Digital Health (MSc) 2020 entry

On the MSc in Digital Health, you will explore how healthcare is being transformed through data analysis and digital technologies. You will develop an interdisciplinary understanding of digital health principles, and practice and learn applied skills needed in digital health roles.

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Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Science (MSc)

Course dates

  • Start date: 7 September 2020
  • End date: 30 September 2021

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

One year full-time; part-time study is not currently offered.

Entry requirements

  • A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
  • You should have some background in the scientific and mathematical methods that underpin digital health – ideally, through previous study in a scientific subject involving quantitative analysis. This might be through one of the following:
    • a secondary school or high school level qualification (such as a Scottish Higher, A-Level, or International Baccalaureate) in a scientific discipline such computer science, biology, mathematics, medicine, physics, or statistics, or
    • undergraduate-level modules in relevant subjects, or
    • relevant professional experience.
  • English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.

The MSc in Digital Health welcomes applicants from a range of disciplinary backgrounds. It will be of particular interest to those with a background in computer science, mathematics, or medicine.

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

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Tuition fees

UK and EU: £9,450
Overseas: £23,090

Application deadline

Wednesday 12 August 2020. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • A CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date.
  • A personal statement explaining:
    • why you have applied for this course
    • how it relates to your personal or professional ambitions
    • how your academic and professional background show you have the skills needed to work effectively at postgraduate level.
  • Two original signed academic references.
  • Academic transcripts and degree certificates.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

Course information

The MSc in Digital Health explores how healthcare is being transformed through data analysis and digital technologies. You will develop an interdisciplinary understanding of digital health principles and practice and learn applied skills needed in digital health roles.

Highlights

  • Introduces key questions and concepts in digital health, providing a comprehensive overview of the field.
  • Explores digital health practice and applied skills needed in digital health roles.
  • Interdisciplinary character allows you to use ideas from different disciplines to illuminate your studies.
  • Integrated training programme connects your academic learning with the development of professional competencies that enhance employability.
  • Links with National Health Service (NHS) colleagues and industrial partners provides real-world connections to digital health practice.

Digital technology is transforming healthcare. It is helping to make healthcare settings more efficient and better able to diagnose, treat, and monitor patients, thereby improving patients’ quality of life. That transformation is creating a need for professionals who understand existing medical technologies and who have the skills and expertise to develop new technologies, analyse medical data, and inform policy on medical data analysis. Students from the MSc in Digital Health will be able to fill those roles.

The degree covers both the principles and the practice of digital health. Practical components are, in part, taught through hands-on workshops led by digital health researchers. Specific attention is paid to training in bioinformatics and the modelling and analysis of medical data such as patient records and medical images. Theoretical learning is applied to real-world case studies, and you will develop an understanding of practitioner and industry perspectives on digital health. The degree also looks at the ethics and governance of digital health.

The MSc in Digital Health has close links with the Sir James Mackenzie Institute for Early Diagnosis. The Institute brings together researchers from a range of disciplines and builds on St Andrews’ international reputation in digital diagnosis, health data research, and biophotonics. These links will bring you into contact with current digital health research, giving your studies a remarkable richness and depth.

The degree includes an integrated training programme. The training programme connects your academic learning with the development of professional competencies that enhance employability. The training programme brings together postgraduates from all Graduate School Masters degrees, helping you to make new interdisciplinary connections and providing a supportive social aspect to the Graduate School community.

Teaching format

The MSc degree is a one-year full-time programme. Students complete one compulsory module in Semester 1 (September to December) and a second compulsory module in Semester 2 (January to June). Students take one or two optional modules in each semester. The period during June to August is used to complete the summer research project.

The MSc degree involves both independent and group study and teaching methods include seminars, workshops, and practical exercises. Most modules are assessed through coursework including written assignments, case study exercises, and presentations.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of modules offered at St Andrews, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2019–2020 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2020 entry.

Each semester is organised around compulsory modules exploring digital health principles and practice.

Semester 1

  • Digital Health Principles: covers how data is acquired and processed in medical settings, how clinical decisions are made, and how technology is changing the way in which these decisions are arrived at.

