Taught course

Advancing Human Factors in Health and Social Care

Teesside University · School of Health and Social Care

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Entry requirements

You should:

  • be working in a health or social care setting or associated agency
  • have an honours degree in a relevant subject or equivalent work-based experience.

If you have other qualifications your application may be considered providing that you can provide evidence of being able to study at master's level.

Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credits for previous study or related work experience which can be credited towards the course you want to study.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

Delivering excellence in health and social care at an individual, team and organisational level is not just desirable but achievable. The philosophy of this CIEHF recognised course is that for high-quality, safer care to flourish, every member of staff must be committed to, and play their part in, an integrated approach to care. The application of a human factors approach is also crucial if real progress is to be made. A human factors approach involves applying theory, data and design methods about how humans interact with their environment to make it easier for work to be done in the right way.

Course details

The course develops and equips critical advocates and ambassadors for quality, safety and governance in health and social care. It also enables you to apply comprehensive knowledge, understanding, expertise and advanced skills to lead a human factors-based project in the work place to enhance the quality, safety and governance of care. The course is suitable for you if you work in the public, independent or voluntary sector and from any professional background, including clinical and support services who are working (or aspire to work in) a specialist quality, safety or governance role, or one dealing with human factors.

To maximise your success on this course you need a viable project in line with your departmental or organisational priorities and agreed by your relevant organisational representative and course leader. Throughout this course you will have access to qualified CIEHF members. You will be asked to complete a brief human factors-based quality improvement project overview form to support your application. We expect that you will have prior knowledge and/or experience of change management, leadership and quality improvement science or a willingness to independently increase your knowledge in these areas before beginning the course.

Course Structure

You develop in-depth, specialist knowledge of human factors and gain experience in using this to enhance the quality, safety and governance of care. You also study improvement science, leading change and a multi-perspective approach to determining and measuring performance and the impact of change. This includes planning an evaluation study based on the change you have implemented.

Core Modules -

  • Leading Person-centred Quality Improvement in Health and Social Care
  • Using a Human Factors Approach to Quality Improvement in Health and Social Care

How you learn

The course is taught in short study blocks spread across the academic year over a total of 14 contact days. We use a range of teaching methods including lectures and workshops, student-led seminars, action learning, interactive and online learning activities, directed and self-directed study activities. You are supported by module tutors with extensive experience in this subject area and the course leader who is a member of the founding cohort for the NHS England and Health Foundation Q Initiative.

How you are assessed

We use a range of assessment modes throughout the course. These include an essay analysing a quality, safety and governance issue using a human factors approach, a project-based evaluation research critique, and a poster presentation and oral defence of a change project.
Formative processes include an informal presentation on the improvement project plan and initial implementation. This is an opportunity for you to receive early development feedback. Presentations are made to a small panel drawn from the critical friends stakeholder support forum whose members participate in student assessment and support programme design and delivery. This group comprises service users and carers, employer representatives and academic staff to ensure that a person-centred approach extends to all aspects of the course, maximising employer/organisational benefit.

Career opportunities

Graduates from this course are equipped with specialist human factors knowledge, expertise and experience as well as a range of more generic attributes such as advanced reasoning and decision-making skills. You are able to work collaboratively, present and research. You also have strong ICT skills that highly sought after by employers.

The programme is relevant for you if you work in, or would like to work in a specialist quality, safety or governance role, or one dealing with human factors.

Fees and funding

For funding information please contact the University Finance office on +44 (0)1642 342171 or email finance@tees.ac.uk

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGCert
    part time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment50
Poster presentation and defence50

Course contact details

School of Health & Social Care
+44 (0) 1642 384110