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MScDigital Health Systems

Why this course?

Digital Health is one of the fastest growing economic sectors worldwide. It's creating jobs twice as fast as any other economic sector in Scotland and globally (Financial Times 2018)

Digital Health arises from the intersection of health and care services, information technology and mobile technology, and encompasses digital products and systems that can monitor, analyse, educate and improve health and care (Deloitte 2015). 

This one-year Master’s degree (also available part-time over 24 months) is the perfect conversion pathway for recent graduates looking to move into the health and care sector. It's also ideal for existing health and social care practitioners looking to up-skill in digital innovation.

Ways our course is unique:

  • it's delivered by a broad range of world experts in computing science, information science, clinical psychology, and health services research
  • it's relevant to real world practice by being co-designed with the Scottish Government, their innovation centre (the Digital Health & Care Institute) the National Health Service, and health and care SMEs and third sector organisations
  • unlike many other courses ours takes a multifaceted whole systems approach involving people, technology, practice and policy

You'll learn about state-of-the-art devices (eg sensors, wearables, apps), systems (eg electronic health records, remote monitoring) and methods (eg co-design, machine learning and data analytics).

You'll also learn about health and care implementation and innovation and how to deliver real world digital health solutions in context and at scale.

You'll learn

  • about the full lifecycle of designing, developing and evaluating health technologies from mhealth - novel personal health and wellness devices (eg mobile apps, wearables) to ehealth - larger scale hospital and community based IT systems (eg electronic health records). 
  • about agile participatory and co-design approaches for delivering health IT solutions
  • about practical and innovative software and data management techniques for managing (databases) and using data (data analytics) produced across a range of systems to support decision making, planning, and delivery of better care
  • how to manage complex legal, ethical and governance issues within healthcare
  • how to apply theories and models of human information behaviour to the holistic analysis and design of health and social care systems
  • how technology enabled health and care solutions can be implemented and evaluated at scale

The course also offers guest lectures from experts in the field. These include data scientists, systems developers and ehealth programme managers. You'll also gain hands on practical projects in partnership with leading organisations. These include the National Health Service (NHS), Scottish Government, industry, third sector, and The Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI).

The course includes 120 credits of taught material taken over the first two semesters, and a 60-credit digital health project that runs, typically, from May to September. Your project will involve tackling real-world problems suggested by our partners in NHS, Scottish Government, industry, third sector, academia and the Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI).

Part-time study

The course is available part-time from September 2018/2019. This means you'll study 30 credits in semester 1, in Year 1 then again in Year 2; and 30 credits in semester 2, in both Year 1 and Year 2. You'll then conduct an 80-credit individual digital health project from May to September in your final year. The face-to-face contact time will be one to two days on campus with one to two days study in your own time on at your place of work.


The Department of Computer & Information Sciences is based on levels 11 to 14 of the Livingstone Tower. We have a large study zone and a social area for working on group activities.

There are three large computer labs within the department. Each lab contains state-of-the-art equipment with over 175 dual boot Windows and Linux machines. Each lab machine is equipped with up-to-date software. Departmental machines are linked by a high-speed local area network and operate under a single network file system. This means you can access your files from any of our machines. High-speed wireless access is also available throughout the department.

The University has a large modern library which contains all the materials that you need for your course. Many of the books are also available online meaning they are available to all students at all times.

Digital Health & Wellness Research Group

You'll work with the multidisciplinary Digital Health & Wellness Research group based in computer and information science. We've led, and been involved in, several major collaborative research and development projects and evaluations within the UK and internationally. The group were lead investigators in the evaluation of a £37 million Innovate UK dallas programme to deploy assistive digital health and wellness technologies at scale across the UK. We're also involved in two large European programmes of work including the eSmart Programme and TITTAN network.

The group leads the organisation of key national and international conferences such as the British Computer Society (BCS) Health Informatics conference and the ACM conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

Course content


Semester 1

Design of Usable Health and Care Systems

In this class, you'll learn the importance of understanding different types of users, context and usage scenarios for health devices and systems.

You'll conduct practical exercises to gather real life business requirements from a variety of stakeholders including patients, consumers and clinicians and practitioners. You'll learn to design, prototype and evaluate systems that are usable and fit-for-purpose.

