Coronavirus information and guidance

Digital Health (MSc) 2021 entry

The MSc in Digital Health explores the principles and practice of digital health as well as applied skills commonly needed for digital health careers.

Apply now Register your interest

Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Science (MSc)

Course dates

  • Start date: 6 September 2021
  • 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 some have experience in statistical data analysis and some familiarity with methods such as sampling and regression. This might be through one of the following:
    • an advanced secondary school or high school level qualification in statistics or another quantitative scientific subject
    • undergraduate-level modules in a quantitative scientific subject
    • relevant professional experience.
  • Experience in computer programming is useful but is not essential.
  • English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.

The MSc in Digital Health welcomes applicants from a range of disciplinary backgrounds including, but not limited to:

  • computer science
  • mathematics
  • medicine
  • public health
  • software engineering
  • statistics.

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.

Apply now

Tuition fees

UK: £9,900
Overseas: £24,240

Application deadline

Wednesday 11 August 2021. 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

Healthcare is being transformed by digital technologies and big data analytics. On the MSc in Digital Health you will explore the principles and practice of digital health implementation.

Highlights

  • Aimed at students intending to follow a career in digital health.
  • Interdisciplinary character helps you to develop a more rounded understanding of digital health questions and concepts.
  • Applied components provide practical skills in medical data analysis and the use of digital technologies to address healthcare challenges.
  • Links with the Sir James Mackenzie Institute for Early Diagnosis bring you into contact with current digital health research across different disciplines.
  • Integrated training programme connects your academic learning with the development of personal and professional competencies.

The MSc in Digital Health is distinguished by its interdisciplinary character and an emphasis on applied skills that will be of particular value if you are looking to follow a career in digital health.

Digital technology is transforming healthcare. It is enabling faster diagnosis and better treatment of illnesses, supporting improvements in patient care, and making healthcare settings more efficient. 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 analytics. Students from the MSc in Digital Health will be able to fill those roles.

On the MSc you will learn about the theoretical underpinnings of digital health. You will look at different forms of health data, the technology that generate them, methods used for processing and analysis, and how digital data is integrated in clinical decision making. In particular, you will develop an appreciation of the challenges in handling, storing and analysing big data in healthcare contexts. An understanding of these principles provides a basis for studying the practical applications of digital health and developing your understanding of how digital health concepts can be applied to solve real-world medical problems. You will learn practical skills in medical data analysis and the use of digital technologies to address healthcare challenges. You will develop your understanding of techniques for programmatically processing medical data such as genetic data, medical images, and patient vital signs. You will also learn about digital health governance and the ethical considerations that can arise when designing and executing medical data analysis studies.

Particular 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 and the work that is needed across academia and other sectors to advance digital health. More broadly, you will develop practical skills in explaining digital health concepts to different audiences and the translation of academic thinking on digital into recommendations for policymakers and practitioners.

Digital health is inherently interdisciplinary. This MSc brings together academic staff, National Health Service (NHS) colleagues, and industrial partners providing a greater breadth of learning that encompasses real clinical problems as well as the solutions that digital health can provide.

In this way you will engage with critical perspectives on digital health principles and practice. You will be encouraged to develop a more rounded, interdisciplinary understanding of digital health questions and concepts. Through research-led teaching from scholars working in subjects including computer science, medicine, and statistics you will gain an appreciation of the technical, clinical, and analytical aspects of digital health and learn how to critically discuss digital health solutions from multiple disciplinary perspectives.

Optional modules allow you to explore topics such as biomedical imaging, information visualisation, and datamining that will broaden your learning in key areas and further develop the interdisciplinary character of your studies.

The MSc includes an integrated programme of skills workshops that connect your academic learning with the development of personal and professional competencies. Workshops bring together students from other Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Studies Masters degrees, helping you to make new interdisciplinary connections.

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.

Teaching format

The taught modules are taken over two semesters – September to December (Semester 1) and January to May (Semester 2). The period from June to August is used to complete the end of degree project.

