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MSc Digital Health Systems

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Accreditation: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP)
  • Study mode and duration: 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
  • Ranked: Top 40 library and information management schools in the world and 5th in the UK (QS 2022)

  • Scholarships: Funded places available

Study with us

  • become a digital transformation leader in the field of health and care IT
  • gain skills in problem-solving, big data and use of statistical software packages
  • learn how to manage and analyse data collected from personal devices and large-scale health and care systems
  • develop software development and management skills to support planning and delivery of better care systems
  • opportunity to work with National Health Service (NHS), Scottish Government, industry, third sector, and The Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI) during your final dissertation project
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Why this course?

Digital Health is one of the fastest growing economic sectors worldwide. There's significant potential for the transformation of health care through better and widespread use of digital technologies. This includes a growing role for technology in supporting people to monitor and manage their own health and wellbeing. (The King's Fund 2022)

The global digital health market is expected to earn $149.9 billion in 2022 as against $128.80 billion earned in 2021, reflecting a 16.3% growth, said leading financial educational hub StockApps.com, citing a Statista report. (Zawya 2022)

This one-year Masters degree 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 and move into leadership and transformational roles.

Our course is unique because it's:

  • delivered by a broad range of world experts in computing science, information science, psychology, and health services research
  • 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, health and care SMEs and third sector organisations
  • 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, innovation and how to deliver real world digital health solutions in context and at scale.

Course video

Find out more about Digital Health Systems (MSc) from graduate Carolina Wani:

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you'll study

This course is unique in that it looks at the human, technology and system perspectives in a whole systems approach to transformation of digital health and care. It explores not just the clinical perspective but also social care, third sector and consumer care models. We'll consider how to incorporate codesign and implementation science throughout, to ensure adoption and success of future digital health solutions and services.

You'll study:

  • digital health implementation
  • full lifecycle of designing, developing and evaluating health technologies from mHealth – novel personal health and wellness devices (e.g. mobile apps, wearables) to eHealth – larger scale hospital and community based IT systems (e.g. electronic health records)
  • agile participatory and co-design approaches for delivering health and care IT solutions
  • 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.

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.

Digital Health & Wellness Research Group
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Course content

Design of Usable Health Systems (20 credits)

In this module, 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.

Digital Health Implementation (20 credits)

This module will provide you with an in-depth understanding of a wide range of state-of-the-art digital health interventions. You will learn about health and social care service delivery organisations, the innovation process lifecycle and barriers and facilitators of digital health implementation. We will also look at the principles and best practice on how to design, develop, implement, monitor and evaluate digital health technologies to support health and/or social care delivery in practice.

The module will cover remote monitoring systems/technologies, telehealth/telecare services, wearable technologies and sensors. Case studies will draw on examples of digital health innovations in research contexts and real-world delivery models in health, social care and consumer contexts.

20 credits over semesters 1 and 2.

Healthy Ageing (10 credits)

This module will provide an understanding of the ageing process and how this influences the design or delivery of technologies or services for older adults. It will highlight the diversity and complexity of an ageing population and implications for digital health technologies in:

  • promoting health and wellbeing
  • supporting independent ageing in a preferred place for as long as possible
  • supporting terminal and end of life care
  • supporting informal carers
  • health inequalities
Health Information Governance (10 credits)

In this module, 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

Any two from the following three 10 credit modules:

Health economics & evaluation

This module will develop your understanding of principles of health economic evaluation. You'll learn the tools to assess the effects and economic efficiency of health policy and interventions. The theory and methodologies students learn will provide you with practical tools that can be applied to healthcare provision planning in the public and private sectors. These tools can also help developers of health technologies and services (e.g., biomedical engineers, digital technology developers, and pharmacists) understand where the greatest value lies.

Managing Healthcare Operations

This module teaches essential principles, tools and techniques of Healthcare Operations Management – both in general and as applied to specific healthcare organisations, processes and functions.

Big Data Fundamentals

The aim of this module is to provide you with an understanding of:

  • the new challenges posed by the advent for big data, as they refer to its modelling, storage, and access
  • the key algorithms and techniques which are embodied in data analytics solutions
Digital Health Implementation (20 credits)

This module will provide you with an in-depth understanding of a wide range of state-of-the-art digital health interventions in health and social care service delivery organisations. You’ll learn about the innovation process lifecycle, barriers and facilitators of digital health implementation. We will also look at the principles and best practice on how to design, develop, implement, monitor and evaluate digital health technologies to support health and/or social care delivery in practice.

The module will cover remote monitoring systems/technologies, telehealth/telecare services, wearable technologies and sensors. Case studies will draw on examples of digital health innovations in research contexts and real-world delivery models in health, social care and consumer contexts.

20 credits over semesters 1 and 2.

Health & Care Data Analytics & Decision Support (20 credits)

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

Database Fundamentals (10 credits)

This module will provide you with conceptual and practical understanding of data modelling, database design, and database technology. You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of key database concepts underpinning big data tools and technologies. After completing the module you'll:

  • 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 (10 credits)

The research methods lectures will help you to understand research methodologies and quantitative and qualitative research methods. You’ll learn how to effectively design and evaluate all kinds of health systems.

On completion of this module, you'll:

  • appreciate the nature and application of selected statistical methods
  • appreciate the range of qualitative research methods
  • be able to write a research proposal
  • be able to develop a research methodology for a given research problem
  • be able to undertake a research risk assessment including identification of management procedures
Individual Project (60 credits)

The individual project will involve 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.

Assessment

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 (which is the equivalent of a Masters dissertation). You'll need to achieve an overall minimum of 50% across all classes and the project report to be awarded the Master in Digital Health Systems.

Facilities

The digital health group and computer and information science department are based on levels 11 to 14 of the Livingstone Tower, which is situated in the heart of Glasgow city centre. 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 library which contains all the materials that you need for your course. Many of the books are also available online, so you can access these at any time.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Minimum second-class (2.2) 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.

As a university, we now accept many more English language tests in addition to IELTS for overseas applicants, for example, TOEFL and PTE Cambridge. View the full list of accepted English language tests here.

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'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

Map of the world.

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Fees & funding

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

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Scotland

£9,050

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£9,050

International

£20,650

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Additional costs

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

NHS discount

A 25% discount on course fees is available for NHS staff

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

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Scottish postgraduate students

Scottish 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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International students

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

How can I fund my course?

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Careers

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

Graduates enjoy a broad range of exciting career opportunities from a wide range of employers. IT professional 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.

Job roles

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
  • Full Stack Developer: Working on front and back end web development for digital health companies or agencies.

Our students

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Apply

There is currently no deadline for submitting applications. However, we encourage you to apply early as we consider applications on a first come, first served basis, and may introduce an application deadline due to high demand.

Start date: Sep 2023

Digital Health Systems

MSc
full-time
Start date: Sep 2023

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Contact us

PGT Admissions Team

Telephone: +44 (0)141 574 5147

Email: science-masters@strath.ac.uk