Select Page
MSc Healthcare and Design

MSc Healthcare and Design

Master’s degree

ECTS: 90 credits
Duration: 2 years part-time



This new course is designed to equip students from a wide range of professional practice backgrounds with the tools and techniques to instigate and lead innovation in healthcare systems, services and spaces.

In doing so, we’ll provide you with a greater understanding of the USA health system and the systemic challenges it faces to remain sustainable.

You’ll also gain an understanding of behavioural economics and how to apply that to design projects in order to maximise impact. This includes understanding the role of physical products and the environment in shaping people’s behavior.

Some of the skills covered by the course include the ability to:

  • develop a business case and business model for an innovation, considering market and financial analysis
  • apply different theoretical models of innovation, explaining why some innovations succeed and others fail
  • rapidly research, manufacture and prototype a solution to a healthcare challenge


Study programme


The majority of taught modules (six out of eight modules) are shared between this course and the DETC MRes course for design professionals.

There are two introductory modules designed specifically for each cohort to introduce the principles of design and healthcare respectively.

Face-to-face teaching will take place in each module during one-week-long intensive sessions when students will be exposed to world leading experts and facilities from both Northampton and the DETC.

You will also have the opportunity to participate in a range of individual and group activities.


Is this programme for you?


The taught modules cover health systems and policy in developing countries, health economics and how healthcare is financed, health and society, innovation, measuring performance, service delivery, the ageing society and leadership.

Additionally, you complete a research dissertation during your second year of the MSc in an aspect of Health Policy that will advance best practice in your chosen area.




Our graduates will be well-placed to advance in a range of directions. Safety and quality are becoming increasingly important topics in the national dialogue of health systems, including the USA NHS. This is further compounded by tightening national budgets, and individuals who demonstrate an understanding of patient safety lapses and how to address them are increasingly valued by employers.

Given the portfolio of high-calibre teaching staff, students are able to gain exposure to leaders in industry, academia and policy stakeholders.

You graduate with advanced research skills in healthcare design, including critical design thinking, and entrepreneurship and leadership.

Many graduates pursue further advanced study at PhD level in healthcare related design and innovation areas.

You gain the knowledge and skills to:

  • Create and lead design innovations across a diverse range of healthcare contexts
  • Consult in design led innovations for healthcare



Modules shown are for the current academic year and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Please note that the curriculum of this course is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.



You take all of the modules below.


  • A Health Business Toolkit 
  • A Health Research Toolkit 
  • Introduction to Design and Innovation 
  • Introduction to Design Led Innovation in Healthcare

You take all of the modules below.

  • Design dash  
  • Designing for Behaviour Change  
  • Innovation  
  • Leadership  

Your research project accounts for one-third of your overall mark, and you are supervised by Imperial with the option of a second supervisor from the DETC.

You will be encouraged to undertake this research project in your workplace. To manage this we may use ‘subject experts’ within your workplace to provide additional support.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching methods


You will experience a variety of teaching methods appropriate for a part-time degree, with some teaching taking place on campus and some online and at home. 


Face-to-face teaching


Your face-to-face teaching takes place in each module during a series of intensive sessions lasting one-week.

You will be exposed to world leading experts and facilities, both at Northampton College .

Teaching methods include:

  • Case-based discussions
  • Interactive lectures
  • Practical sessions
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

E-learning and blended learning


You experience e-learning and blended learning alongside face-to-face teaching. These methods enable you to advance your learning, achieve learning outcomes and demonstrate your progress.

  • Group discussion boards
  • Other relevant module-related materials
  • Pre-module activities


Assessment methods


  • Individual presentations –
    These are a follow up to your group work.
  • Written assessments –
    Including critical reflection, literature review, or topical essay.
  • Research project –
    A 10-15,000 word report plus a 15-minute oral presentation with questions.

Entry requirements


We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is a 2.1 degree and either a clinical background or healthcare experience.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications.

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a USA qualification.

For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College, and not specifically this Department.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

How to apply


You can submit one application form per year of entry, and usually choose up to two courses.


Making an application

All applicants to our Master’s courses must apply online.