Master's virtual open week

Book your sessions now for our master's virtual open week, from Monday, 18 to Friday, 22 October 2021.

Book now for the master's virtual open week

Information regarding our 2022/23 admissions cycle

Our 2022/23 postgraduate taught admissions cycle will open on Monday, 18 October. While we welcome you to apply now, please note that we may not start to review and process these until after this date.

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

Year of entry: 2022

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

Course unit details:
Patient Safety (UCL)

Unit code IIDS62302
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Division of Informatics, Imaging and Data Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


This module is taught at UCL.

The Patient Safety Module will enable trainees to become more confident in understanding and analysing patient safety in organisations and healthcare systems. Trainees are introduced to a range of literature examining the typical patterns, causes and consequences when things go wrong in healthcare, and the methodologies used to analyse and treat such cases. Particular emphasis is put on methodologies for modelling and analysing systems and processes such as task analysis, healthcare failure modes and effects analysis and root cause analysis.

For their assessment trainees apply the principles taught in the module to an area of their own interest. They identify a problem and design a 2500 word proposal to analyse, evaluate and treat the risk area, then monitor and review solutions.


•       To have an understanding of the field of patient safety terminology, literature and practice.

•       To explore different methods of identifying risks.

•       To consider the personal and organisational psychology of what causes mistakes.

•       To introduce and apply methodologies for analysing and managing risks.

•       To understand the organisational and human factor challenges to support clinical risk management.

•       To gain confidence in critically appraising literature to relate concepts of evidence based practice to clinical risk management.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module students will be able to:

  • Understand the terminology and practice of patient safety
  • Review evidence on factors leading to mistakes or other threats to patient safety.
  • Apply patient safety methodologies within a healthcare environment.
  • Apply patient safety concepts to the field of health informatics.
  • Examine critically the principles of risk management and patient safety
  • Examine critically key methodologies used to identify, analyse and manage risk

 Practical and Transferrable Skills include:

  • Using patient safety systems for collecting and analyzing data
  • Assessing strengths and limitations of methods and study designs
  • Preparing written reports 
  • Giving formal presentations
  • Undertaking research design


Teaching and learning methods

The blended module is delivered over nine weeks using Moodle as the Virtual Learning Environment and with three F2F days.

There are weekly online activities done individually or in small groups to help students apply knowledge and gain skills. These are compulsory with feedback from peers or tutors (but not graded). Exercises include structured reading, critique, group discussion, quiz, presentation of their research idea, group presentation of a literature search and online and F2F debates.

Students attend at UCL for an intensive block of three days of face to face teaching, usually in week four or five. Students may attend two additional webinars, for assessment support. These are also live-streamed and recorded for other students.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Group/team working
Oral communication
Problem solving
Written communication

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

The weekly tasks are discussed with group and individual feedback from peers, the tutor or by answers being given online. The summative assignment is double blind marked by two makers who then meet and discuss the final grade and summary. Students receive a summary of the group feedback plus a feedback form on their individual assignment.

Students are also asked to give their feedback on the module to help us develop it.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Return to course details