Taught course

Advancing Quality, Safety and Governance in Health and Social Care

Teesside University · School of Health and Social Care

Entry requirements

Working in a health or social care setting or associated agencies. Applicants will normally have an honours degree in a relevant subject or equivalent work-based experience. Applicants with other qualifications may be considered if they can provide evidence of their ability to study at master’s level.

Months of entry


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 programme is that for excellence to flourish every member of staff must be committed to, and play their part in, an integrated governance approach. This is where people-centredness and people-centred approaches to care are afforded the same esteem and recognition as finance, performance, risk management, safety and quality.

The programme is designed to develop and equip critical champions and ambassadors for quality, safety and governance in health and social care – and enables you to apply your comprehensive knowledge, understanding, expertise and advanced skills to lead the evidence-based enhancement of quality, safety and governance in health and social care settings. The programme is suitable for individuals from the public, independent and voluntary sectors from any professional background, including clinical and support services.

What you study

Year 1 focuses on the transition to mastery and explores the context of safety, quality and governance in terms of policy, theory and experience, at a personal, local, national and international level. You also study different types and sources of evidence. You use these to identify a quality, safety or governance issue of relevance to your role based on an in-depth study of the principles, practices and tools of safety and governance in health and social care. You then develop and justify a business case for change based on this.

The modules studied in Year 1 comprise the Advancing Quality Improvement in Health and Social Care, PgCert

In Year 2, you plan and implement a change project based on your business case presented at the end of Year 1. To enable you to achieve this you study topics such as a human factors approach, strategic change management, action learning, leadership and evaluation methodologies. This enables you to develop an evaluation study proposal in Year 2 which you take forward during the Dissertation module in Year 3. The modules studied in Year 2 comprise the Advancing Human Factors in Health and Social Care, PgCert.

How you learn

In years 1 and 2 the programme is taught in short study blocks spread across the academic year and comprising a total of 14 days each year. We use a range of teaching methods including lectures and workshops, student-led seminars, action learning, real-life scenarios and case study analysis, interactive and online learning activities, directed and self-directed study activities. Year 3 is mainly guided self-directed study with the support of a dissertation supervisor. You are supported by module tutors with extensive experience in this subject area and the programme 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 programme. These include written assessments, such as an essay on the nature and use of evidence, analysis of a quality, safety or governance issue using a human factors approach, a business case and the final dissertation evaluating the change you have implemented. Other modes of assessment include a poster presentation or defence and an oral presentation with questions and answers. The programme is supported by a Critical Friends Stakeholder Support Forum which consists of service users and carers, employer representatives and academic staff. Members of this group participate in student assessment as well as supporting programme design and delivery as a means of ensuring the person-centred approach pervades all aspects of the programme and to maximise employer/organisational benefit.

Career opportunities

Graduates from this programme are equipped with a range of knowledge, expertise and experiences such as advanced reasoning and decision-making skills, being able to work collaboratively, and presentation, research and ICT skills that are highly sought after by employers today. The programme is relevant for staff working in or aspiring to undertake specialist quality, safety or governance roles as well as those facing these issues as part of a wider role.

Fees and funding

Please note that due to current anticipated changes to NHS education and HE funding, information will be updated on Teesside University website. Please check this prior to application.

Qualification and course duration


part time
36 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment70
Dissertation30 (15000 words)

Course contact details

School of Health & Social Care
+44 (0) 1642 384176