Healthcare and Design

Draw on the complementary knowledge and expertise of Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art.

Key information

Start dateOctober 2021
Duration: 2 years part-time
ECTS: 90 credits

Campus:
South Kensington
St Mary's
Royal College of Art

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Overview

These courses are designed to equip you with the tools to instigate and lead innovation in healthcare systems, services and spaces.

We’ll provide you with a greater understanding of the UK health system and the systemic challenges it faces to remain sustainable. The knowledge and skill gained can benefit professionals from a wide range of practice backgrounds.

You’ll gain an understanding of behavioural economics and how to apply it to design projects, maximising impact. This includes understanding the role of physical products and the environment in shaping people’s behaviour.

Skills you'll learn include the ability to:

  • develop a business case and business model for innovations, considering market and financial analysis
  • apply different theoretical models of innovation, explaining why some innovations succeed and others fail
  • rapidly research, manufacture and prototype a solution to a healthcare challenge

Imperial and the Royal College of Art

You will draw on the complementary knowledge and expertise of Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art (RCA). The course will be delivered at Imperial’s campuses in South Kensington and St Mary’s, as well as at the RCA campus.

This course runs alongside an MRes degree awarded by the Royal College of Art. Imperial’s courses have been designed for clinicians and healthcare professionals. The RCA’s course, however, is aimed at design professionals.

This course builds on the partnership between Imperial and the RCA. This comes to life in the HELIX Centre – a design studio in St Mary’s Hospital bringing designers and clinicians together to solve healthcare challenges.

A key aim of the HELIX Centre is to drive more innovative approaches to healthcare service delivery. The focus is on better design, planning, efficient use of resources and greater attention to patient need.

This course is delivered by the Institute of Global Health Innovation.

Study programme

Many of the taught modules are shared between the Imperial course and the RCA’s MRes course.

There are introductory modules designed for each cohort. These introduce you to the principles of design and healthcare respectively.

Face-to-face teaching will take place in each module during one-week-long intensive sessions. Here you will be exposed to world-leading experts and facilities from both Imperial and the RCA.

You will also have the opportunity to participate in a range of individual and group activities.

Is this programme for you?

This course is designed for professionals who wish to develop the skills needed to advance an entrepreneurial idea. Specifically, those working in or allied to the healthcare system or those with experience of healthcare.

As a part-time course, you can participate without taking a year out of your career.

We encourage you to complete your research in your own place of work (under Imperial's supervision). This allows you to embed the knowledge and skills you learn into your area of practice.

Careers

Our graduates will be well-placed to advance in a range of directions.

Safety and quality are increasingly important topics in the national dialogue of health systems, including the NHS. This is compounded by tightening national budgets. Individuals who demonstrate an understanding of patient safety lapses and how to address them are increasingly valued by employers.

Given the portfolio of high-calibre teaching staff, you can gain exposure to leaders in industry, academia and policy.

You will graduate with advanced research skills in healthcare design. This includes critical design thinking, entrepreneurship and leadership. Many graduates pursue further advanced study at PhD level in healthcare-related design and innovation areas.

You'll gain the knowledge and skills to:

  • create and lead design innovations across a diverse range of healthcare contexts
  • consult in design-led innovations for healthcare

Structure

Modules shown are for the current academic year and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Please note that the curriculum of this programme is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.

Structure

Master's degree (MSc)

Year 1

You take all modules below:

  • Design Led Innovation in Healthcare
  • Principles of Design Led Innovation
  • Health Research Toolkit
  • Design Dash

Year 2

You take all modules below:

  • Innovation in Healthcare
  • Designing for Behaviour Change
  • Health Business Toolkit
  • Leadership
  • Research Dissertation

Research project

Your research project accounts for one-third of your overall mark, and you are supervised by Imperial with the option of a second supervisor from the RCA.

You will be encouraged to undertake this research project in your workplace. To manage this we may use ‘subject experts’ within your workplace to provide additional support.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

You will experience a variety of teaching methods appropriate for a part-time degree. Some teaching takes place on campus and some online and at home.

Face-to-face teaching

Your face-to-face teaching with world-leading experts takes place during a series of intensive one-week sessions.

Teaching methods:

  • Case-based discussions
  • Interactive lectures
  • Practical sessions
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

E-learning and blended learning

You experience e-learning and blended learning alongside face-to-face teaching. These methods enable you to advance your learning, achieve learning outcomes and demonstrate your progress.

  • Group discussion boards
  • Other relevant module-related materials
  • Pre-module activities

Assessment

  • Individual presentations — a follow up to your group work.
  • Written assessments — including critical reflection, literature review, or topical essay.
  • Research project — 10,000 to 15,000 word report plus a 15-minute oral presentation with questions.

Timetabling

The part-time MSc is taken over two years part-time. This includes eight weeks of intensive teaching, grouped into four blocks of two weeks. You can attend without taking a break from your career thanks this part-time structure.

Overall workload

The expected total study time is: 2,250 hours total

Your overall workload consists of face-to-face sessions and independent learning. 

At Imperial, each ECTS credit taken equates to an expected total study time of 25 hours.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

Admissions

Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is a 2.1 degree and either a clinical background or healthcare experience.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications.

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.

For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College, and not specifically this Department.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

How to apply

How to apply

Making an application

Apply online

All applicants must apply online.

Visit our Admissions website for details on the application process.

You can submit one application form per year of entry. You can usually choose up to two courses.

Application fee

For 2021–22 entry, we are introducing a pilot application fee for our Master's courses. This helps cover some of the administrative and staffing costs associated with processing the large volume of applications we receive.

This fee will be £80 per application and not per course. 

We will waive the fee for any applicant – Home or Overseas – who demonstrates that they are experiencing financial hardship.

There is no application fee for Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas or PhDs. The fee for MBA applications to the Imperial College Business School is £135. 

Find out more about the application fee and waiver

ATAS certificate

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

Tuition fees

Home rate of tuition

2021 entry

£7,900 per year

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

EU/EEA students

Students from the EU, other EEA country and/or Switzerland starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home rate of tuition, and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note, this does not apply to Irish students or students with Citizens Rights benefitting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively.

For regular updates for EU students, please see our Imperial and the EU webpages.

Overseas rate of tuition

2021 entry

£18,350 per year

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

EU/EEA students

Students from the EU, other EEA country and/or Switzerland starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home rate of tuition, and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note, this does not apply to Irish students or students with Citizens Rights benefitting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively.

For regular updates for EU students, please see our Imperial and the EU webpages.

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you're a UK national, or EU national with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government, if you meet certain criteria.

For 2020-21 entry, the maximum amount was of £11,222. The loan is not means-tested and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.

Scholarships

We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Find out more about our scholarships to see what you might be eligible for.

There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Further information

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Enquiries
E: healthcaredesign.msc@imperial.ac.uk

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