Health Care Innovation and Technology


The recent pace of innovation in healthcare is unprecedented. Rapid advances in many fields promise to disrupt current surgical care.

The recent “Future of Surgery” report, from the Royal College of Surgeons, considered the changes that are occurring and how they will impact on patients, surgeons and the health service over the next 20 years. The Commission identified four areas that will have the greatest impact:

  1. Minimally-invasive surgery
  2. Imaging, virtual reality and augmented reality
  3. Big data, genomics and artificial intelligence
  4. Specialised interventions (e.g. 3D bioprinting, nano-surgery, artificial organs)

The Healthcare Innovation and Technology course provides insight into these different areas of innovation and explores both the challenges and opportunities they provide. Students will develop an understanding of the innovation pathway and develop translatable skills in idea generation, needs analysis, evaluation of innovation, developing a business case and pitching it. Students will also explore the challenges to adapting to new innovations in their day to day practice. 

The course is offered by the Nuffield Department of Surgical Science and Department for Continuing Education, The taught week is led by Mr Matthew Gardiner.

The modest class size allows most sessions to be interactive. The week includes a hospital visit and exposure to surgical robots and virtual reality simulation. During the week teams will put together a case for an innovation and have the opportunity to pitch the idea and gain feedback. The groups will also explore aspects of coping with innovation and introducing innovations to the healthcare environment.

Tutors are available for mentoring and some offer topics for the main dissertation. The course is supported by a virtual learning environment with course material made available in advance.

The Healthcare Innovation and Technology course has a large faculty drawing on expertise from across academia, healthcare and business.

Previous guest speakers have included:

  • Professor Barbara Braden, Professor of Gastroenterology at the University of Frankfurt/Main, Germany; Consultant Gastroenterologist, Oxford
  • Mr Philip Charlesworth, Consultant Urological Surgeon
  • Alexandra Cope, ‎Deputy Tutor in Surgery at Oxford School of Surgery; Clinical Simulation Fellow
  • Professor Constantin Coussios, Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Professorial Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford
  • Professor Peter Friend, Professor of Transplantation and Consultant Transplant and HPB Surgeon; Director of Oxford Transplant Centre
  • Professor Richie Gill, Professor of Healthcare Engineering, University of Bath
  • Professor Fergus Gleeson, Professor of Radiology, Oxford
  • Mr Alex Green, Consultant Neurosurgeon, Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, Oxford
  • Professor Chris Johnson, Professor of Computing Science, University of Glasgow
  • Douglas Hartley, Consultant ENT Surgeon & Associate Professor in Otolaryngology, University of Nottingham
  • Dr Markus Groppe, Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology
  • Matthew Lawrence, Head of Business Development at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Professor Freddie Hamdy, Head of Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences; Nuffield Professor of Surgery; Professor of Urology
  • Professor Rutger Ploeg, Professor of Transplant Biology; Director of Clinical and Translational Research
  • Mr Mark Sullivan, Consultant Urological Surgeon, Oxford
  • Mr Ben Turney, Clinical Lecturer in Urology, Oxford; awarded American College of Surgeons International Travelling Fellowship for 2014
  • Dr Raman Uberoi, Consultant Radiologist, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford


Programme details

This course can be taken:


This course will be held at the Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, Oxford, with a day spent at one of Oxford's hospital sites.


Short course participants who do not wish to undertake the assessed work required for academic credit but who do satisfy the course attendance requirements will receive a certificate of attendance.

Those successfully completing the course for credit can request a CATS point transcript.


Description Costs
Students enrolled on the MSc in Surgical Science and Practice £2080.00
Students enrolled on the PG Cert in Patient Safety £2080.00


Potential sources of funding for courses in Surgical Science and Practice.

Details of funding opportunities including grants, bursaries and scholarships are available on our sources of funding page.


The course fee includes:

  • Tuition
  • Course materials
  • A day at one of Oxford's hospital sites to use the surgical simulator
  • Refreshments and a three-course lunch on each day of the course
  • Access to the following University of Oxford libraries and services:
    • Radcliffe Science Library
    • Rewley House Continuing Education Library
    • Bodleian Libraries e-Resources
  • Access to facilities from the Department for Continuing Education, including:
    • The Graduate School
    • Canvas virtual learning environment
    • Wi-fi access through Oxford Wireless LAN (OWL).

Stand Alone fees for March 2022 have not yet been confirmed. 


Dr Matthew Gardiner

Module Coordinator

Matt Gardiner is an academic plastic and hand surgeon. His research interests include wearable sensors and device innovation for the treatment of common hand conditions. He co-founded the Reconstructive Surgery Trials Network and is the RCS Surgical Specialty Lead for Plastic and Hand Surgery trials. He sits on the steering committee for The COHESIVE study: Core Outcomes for early pHasE Surgical Innovation and deVicEs.

Assessment methods

Assessment will be based on submission of a set written assignment, not exceeding 4,000 words. The assessment is only undertaken by those taking the course for academic credit.

Academic credit

Those wishing to may apply to take the course with accreditation. The University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education offers Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points for the course. Participants attending at least 70% of the taught course and successfully completing assessed assignments are eligible to earn credit equivalent to 20 CATS-equivalent points which may be counted towards a postgraduate qualification.


Application deadline: four weeks before the commencement of the course.

We strongly recommend that you download and save files before completing to ensure that all your changes are saved.

This course requires you to complete and submit the application form below and a copy of your CV. If you are applying to take this course for academic credit you will also need to complete section two of the reference form and forward it to your referee for completion. Please note that if you are not applying to take the course for academic credit then you do not need to submit a reference.

Please ensure you read the guidance notes before completing the application form, as any errors resulting from failure to do so may delay your application.

Places on the course are limited, so early application is strongly recommended. Once we have received your completed application it will be considered by the admissions panel.

This course is part of the MSc in Surgical Science and Practice. If you would like to apply for the MSc in Surgical Science and Practice please visit the programme page.

Selection criteria

To apply for this course you should:

  • hold a primary qualification in medicine recognised by the GMC and the MRCS, or an equivalent diploma in basic surgical training and education degree in the case of overseas candidates
  • currently occupy or have occupied a training or service post at ST1 level or above (UK candidates), or provide evidence of basic surgical training including a logbook (overseas candidates)
  • possess an entry level qualification for specialist training in surgery, e.g. MRCS or international equivalent
  • show evidence of several years of accumulated practical surgical training
  • be able to combine intensive classroom learning with the application of the principles and practices within the work place
  • demonstrate a suitable level of English (if this is not your first language).


Accommodation is available at the Rewley House Residential Centre, within the Department for Continuing Education, in central Oxford. The comfortable, en-suite, study-bedrooms have been rated as 4-Star Campus accommodation under the Quality In Tourism scheme, and come with tea- and coffee-making facilities, free Wi-Fi access and Freeview TV. Guests can take advantage of the excellent dining facilities and common room bar, where they may relax and network with others on the programme.

IT requirements

This course uses the Department’s online assignment submission system and online courseware. In order to participate in the course, and 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.