Medical studentECTS: 90 credits
Start date: October 2017
Duration: 2 years part-time
Location: South KensingtonSt Mary's and the Royal College of Art

This course is open for applications for 2017 entry. Although this course will remain open until it is filled, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply before 1 August 2017.

This course is designed to equip you with the tools and techniques to instigate and lead innovation in healthcare, providing a greater understanding of the challenges to the UK health system.

About the course


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 UK 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

The course draws on the complementary knowledge and expertise of Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art (RCA), and will be delivered at Imperial’s campuses in South Kensington and St Mary’s, as well as at the RCA campus in South Kensington.

This MSc runs alongside an MRes degree awarded by the Royal College of Art. Imperial’s course has been designed for clinicians and healthcare professionals, while the RCA’s MRes is aimed at design professionals.

Both courses build on the partnership between Imperial and the RCA, which comes to life in the HELIX Centre – a design studio in St Mary’s Hospital bringing designers and clinicians together for the first time to solve healthcare challenges.

A key aim of the HELIX Centre is to drive more innovative approaches to healthcare service delivery with better design and planning, more efficient use of resources and greater focus on patient need.


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

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

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

Core modules

You will undertake four core modules during each year of study, involving face-to-face teaching through lectures, seminars, tutorials, caseā€based discussions and practical sessions. The modules currently offered are:

Year 1
  • A Health Business Toolkit (Imperial)
  • A Health Research Toolkit (Imperial)
  • Introduction to Design and Innovation (RCA)
  • Introduction to Design Led Innovation in Healthcare (RCA)
Year 2
  • Design dash (Imperial)
  • Designing for Behaviour Change (Imperial)
  • Innovation (Imperial)
  • Leadership (Imperial)

Research project

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 RCA.

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


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 Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art.

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


  • 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 15 minute oral presentation with questions.


As a part-time course taken over over two years, you have eight individual weeks of intensive teaching (four blocks of two weeks).

Entry requirements

Minimum academic requirement

Normally, a 2:1 UK Bachelor’s Honours degree, with either a clinical background or other healthcare experience.

Applicants who do not meet the academic requirements above but who have substantial relevant industry experience may be admitted following completion of a Special Qualifying Exam (SQE).

International qualifications

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

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications. For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College.

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.

Additional criteria (all applicants)

You will be expected to have either a clinical background or other healthcare experience.

Students with design experience/qualifications will be directed towards the RCA’s MRes programme.

As the course is part-time, we would expect applicants to be employed and we will require a letter of permission from your employer.

You may be invited to a post-application interview.

English language requirements

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 higher 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.

Fees and funding

Home and EU students

2017 entry:

£12,200 for full course

Islands and overseas students

2017 entry:

£30,600 for full course

This is the total fee for the course, rather than an annual fee.

Government funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you can apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,000 from the UK government for programmes beginning in October 2016. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs. 

Funding from Imperial


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.

For more information on the Postgraduate Master's Loan scheme and other funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

How to apply

All applicants must apply online.

For full details on the online application process, or to start your application, please visit the How to Apply section of our website.

You can usually apply for up to two courses, although your second choice will only be considered if your first-choice application is unsuccessful.

Although courses will remain open until they are filled, applicants for this course are strongly encouraged to apply by 1 August 2017. Early applications allow us to communicate important information around key dates with applicants directly.

If you need a visa to study in the UK, we advise that you apply by 1 July 2017 to ensure that your visa is processed and approved prior to the start of the course.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

Offer holders will need to pay a deposit to secure your place. This will be deducted from the balance of your tuition fees.

ATAS Certificate
An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.