Health Care Innovation and Technology


The Healthcare Innovation and Technology course provides a systematic overview of the use, potential benefits and dangers of technology in modern surgery. It gives an exceptional opportunity for an introduction, with hands-on experience, to leading-edge modern surgical technology such as the Da Vinci Robotic Surgical Platform.

Offered by Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences and the Department for Continuing Education’s CPD Centre, the taught week is led by Mr Nicholas de Pennington. It features face-to-face didactic lectures, interactive tutorials, individual mentoring sessions and dedicated time on surgical simulators. There is a one-day visit to a hospital site.

We have put together an exciting and stimulating programme which attendees will find interesting, challenging and most importantly beneficial to their future careers. The Surgical Technology and Robotics course will cover aspects of:

  • The development and evaluation of new surgical technology
  • Radiology
  • I.T.
  • Surgical Simulators
  • Novel Surgical Technologies

The course begins with the development and assessment of surgical technologies, radiology and information technology. A full day will then be devoted to robotic assisted surgery, featuring practical training on the robotic simulator. The final two days focus on laparoscopic simulation and novel surgical technologies.

Course highlights include the following lectures and tutorials:

  • How to set up a surgical trial
  • Development of surgical technologies
  • Da Vinci Skills Simulator Console training
  • Symbionix Laparoscopic Trainer training
  • The Robotic Eye
  • Preparation of a business case for the introduction of a new surgical technology
  • Radiological ablation of solid tumours
  • State of the art imaging
  • IT and computer decision support systems
  • Endoscopy/EUS/Endoluminal surgery
  • Advances in lower GI surgery
  • Neurosurgery & deep brain stimulation
  • High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound
  • Recent advancements in hearing restoration
  • Cutting, coagulation and stapling technology

Class sizes are kept small to allow full interaction with tutors. Study before and after the course is supported by a rich virtual learning environment.

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
Short course in Surgical Science and Practice £2240.00
Students enrolled on the MSc in Surgical Science and Practice £1850.00


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 of Continuing Education, including:
    • The Graduate School
    • WebLearn virtual learning environment
    • Wi-fi access through Oxford Wireless LAN (OWL).


Mr Nicholas de Pennington

Module Coordinator

Nick’s undergraduate degree was from Cambridge followed by clinical training in Oxford. After basic surgical training he returned to Oxford for Neurosurgical specialty training. He gained his CCT in 2015 and is now a Research Fellow in the Department of Neurosurgery / Department of Oncology.

During his clinical training he introduced the use of fluorescent-guided glioma surgery to Oxford. For four years he was mentor to a Meng / Pdes student project at the University of Leeds. This project developed several novel surgical devices currently undergoing commercialisation negotiations. He is currently project leader of the OARS system - an electronic platform being developed to manage specialty referrals across the Oxford University Hospitals Trust.

He has been demonstrator, tutor, college lecturer and student examiner across the University of Oxford’s medical course. Within the Oxford neurosurgical program he introduced simulation training using custom 3D-printed models.

Assessment methods

Assessment will be based on multiple choice questions or structured short questions, online project working and practical tests. 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.


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.

Applications deadline: 11 February 2019

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.