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MSc in Applied Digital Health

About the course

The MSc in Applied Digital Health is a one-year, full-time course, designed to teach the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills needed to drive innovation in the fast-growing area of digital health.

The MSc is led by the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences (NDPCHS), capitalising on the existing breadth of internationally leading digital health research in the department. In addition, the course draws on the expertise of faculty from across the University to create an interdisciplinary learning experience, spanning medicine, social science, engineering, artificial intelligence and data science.

Aimed at early- or mid-career professionals, entrants to the Applied Digital Health MSc will come from a wide range of backgrounds, including clinical medicine, public health, medical sociology, psychology, statistics, computer science and engineering. While no pre-existing knowledge is assumed, applicants must have an interest in both the social and technical aspects of digital health.

Upon successful completion of the course graduates will be able to:

  • discuss the drivers, enablers, barriers and challenges to digital health innovation, using real-world examples
  • summarise the state-of-the-art in digital health tools – including digital therapeutics, digital diagnostics, artificial intelligence, learning health systems and those that facilitate automated care pathways or improved patient (self)management – and both explain and critically evaluate the theories and techniques that underlie them
  • identify and formulate a response to the ethical, policy, regulatory and practice challenges facing digital health
  • explain in detail the need for user-focused development, meaningful evaluation and successful implementation of digital health tools, and propose appropriate methods, actions and processes to meet these requirements
  • describe and apply key qualitative and quantitative research methods used study of digital health care and the evaluation of digital tools, as well as identify the strengths and weaknesses of those research methods.

Course outline

This course will consist of eight compulsory modules, each spanning a two-week block, and a dissertation. The academic year is split into three terms of eight weeks, however, assignments are not restricted to term time only.

Each module focuses on different ways in which digital health can be used to address the challenges facing twenty-first century healthcare. These solutions include clinical informatics for better surveillance of care quality and public health; harnessing electronic health data to improve diagnosis and prognosis; improving outcomes via remote patient monitoring and digital diagnostics; using digital tools to facilitate physical and cognitive behaviour change; implementing more efficient and effective models of primary care; reducing the cost of care.

Module titles:

  1. Foundations of Digital Health
  2. Clinical Informatics for Trials and Health Surveillance
  3. Harnessing Big Data to Improve Care
  4. Remote Monitoring and Digital Diagnostics
  5. Supporting Health Behaviour Change using Digital Tools
  6. Digital Transformation of Primary Care
  7. Economics of Digital Health
  8. User Focused Design and the Lifecycle of Digital Health Innovation

There are a number of cross-cutting themes that run throughout the modules. These themes include artificial intelligence and machine learning, behavioural science, challenges facing health systems, electronic health records, ethics, implementation, policy, programming for data analysis, regulation and law, sociotechnical processes, statistics and study design for the evaluation of digital tools.

The teaching is delivered via a range of methods, including lectures, seminars, workshops, presentations, self- directed learning and study, with all theoretical learning underpinned by real world case-studies. Learning will be further supported by a guest lecture series, a journal club and enrichment activities related to more commercial aspects of digital health not addressed by the academic course content.

In the third term students undertake an original research project, culminating in a research dissertation and a poster display. Students are supported in the selection of a research topic, although the department welcomes students to propose a topic of their choosing (subject to conditions).

Supervision

The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. A supervisor may be found outside the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. Students will be assigned an academic advisor for the entirety of the course, in addition to their dissertation supervisor.

Assessment

During the first two terms there are a series of formative assessments designed to enable teaching staff to monitor student progress. All students are provided with detailed feedback that will enable them to improve their learning by helping them identify their strengths and weaknesses.

There are also eight summative assessments in the first two terms, one per module. Each of these summative assessments account for 8.75% of the final mark. The assessments vary according to the content of the module but include essays, sets of exercises and presentations.

The dissertation in the third term is worth 30% of the final mark.

Graduate destinations

This course will provide graduates with the skills to creatively and successfully harness digital health tools, be that as researchers, policymakers, technology specialists or health practitioners. For example, some students may go on to roles within health organisations that require digital health expertise, or similar roles in pharmaceutical, consulting or health tech companies. Others may be experienced health professionals who seek to exploit digital health opportunities in their own practice. Some may want to pursue an academic career path and may go on to a doctoral research position or a health policy role within government.