Semester 2

  • Digital Health Practice: develops practical skills in addressing healthcare challenges through digital technology using real-world examples.

All students will normally take modules in programming and quantitative methods in Semester 1 unless they have a sufficient background in computer science and data analysis or statistics. These modules complement the core modules.

Alongside the compulsory modules and the programming and quantitative methods modules, you will complete one or two other optional modules. Optional modules allow you to shape the degree around your own personal and professional interests.

Optional modules are expected to be offered in the following areas:

  • data analysis
  • data ethics and privacy
  • implementation science principles
  • information visualisation and visual analytics
  • machine learning
  • programming principles and practice.

Optional modules in other areas may be possible subject to availability and agreement.

Optional modules are subject to change each year, and attendance may be limited (see the University’s position on curriculum development).

The final module of the MSc degree is the summer research project. The project takes the form of a period of independent supervised research where you explore a digital health topic in depth.

You can choose to present your research project as:

  • a policy report that emphasises your ability to critically assess digital health policy and make convincing recommendations for policy changes, or
  • a multi-media portfolio that emphasises your ability to present digital health concepts in exciting and engaging ways, or
  • a written dissertation that emphasises your ability to plan and execute academically rigorous research.

If students choose not to complete the project requirement for the MSc, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Certificate or a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PG Cert or PGDip instead of an MSc. 


The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2020 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Upcoming postgraduate visiting days:

  • Wednesday 11 March 2020

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Virtual events

Find out more about studying at St Andrews, why it's unique and what it will do for your future.

Upcoming virtual events:

  • Friday 22 November at 9.15am (UK time)
  • Friday 29 November at 3.15pm (UK time)
  • Thursday 5 December at 9.15am (UK time)
  • Thursday 12 December at 3.15pm (UK time)

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The Graduate School

The Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Studies is the University of St Andrews’ newest academic school and has been established to foster interdisciplinary postgraduate education and scholarship.

The Graduate School’s interdisciplinary programmes and community provide postgraduates with a stimulating environment in which you can:

  • Learn across subject boundaries and expand your knowledge base, allowing you to maximise the intellectual and professional value of your time at St Andrews.
  • Develop and apply practical skills relevant to academic and professional contexts, enhancing your employability.
  • Benefit from being part of a vibrant and welcoming postgraduate community and a Graduate School that is wholly focused on understanding and meeting the needs of Masters students.

Funding

Scholarships
Scholarships are designed to help students support themselves during their studies. Find out more about postgraduate scholarships

Postgraduate loans
Loans are available for students who meet the residency and other criteria. Find out more about postgraduate loans

Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews. Find out more about the Recent Graduate Discount.

After the MSc

Research degrees

St Andrews offers a vibrant and stimulating research environment. One of the great strengths of our research degrees is the collegiate atmosphere which enables access to expertise beyond your formal supervisors and the ability to conduct interdisciplinary research.

Research students are supported by a supervisory team throughout their studies and are assessed by means of a substantial thesis of original research.

Research degrees

Careers

The University of St Andrews’ global reputation makes its graduates highly valued by employers. The MSc in Digital Health provides the subject knowledge and general skills needed for digital health-related careers in healthcare settings, pharmaceutical companies, medical technology industries, and government.

On this MSc you will: 

  • Be trained in the theoretical and practical aspects of digital health.
  • Have the opportunity to undertake a summer research project typically involving the analysis of real health data – either to assess digital health tools and technologies, or to generate useful knowledge from the data, or both.
  • Develop broader transferable skills in areas such as project management, team working, and communicating academic concepts to mixed audiences.

Alongside your studies, you will be able to complete M-Skills, a programme of in-person and online workshops and training materials for Masters students. M-Skills will help you develop the broader personal and professional skills you need to succeed in your degree and enhance your employability.

Additionally, the Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Contact

The Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Studies
University of St Andrews
Bute Building
Queen's Terrace
St Andrews
KY16 9TS

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2032
Email: gradschool@st-andrews.ac.uk

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Policies

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online (PDF, 84 KB).