Postgraduate Certificate in Patient Safety
The Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) is a part-time course for healthcare professionals, offered by the Department for Continuing Education in collaboration with the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences. It can be completed in one year (though two years is possible), and consists of three modules, each a week long and taught in Oxford. We provide online support and e-library access for distance learning on either side of the Oxford weeks.
The PGCert in Patient Safety is designed to provide an understanding of:
- the basic science behind quality improvement methods
- the techniques for implementing, sustaining and measuring systems change
- the techniques for exploring and evaluating the effect of different approaches to improving safety in healthcare
There is a growing evidence base that quality improvement and human factors-based projects in healthcare have real impact on clinical outcomes for patients. The University of Oxford has a strong research base in patient safety, and this course benefits from the researchers’ intensive collaboration with clinicians.
The course will appeal to doctors, nurses, managers, and other healthcare professionals who have an interest in patient safety.
Students attend two core modules and one option module.
- Leadership and Management in Health Care
- Becoming a Clinical Educator
- Healthcare Innovation and Technology
Each module will comprise one week’s intensive teaching in Oxford through lectures, workshops, seminars and practical sessions. Modules are constructed to promote independent learning, to develop the students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject, as well as to encourage group working and discussion. They include a period of preparatory study, and are followed by a period for assignment work.
The panel of tutors is led by Dr Lauren Morgan, Course Director, Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford.
Comments from students who took the Human Factors, Teamwork and Communication module:
"Really enjoyed it, interesting topics, great presenters, great to be constructively challenged on pre-conceived ideas and perceptions. Opened my eyes and mind!"
"Well organised, thought provoking, inspiring"
"I now have more confidence to take these concepts and work on them to improve things for my team and patients"
"The course tackles the subject from a totally unique angle. Each module is practical, stimulating and delivered with insight from the astute and hugely knowledgeable faculty members"
"This targeted all my learning needs. I will employ some of the techniques first thing Monday morning"
Course Aims and Teaching Methods
During the Postgraduate Certificate students will develop a knowledge and understanding of:
- The principles of patient safety in the context of a complex healthcare setting
- The fundamental importance of systems thinking and the understanding of process flow in the organisation of a healthcare system
- The nature of effective change needed to understand and overcome the obstacles to improving safety within an organisation
- The importance of human factors when considering errors or opportunities for change
Modules are delivered face-to-face in the first instance, with a VLE established for between-module support. Modules will comprise one-week’s intensive teaching in Oxford through the use of lectures, workshops, seminars and practical sessions. They are constructed to include independent learning, to develop the students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject, as well as group working and discussion. The modules include a period of preparatory study, a week of intensive face-to-face lectures and tutorials, followed by a period for assignment work.
University of Oxford libraries, including:
- The Cairns Library at the John Radcliffe Hospital
- Radcliffe Science Library
- Rewley House Continuing Education Library
- Bodleian Libraries e-Resources
Plus facilities from the Department of Continuing Education, including:
- The Graduate School
- WebLearn virtual learning environment
Students must complete two core modules and one option module, taken in any order.
They are encouraged to complete a formative assignment during their first module in order to provide informal feedback and to ensure that students have a good understanding of the level of output required. After each module, students will be required to produce a written assignment of up to 4000 words.
The written assignments will encourage students to demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of the subject areas covered, and will provide them with the opportunity to develop their critical appraisal and written presentation skills.
This course uses the Department’s online assignment submission system. In order to prepare and submit your course assignments you will need access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification. Students of this course may use the student computing facilities provided in Departmental buildings.
Fee rates for the current academic year 2019/20
The fees listed are for the current academic year: see note  below for fees for 2020/21.
Annual award fee (see note  below regarding fee status):
- £1,540 for Home/EU students
- £7,266 for Overseas students
Module fee: £1,925 (per taught module)
Illustration for PGCert programme (assumes completion within one year)
- 1 x annual award fee = £1,540
- 3 x module fee (3 taught modules) = £5,775
- Total: £7,315
- 1 x annual award fee = £7,266
- 3 x module fee (3 taught modules) = £5,775
- Total: £13,041
Stand-alone module fee rate
2019/20 (to be confirmed)
2020/21 (to be confirmed)
. The fee rates listed are for the academic year shown, and you should be aware that these rates will increase annually, so students 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 the each academic year, but for your own budgetary purposes you may wish to estimate a 5% annual increase on fee rates.
. See the Oxford University website for Home/EU and Overseas classification of students for fee purposes.
Please visit the PG Certificate in Patient Safety page on the University of Oxford Graduate Admissions website for details of the entry requirements.
Apply for this course
Applications will be considered at each of the following gathered field deadlines:
- Friday 25 January 2019
- Friday 1 March 2019
This course will close to applications on Friday 1 March 2019. It may reopen to applications only if places are available. See further information. All supporting materials, including references, need to have been received by this date. Please contact the administrative team if you have any questions concerning the deadlines for the course.
Help us to help you. Apply early - if you submit your application early, the Graduate Admissions team will be able to let you know if any items are missing. Applications must have been fully completed by the relevant application deadline in order to be considered, so please ensure that you have gathered your supporting materials in advance and have given your referees plenty of time to prepare their references before the deadline. Click here for a recommended timeline for applications.
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to telephone interview.
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions for applicants and students on this course
Sources of funding
Information on financial support