MSc/PGDip/PGCert Health Informatics (UCL/UoM Joint Award) / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

This course focuses on how information and information technology are used in the organisation and delivery of healthcare.

Our MSc in Health Informatics (jointly awarded by The University of Manchester and UCL) offers an innovative and exciting training in a uniquely challenging and important field.

Our blended learning MSc will equip you with the skills to work in this exciting field by providing:

  • a unique combination of personal learning, theoretical challenge and practical application;
  •  blended approach which combines face-to-face contact and distance learning, harnessing the advantages of both across two campus;
  • flexible study allowing you to complete the programme full-time in one year, or flexibly over up to five years;
  • engagement with leading thinkers in the field across the UK and internationally;
  • participation in a thriving network of academics, clinicians and informatics professionals.

Our programme is suitable for health professionals currently in work or graduate students.

The University of Manchester and UCL are uniquely placed to provide the health informatics training required for a modern health service.

You will have access to the largest UK health informatics faculty, including researchers who develop and apply solutions in a range of healthcare settings and direct national programmes in research education/training.

In 2020 we have written a new textbook Developing Medical Apps and Health Interventions and have published core competencies for clinical informaticians across the UK with the Faculty of Clinical Informatics.  

Both institutions sit in two of the largest regional health economies in the UK, hosting the greatest concentration of digital-led NHS programmes. Eight professors and 13 senior academics contribute to the programme, alongside NHS and industry professionals.

PhD with integrated master's

If you're planning to undertake a PhD after your master's, our Integrated PhD programme will enable you to combine your postgraduate taught course with a related PhD project in biology, medicine or health.

You can also visit this page for examples of projects related to integrated master's courses.


The programme aims to:

  • provide you with the skills to manage healthcare systems;
  • provide you with an understanding of the healthcare system, from treatment of individuals to the wider population;
  • emphasise the importance of informatics in patient driven healthcare;
  • embed key health informatics principles, concepts and skills in students' working practices;
  • combine leadership and transferable skills with technical skills training.

Special features

The programme is delivered via blended learning, which combines online learning and short three day sessions on campus either at UCL or The University of Manchester.

Each taught module is delivered largely online over eight or nine weeks with a short block of intensive face-to-face teaching. The online element includes video lectures, podcasts, written material as well as interactive exercises and discussions. The face-to-face teaching includes lectures, seminars, problem-based workshops and experiential learning.

Though designed to suit students in full- time work, it is also offered to students who register as full-time and complete all elements of the programme in a single academic year.

The programme will encourage intellectual curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking. It will teach transferable skills for lifelong learning and cultivate reflective practice. The content reflects the changing needs of healthcare.

We see learning and teaching as collaborative 'knowledge construction', which recognises the contribution of all stakeholders (academic staff, service users and carers, and students).

This is demonstrated in the programme through contributions made by these stakeholders, providing case-studies, examples, invited seminars and participation in group work.

We will promote translational thinking so that informatics knowledge, know-how, skills and understanding are applied to new health challenges to ensure that informatics is embedded as an enabler of change.

The structure of the programme ensures that you will share this knowledge with each other and learn to work in teams.

Teaching and learning

Programme delivery

This programme is mostly delivered online with 3 day problem-based face-to-face workshops on campus hosted either at The University of Manchester or UCL.

Coursework and assessment

You will use a number of assessed and non-assessed activities to develop key skills and expand your knowledge base. There is a mix of assessment: written assignments, exam, group work and other activities such as moderated discussion boards.

Course content for year 1

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits for an MSc. 

Full-time students will be required to take four compulsory modules (60 credits); four optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).  Part-time students will be required to take four core modules in Year 1, and four further modules in Year 2. 

Core units:

  • Essentials of Informatics for Healthcare Systems;
  • Health Information Systems and Technologies;
  • Standards and Interoperability;
  • Principles of Health Data Analytics.

Course content for year 2

Optional units:

  • Usable Health Systems Design;
  • Personalised Health Informatics;
  • Decision Support Systems;
  • Patient Safety;
  • Learning Health Systems;
  • Modern Information Engineering;
  • Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare.

Optional units have been organised into themes from those that explore more technical topics health informatics (Modern Information Engineering), those that are more focussed on understanding organisations (Patient Safety).

At no point are choices restricted to a single theme.

All students undertaking an MSc will undertake an independent research project in a report form of a journal article of up to 6,000 words.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Health Information Systems IIDS61001 15 Mandatory
Standards & Interoperability IIDS61102 15 Mandatory
Essentials Informatics for Healthcare Systems (UCL) IIDS62001 15 Mandatory
Principles of Health Data Analytics (UCL) IIDS62102 15 Mandatory
Usable System Design IIDS61201 15 Optional
Modern Information Engineering IIDS61301 15 Optional
Decision Support Systems IIDS61402 15 Optional
Decision Support Systems IIDS61412 15 Optional
Learning Health Systems (UCL) IIDS62201 15 Optional
Patient Safety (UCL) IIDS62302 15 Optional
Personal Health Informatics (UCL) IIDS62401 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units

Course collaborators

This is a joint course with the University College London (UCL) Institute of Health Informatics


The University of Manchester offers extensive library and online services to help you get the most out of your studies.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: