Taught course

Advancing Quality, Safety and Governance 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, and have an honours degree in a relevant subject or equivalent work-based experience.
If you have other qualifications your application may be considered if you can provide evidence of your ability 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


Course content

Delivering excellence in health and social care at an individual, team and organisational level is not just desirable but achievable.

Course Details

The philosophy of this course 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-centeredness and people-centred approaches to care are afforded the same esteem and recognition as finance, performance, risk management, safety and quality.

The course is designed to develop and equip critical champions and ambassadors for quality, safety and governance in health and social care. It enables you to apply your comprehensive knowledge, understanding, expertise and advanced skills to lead evidence-based enhancement of quality, safety and governance in your health and social care settings and evaluate the impact of this. The course is suitable for individuals from 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.

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 make up 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 help you achieve this you study topics such as a human factors approach, strategic change management, action learning and leadership and evaluation methodologies. You then develop and critique an evaluation study proposal in Year 2 which you take forward during your dissertation module in Year 3. The modules studied in Year 2 make up the Advancing Human Factors in Health and Social Care, PgCert.

Course structure

Year 1 Core modules

  • Principles and Practice of Safety and Governance in Health and Social Care
  • Using Evidence to Advance Quality, Safety and Governance in Health and Social Care

Year 2 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

Year 3 Core modules

  • Dissertation: Evaluating Impact

How you learn

In Years 1 and 2 the course is taught in short study blocks spread across the academic year over a total of 14 days. 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 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 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 and defence, and an oral presentation with questions and answers.

The course 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 course and to maximise employer/organisational benefit.

Career opportunities

On successful completion of this course you are equipped with a range of knowledge, expertise and experiences such as advanced reasoning and decision-making skills. You are also able to work collaboratively, present and research. And you have strong ICT skills that are highly sought by employers. The programme is relevant for you if you are working in or would like to work in a specialist quality, safety or governance role, or one covering these issues.

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

  • MA
    part time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification


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 384110