Medical students with a patient PG Certificate: 8 months part-time (30 ECTS credits)
PG Diploma: 16 months part-time (60 ECTS credits)
MSc: 24 months part-time (90 ECTS credits)

Start date: October 2017
LocationSt Mary's

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.

The Patient Safety programme is designed for healthcare professionals, both medical and managerial, to provide a basis of the fundamentals of patient safety practices.

About the course


The Postgraduate Certificate focuses on quality improvement, how health systems and policies relate to safety, social impact and human factors.

The Postgraduate Diploma expands on these by including how to introduce innovation into healthcare, safety systems, decision making and leadership.

The MSc takes this further still with the development of a research project based in one of the many areas of patient safety.

MSc students may be able to carry out their research project in their own place of work. This will allow them to embed the knowledge and skills they have learned into their own area of practice.

Applicants must apply for the PG Certificate in the first instance. If you successfully pass the Certificate you may choose to progress to the Diploma. Passing the Diploma successfully allows progression to the MSc.

Having successfully completed the PG Cert, you can return in later years to complete either the PG Diploma or MSc as long as the PG Diploma is completed within four years of registering for the PG Certificate and the MSc is completed within five years of registering for the PG Certificate. 


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

Core modules

The Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma each cover four core modules. Each module is delivered by one week of face-to-face teaching with experts in patient safety.

Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert)
  • Improvement in Practice
  • Health Systems and Policy in Developed and Developing Countries
  • Social Impact of Patient Safety
  • Human Factors in Organisations
Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip)
  • Innovation
  • Safer Systems
  • Decision Making
  • Leadership
Master of Science (MSc)

If you progress to the MSc you will undertake an independent research project under the supervision of an academic member of staff. You will benefit from one-to-one meetings with your supervisor.

  • Research project


Teaching and assessment


  • Group discussions
  • Lectures
  • Practical workshops
  • Seminars
  • Site visits


  • Essays
  • Presentations
  • Research project report

Self-directed learning will be required to build on the week of face-to-face teaching to develop a full understanding of the intricacies of the subjects involved. To do this, material will be provided as a basis for further learning.

There are a number of case studies and group work throughout the programme, which are not formally assessed, but which will allow you to receive feedback from group leaders and your peers.

Entry requirements

Minimum academic requirement

Normally a 2:1 UK Honours degree in a healthcare related subject, or management/policy related subject and/or a medical degree.

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)

3 years relevant work experience in a healthcare, policy, or safety environment.

You will also be invited to attend 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:
  • PG Cert: £6,100
  • PG Dip: £3,700
  • MSc: £2,400

Islands and overseas students

2017 entry:
  • PG Cert: £15,300
  • PG Dip: £9,200
  • MSc: £6,100

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.