• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 1 year
  • Award: BMSc (Hons)
  • Study Abroad: No
  • Study Mode: Full Time

This is a great opportunity to do and study improvement with clinical teams in a wide range of community or hospital settings.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

Improvement Science requires a genuine partnership between academics and front-line practitioners.  This is a key emerging area of interest for the NHS, and explores the use of systems based approaches (some of which have their origins in engineering and aviation) to sustainable improvement for patients and professionals in all branches of the health service.

This programme gives you an opportunity for applied research that translates into direct benefits for patient care. You will work with a clinical team on doing an improvement project and on using research methods to study the barriers and facilitators to improvement. We will help you to identify a clinical team in community or hospital care depending on your interests. Learning about improvement in the workplace will develop your skills in creativity, resilience, influencing and systems thinking.

For entry to the BMSc (Hons) Intercalated course you must have successfully completed three years of an undergraduate medical degree (MBChB/MBBS etc) or two years of an undergraduate dental course (BDS).

English Language Requirement

 English Language Requirements

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

How you will be taught

Teaching on the course involves tutorials, an improvement project with clinical teams and a research project.

How will you be assessed

Module 1 (Core Research Skills) is assessed by a structured Critical Appraisal exercise of a paper chosen by you, and is weighted as 10% of the overall assessment.

Module 2 (Improvement Sciences)

Core: A written assignment weighted at 12.5% of the overall assessment.  Students critically reflect upon how human factors and behaviour change theories can be used to understand, analyse and improve health care delivery through iterative cycles of change. Students also submit their improvement project work to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement  (IHI) for award of the IHI Practicum Certificate. 

Options: students choose one of Epidemiology, Ethnography or Statistics. Epidemiology and Statistics are assessed by examination, Ethnography is assessed by a written assignment. Assessment for each of these options is weighted at 12.5% of the overall assessment.

Module 3: (Research Project) is by far the most important part of the course. The research protocol itself, the dissertation, and the viva examination together account for the remaining 65% of the overall assessment.

My improvement project and research focused on transition of medical care from paediatric to teenage services in type 1 diabetes.
Project: Improving Discussion of Psychosocial Wellbeing During Adolescent Diabetes Appointments
Research: A Human Factors Approach to Transition Processes from Paediatric to Teenage Services for Type 1 Diabetes

The Healthcare Improvement BMSc allows you to conduct a project in a topic and medical specialty that interests you. You have the ability to work closely with a clinical team: this not only helps to develop your knowledge in aspects of healthcare related to your project, but also your ability to conduct research within a dynamic clinical environment. My supervisors provided me with fantastic support throughout the year, enabling you to have a finished project that is not only capable of being published, taught or presented at an international level, but most importantly can be used by the clinical team you worked with to improve the quality of care that they deliver. If you’re interested in conducting research, but would like to retain close contact with clinical medicine, I highly recommend the Healthcare Improvement BMSc.

Caitlin Finnan

What you will study

The course is made up of three modules:

Module 1 (Core Research Skills) gives you an overview of research on improvement – what it is, why we do it, and how we undertake it.  It will review the basic study designs; what they can do and how they can do it.  It will also give you the skill to search for, obtain and interpret other people's research.

Module 2

There are two components to this module. You will all undertake the core module Applying behaviour change and human factors theory to improving care, and you will each then choose one optional module from Ethnography, Epidemiology and Introduction to clinical statistics.  The latter two are modules which run as part of the Master of Public Health course. 

The core module will equip you with the skills to apply knowledge of Human Factors and Behaviour Change theories to the planning and design of interventions and measures for improvement within clinical teams.

The Epidemiology option will introduce you to foundational principles of epidemiology, the major research designs used to collect data, and approaches to analysis and interpretation.

The Ethnography option will provide you with an understanding of ethnographic research methods and develop your skills in planning and conducting ethnographic research for future application to healthcare delivery and improvement.

The Statistics option will introduce you to the terminology and concepts of basic statistics and to enable application and interpretation of the results of statistical procedures, both descriptive and inferential.

Module 3 (Research Project) from January to April you will run your project, collect your data and write up your dissertation. You will develop the skills to design a study and produce a substantial piece of clearly written work which applies the concepts acquired from the taught component of the BMSc. This will enable you to demonstrate your integrative, analytical and critical skills.

Undertaking an intercalated BMSc will give you the opportunity to study the topic(s) of your choice in depth and will expose you to a systematic and well-organised method of how to formulate and pursue research and transferable skills. This Honours Degree will put you in a better position when you apply for employment post MB ChB/BDS graduation.

I did my improvement project on the reliability of an Acute Kidney Injury care bundle in the Acute Medicine Unit. I went on to research the predictive value of ICD-10 coding for measuring rates and mortality from Acute Kidney Injury.

Undertaking a BMSc in Healthcare Improvement has provided me with invaluable research skills, as well as furthering my ability to work within clinical teams and independently. Unlike many intercalated degrees, there is the unique ability to maintain clinical contact throughout the year, and the opportunity to learn more about research and quality improvement is not one to be passed up. I would highly recommend!


Rachael Logan

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fees for students starting 2019-20

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2019-20
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study
Rest of UK students £9,250 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £17,275 per year of study

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed not to increase by more than 3% per year, for the length of your course.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

If you are currently a student at the University of Dundee and would like to apply, use the following form

Application form for Dundee students

If you would like to come to Dundee from another medical school please complete the following form. 

Application form for students from other medical schools

There will also be procedures at your own Medical School and you should speak to your course leader or administrative staff to find out what these are.

Application enquiries email: BMSC@dundee.ac.uk

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  Degree UCAS Code