MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care
The MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care will position students to integrate the best available research evidence with their clinical expertise and patient values to make better informed decisions in their field of health care.
The Programme is delivered in partnership with Oxford's Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, one of the world's most important academic centres for primary care, and leaders in world-class research and training for over 20 years. It is also supported by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. Find out more about the history of the centre and the Evidence-Based Health Care Programme here.
This programme has teachers and contributors who are internationally recognised leaders in the field of evidence-based practice and teaching. The flexible structure of the course has been devised to fit with the structure of specialist training and to accommodate student choice.
Watch the following video for more information about the course and the student experience:
"It was really important to me to find a course which was flexible. I can take a week off from my clinical work, come to Oxford and spend the week studying, and the rest of the course is online. I feel very supported by the forums and I can stay in touch with my colleagues but at the same time I haven’t had to put my clinical career or the rest of my life on hold to be able to do a Master’s." Kristina, MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care student from Canada,
Find out about other students' experiences on our Student Spotlights page.
The MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care is a part-time course. There are two compulsory modules, four option modules and a dissertation.
Option Modules (four must be chosen)
- Clinical Trial Management
- Mixed Methods in Health Research
- Knowledge into Action
- Evidence-based Diagnosis and Screening
- Introduction to Statistics for Health Care Research
- Systematic Reviews
- Randomised Controlled Trials
- Qualitative Research Methods
- Essential Medical Statistics
- History and Philosophy of Evidence-Based Health Care
- Teaching Evidence-Based Practice
- Realist Reviews and Realist Evaluation
- Complex Reviews
- Statistics for Clinical Trials
- Big Data Epidemiology
The majority of modules are run over either an eight, or fifteen week learning cycle. Most modules are either delivered fully online or in a blended format, however, some modules are only delivered with a blended format that includes a 5 day attendance in Oxford, and some are only run entirely online. In any given year, not all delivery formats for a module may be available.
Blended format: an initial period of self-directed study is spent on introductory activities using a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This is followed by a week spent in Oxford for supported face-to-face teaching, and then a further period of Post-Oxford activities (a mixture of self-directed and supported distance learning also delivered through the VLE). The final week of each module is for self-directed personal study, shortly followed by the assignment submission.
Fully online format: These are delivered through the VLE with the first week allocated to self-directed introductory activities. There is then either:
- a number of units to work through which are released week by week. Each unit includes a mixture of supported and self-directed learning with discussion forums, tasks and activities. Students then have five weeks of self-directed personal study with use of a revision forum and the requirement to submit an assignment electronically the following week. Courses usually run over a 15 week period.
- an intensive week of 5 consecutive days of synchronous and asynchronous teaching sessions, and then a further period of activities (A mixture of self-directed and supported distance learning also delivered through the VLE). The final week of each module is for self-directed personal study, shortly followed by the assignment submission. Courses usually run over an 8 week period.
Part-time attendance details
As a part-time student, you will be required to attend a minimum of two modules (one of which must be a compulsory module) ‘in person’ in Oxford. Each ‘in person’ module requires you to attend a week (five days) in Oxford for supported face to face teaching. Your other four modules can be made up of a mix of ‘in person’, or fully online modules. For additional note: All students are required to attend a minimum of one module in each academic year on course. This can either be ‘in person’ or fully online.
Assessment for each module will be based on a written assignment, which shall not be of more than 4,000 words. Students for the MSc will also be required to complete a dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with a supervisor and the Course Director. The dissertation should not normally exceed 15,000 words.
To complete the MSc students must:
- Attend and complete the 2 compulsory modules and 4 option modules
- Complete a dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with a supervisor and the Course Director. The dissertation should normally not exceed 15,000 words.
- Attend a viva voce examination at the end of the course of studies at the discretion of the examiners
The aim of the MSc programme is to help health professionals base their clinical and health management decisions on valid, reliable and relevant evidence, determined by sound scientific research and evaluation.
By the end of the course students will be expected to be able to:
- Find and appraise quantitative and qualitative research evidence critically and efficiently and understand what the results mean in different contexts and for different healthcare decisions.
