wide range of potential participants who are working in a culture of continuous improvement, including health and social care professionals, policy planners and those in managerial roles.

The programme will enable candidates to gain a wider understanding of quality improvement and the many tools and techniques which can be used to continually improve service provision.

Visit the MSc Quality Improvement page on the University of Dundee website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants should ideally be working in a health or social care organisation, have relevant career experience and have a first degree or equivalent. For potential students without a first degree, a process for Accreditation for Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) is in place.IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component less than 6.0 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English. Please check our Language Requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English Language courses.

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