Each taught module will use teaching and learning methods appropriate to its aims. These may include seminars, workshops, lectures, tutorials, and independent study.

Assessment methods used may include essays, reports, presentations, practical exercises, reflective exercises, and examinations.

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 2020–2021 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2021 entry.

Semester 1

The MSc is structured around two compulsory taught modules:

  • Digital Health Principles: explores the theoretical underpinnings of digital health; students consider different forms of health data, technologies and methods for processing and analysis, and the integration of digital data in clinical decision making.

Students will normally also be required to complete the following modules unless they have significant experience in statistics and programming:

  • Introductory Data Analysis: provides training in essential statistical concepts and data analysis methods for academic and professional contexts.

and one of the following:

  • Object-Oriented Programming: provides training in object-oriented modelling, design, and implementation.
  • Programming Principles and Practice: introduces general programming concepts such as data structures, functions, choice, iteration, recursion, and input and output.

Semester 2

  • Digital Health Practice: looks at the practical applications of digital health; students learn practical skills in medical data analysis and the use of digital technologies to address healthcare challenges.

Optional modules allow you to broaden your learning in key topics relevant to the MSc.

The available optional modules will be confirmed before the MSc start date.

Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development).

The final part of the MSc is the end of degree project. This takes the form of a period of supervised research where you will explore a digital health topic in depth.

Through the project you will show your ability to undertake sustained critical analysis, develop and improve your research skills, and produce an extended piece of written work that demonstrates a high level of understanding of your area of study.

You can choose to present your end of degree project as one of the following:

  • policy report that emphasises your ability to critically assess digital health policy and make convincing recommendations for policy changes
  • multi-media portfolio that emphasises your ability present digital health concepts in exciting and engaging ways
  • 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 is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive 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 PGDip instead of an MSc. 


The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2021 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Meet us online

If you're interested in studying at St Andrews, join us on a virtual visiting day or daily information session to find out about our courses, how to apply, and to meet current students. 
 

Virtual events

Join our Admissions team for one of our upcoming virtual events. During these events, you can find out more about studying at St Andrews and what it will do for your future.

Register

The Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Studies

The Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Studies was established in 2017 to foster interdisciplinary postgraduate education and scholarship.

The ability to work across subject boundaries is now recognised as an essential skill. The Graduate School’s Masters degrees will help you to develop a more rounded, interdisciplinary understanding of your subject and to use ideas from different disciplines to illuminate your studies.

As well as their interdisciplinary character, the Graduate School's Masters degrees are distinguished by an emphasis on the development and application of practical skills. In addition to broadening your subject knowledge, you will develop your skills of critical thinking and creativity, analysis and appraisal, problem-solving and decision-making, and project management and personal leadership.

One of the most appealing aspects of joining the Graduate School is the welcoming interdisciplinary community. The Graduate School is a place where you can make social and intellectual connections across subject boundaries and where students form close networks within and across their Masters degree groups.

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 is aimed at students intending to follow a career in digital health, and you will develop skills commonly needed for digital health related careers in healthcare settings, pharmaceutical companies, medical technology industries, and government.

In addition to broadening your subject knowledge and applying established techniques of research and enquiry, you will develop and demonstrate essential skills including:

  • critical thinking and creativity
  • analysis and appraisal
  • problem solving and decision making
  • personal leadership and project management
  • interpersonal communication and team working

However, your Masters degree is just one part of your personal and professional development during your time at St Andrews. The Professional Skills Curriculum is the University's programme of skills development activities for all students.

Comprising evening lectures, workshops, and online presentations, the Professional Skills Curriculum will help you develop your personal and professional capabilities and gain skills that you need to succeed in your studies 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

Graduate School Facebook
Graduate School Twitter

Graduate School website

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).

Study at St Andrews

Study at the University of St Andrews and experience the world-class teaching and cutting edge research of Scotland’s first university.