- Integrate and synthesise different sorts of information, from diverse sources, when making both individual patient and health policy decisions in a wide range of situations.
- Be familiar with key issues for evidence-based practice in their own professional area or specialty.
- Work comfortably in situations of uncertainty and make sound judgements in the absence of definitive evidence.
- Work comfortably in unpredictable situations and deal with complex issues systematically and creatively.
- Have an understanding of ethical frameworks in health care and be able to apply ethical principles to practical issues.
- Understand health care organisations, their management and the changing context in which they operate
- Be pro-active in recognising the need for change and have the ability to manage change.
- Understand how to work with colleagues to make informed decisions based on evidence and operate effectively in a variety of team roles.
- Provide leadership for evidence-based practice and research.
- Manage projects, people, time and change effectively and efficiently.
- Present and communicate information about research evidence and evidence-based practice clearly in written, electronic and oral forms to a range of audiences.
- Be able to produce a robust research protocol, for a variety of different types of research question, in a format that can be submitted as an application for research funding.
- Be able to play a lead role in the conduct and presentation of research.
- Have an understanding of the ethical issues in health research and research governance.
- Routinely use the principles of reflective practice.
Who should apply
To be eligible for the course you should:
For the full Selection Criteria please refer to the Graduate Admissions and Funding website.
- be a graduate or have successfully completed a professional training course
- have professional work experience in the health service or a health-related field
- be able to combine intensive classroom learning with the application of the principles and practices of evidence-based health care within the work place
- have a good working knowledge of email, internet, word processing and Windows applications (for communications with course members, course team and administration)
- show evidence of the ability to commit time to study and an employer's commitment to make time available to study, complete course work and attend course and university events and modules.
Fees and funding
Fee rates for the academic year 2023-24*
*Rates for 2024/25 to be confirmed
These rates (in pounds sterling) are for students joining in the 2023-24 academic year and will increase annually.
The annual award fee is due for every academic year (or part-year) attended; module or dissertation fees are due in advance as invoiced. Fees must be paid in accordance with the Terms and Conditions for the programme.
- Annual Award Fee: £7,695
- Module fees: £2,340 (per taught module)
- Dissertation fee: £7,020 (equivalent to 3 module fees)
Illustration for full programme (completing in three years, with six taught modules and a dissertation):
- 3 annual award fees: £23,085*
- plus 6 module fees: £14,040*
- plus dissertation fee: £7,020*
Total = £44,145*
- The fee rates listed are for the academic year shown, and you should be aware that these rates will increase annually.
- The Illustration is based on the fee rates for the academic year shown; however, fee rates for attendance in future years will increase, so students attending for more than one year should expect the total to be higher than is shown in the Illustration. The exact amount will depend on the fee rates set annually, and upon the years you are in attendance; these are normally published well before the start of each academic year, but for your own budgetary purposes you may wish to estimate a 8% annual increase on fee rates.
- Funding: Eligible applications completed before the January deadline will automatically be considered for a Clarendon Fund Scholarship.
Details of funding opportunities, including grants, bursaries, loans, scholarships and benefit information are available on our Fees and Funding page.
How to apply
Applications for this course should be made via the University of Oxford Graduate Admissions website. This website includes further information about this course and a guide to applying.
Early application for the programme is advised. Applications which have not been fully completed before the application deadline cannot be considered, so please ensure any applications are received by us in good time so that we may advise of missing or incorrectly completed elements. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to telephone interview, and asked to provide evidence of their funding for the programme.
Applications open in September for entry in the following academic year. To see if this course is still open for applications for admission please visit the University of Oxford Graduate Admissions website. Courses with a green admission status are open for applications, amber means the course will be closing at 12 noon on the following Friday and red means it has closed to new applications.
Please read our Terms and Conditions before submitting your application. If you would like to discuss your application or any part of the application process before applying please contact:
Frazer Mackenzie (Course Manager)
Tel: +44 (0)1865 270453 - Email: email@example.com
Central accommodation for visitors and students at the Department for Continuing Education