Health Literacy

In this class, you'll:

  • develop an understanding of models and theories of health literacy
  • develop an understanding of models and theories of human information behaviour and the factors influencing it
  • develop an understanding of information need in context
  • develop an understanding of appropriate research approaches and methodologies for health literacy
Information Systems Architecture

This class will develop your enterprise-level analytical skills to allow you to contribute to the analysis and design of robust and usable information systems that are scalable and fit for purpose.

Health Information Governance

You'll develop an understanding of:

  • Professional Competence: codes of practice and competence, and ethical behaviour
  • ICTs and society: the impact of ICTs on society
  • Cybercrime and digital evidence
  • Management of health data and records in the digital age
  • Specific Statute Law: including reference to, but not limited to, intellectual property law, Freedom of Information, Data Protection, Computer Misuse

Semester 2

Digital Health Implementation

This module will develop your understanding of the practical implementation life-cycle of enterprise IT systems in the health service, with a specific focus on practical case studies. The course will review the main Health IT application systems implemented to date, including Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), clinical portals, information communication and sharing systems (electronic referrals and discharges) and tele-health systems.

Decision Support & Health Analytics

The course will review the different types of data that health and wellness systems collect and process to allow informed care decisions about individuals or populations. The course will also cover analytical tools as well as visualisation and multimodal output. Furthermore, the class will also cover information structures and standards required for interoperability and decision support functionalities.

Database Fundamentals

This will provide you with conceptual and practical understanding of data modelling, database design, and database technology, providing you with in-depth understanding of key database concepts underpinning big data tools and technologies. Upon completion you will:

  • understand the process of designing a database from an informal business specification
  • be able to formulate database queries using SQL
  • understand the facilities and services that should be provided by a fully featured database management system
  • understand commonly occurring data models
  • have experience of using a relational database management system in a client-server environment
Research Methods

The research methods lectures will enable you to understand research methodologies and quantitative and qualitative research methods required to design and evaluate health systems in a robust way. The Information Law lectures will provide you with a basic understanding of the laws and data governance issues relating to the delivery of information services and the implications for society of the various legal issues related to information and computing work.

May - August

Individual Project

The individual project will involve students addressing a key research question set by the NHS, third sector or Government. Examples include:

  • designing & building a novel health system or application
  • conducting qualitative research into a key challenge for the implementation & routinisation of health systems
  • a quantitative study using health data analytics for improving care delivery of self-management

Learning & teaching

Teaching combines face-to-face lectures, labs and tutorials as well as personal/group study time.


Taught modules are assessed using a combination of individual projects, group projects and final exams. The project is assessed on the quality of the project report (ie Master thesis). An overall minimum of 50% across all assessed classes and report is required in order to be awarded the Master in Digital Health Systems.

Entry requirements

Minimum second class honours degree or international equivalent in any subject.

English language requirements

You must have an English language minimum score of IELTS 6.0 (with no component below 5.5).

We offer comprehensive English language courses for students whose IELTS scores are below 6.0. Please see ELTD for full details.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Fees & funding


All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.


  • £8,100

Rest of UK

  • £8,100


  • £17,350

How can I fund my course?

A number of scholarships are available for outstanding UK, EU and international applicants. For details, please visit our scholarship search.

Digital Health & Care Institute

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students starting in 2018 may be able to apply for support from the Digital Health & Care Institute (DHI). The support from DHI is fees only.

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

International students

We have a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.


Digital health is the fastest growing economic sector worldwide. It is creating jobs twice as fast as any other economic sector in Scotland and globally (Financial Times 2018).

Graduates from this MSc will be able to work in the hugely important and fast growing field of digital health and be in a position to transform the delivery of health and care as it rapidly develops in the future.

Graduates will enjoy a broad range of exciting career opportunities from a wide range of employers. IT professionals is one of the fastest growing professions within health and care organisations. Private and public health and care services world-wide are also expanding their digital health workforce and hardware and software companies are all seeking expertise in the health and wellness sector.

Future career options include:

  • Health Systems & Service Designers: designing new technology enabled services
  • Data Analyst: analysing data and producing insights for informing health and care decision making
  • Application & System Developer: producing state of the art software fit for healthcare management and delivery
  • Information Governance Manager: creating and realising actionable data management plans for health and social care data and services
  • Clinical Information Manager: Creating systems for structuring and organising health and care information to support clinical decision making
  • Planning & Performance Manager: Business analysis for the healthcare sector

Contact us


Digital Health Systems

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2019, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Digital Health Systems

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2019, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

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