Wherever their particular interests may lie, it is anticipated that course graduates will be well placed to do pioneering work in the digital health sector.

It should be noted that this MSc is not a computing or engineering course and, while it does include content on coding for data analysis, it does not teach students how to programme digital health software.

Changes to this course and your supervision

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic (including Covid-19), epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.

For further information please see our page on changes to courses and the provisions of the student contract regarding changes to courses.

Other courses you may wish to consider

If you're thinking about applying for this course, you may also wish to consider the courses listed below. These courses may have been suggested due to their similarity with this course, or because they are offered by the same department or faculty.

 Entry requirements for entry in 2022-23

Proven and potential academic excellence

Degree-level qualifications

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the equivalent of the following UK qualifications:

  • a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in a subject broadly relevant to the interdisciplinary breadth of digital health medicine or health sciences.

Examples of relevant degrees include biomedical sciences, computer science, engineering, human sciences, mathematics, medical sociology, medicine, neuroscience, psychology, public policy and statistics. 

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0. 

If your degree is not from the UK or another country specified above, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements.

In exceptional circumstances, applicants with a distinguished record of workplace experience or other relevant achievements may be accepted with lower grades at undergraduate level. The department nevertheless strongly encourages any applicants from industry to include at least one reference from an academic or someone in academic-related field.

GRE General Test Scores

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought. 

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

  • Relevant working experience is desirable but not essential.
  • An ability to work independently is essential.
  • Publications are not expected or required for admission, although publication may help the assessors judge your writing ability and thus could help your application.

Extenuating circumstances

If your ability to meet the entry requirements has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (eg you were awarded an unclassified/ungraded degree) or any other exceptional personal circumstance (eg other illness or bereavement), please refer to the guidance on extenuating circumstances in the Application Guide for information about how to declare this so that your application can be considered appropriately.

English language requirement

This course requires proficiency in English at the University's higher level. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence that you meet this requirement. The minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level are detailed in the table below.

Minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level requirement
TestMinimum overall scoreMinimum score per component
IELTS Academic (Institution code: 0713) 7.57.0

TOEFL iBT, including the 'Home Edition'

(Institution code: 0490)

110Listening: 22
Reading: 24
Speaking: 25
Writing: 24
C1 Advanced*191185
C2 Proficiency191185

*Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course. Our Application Guide provides further information about the English language test requirement.

Supporting documents 

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including references and an official transcript. See 'How to apply' for instructions on the documents you will need and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview

Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process.

Applications will be shortlisted based on the applicant’s degree, relevant experience, references, and the personal statement and submitted written work. Applicants selected for interview will be notified as soon as possible after the deadline for applications has passed.

The interview panel will consist of senior members of the programme team and interviews will normally last around 15 minutes. All shortlisted applicants will be interviewed via video link.

Supervision

Any offer of a place is dependent on the University’s ability to provide the appropriate supervision for your chosen area of work. Please refer to the ‘About’ section of this page for more information about the provision of supervision for this course.

How your application is assessed

Your application will be assessed purely on academic merit and potential, according to the published entry requirements for the course. The After you apply section of this website provides further information about the academic assessment of your application, including the potential outcomes. Please note that any offer of a place may be subject to academic conditions, such as achieving a specific final grade in your current degree course. These conditions may vary depending upon your individual academic circumstances.

Students are considered for shortlisting and selected for admission without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief (including lack of belief), sex, sexual orientation, as well as other relevant circumstances including parental or caring responsibilities or social background. However, please note the following:

  • Socio-economic information may be taken into account in the selection of applicants and award of scholarships for courses that are part of the University’s pilot on selection procedures and for scholarships aimed at under-represented groups;
  • Country of ordinary residence may be taken into account in the awarding of certain scholarships; and
  • Protected characteristics may be taken into account during shortlisting for interview or the award of scholarships where the University has approved a positive action case under the Equality Act 2010.

Further information about processing special category data for the purposes of positive action and information about using your data to assess your eligibility for funding, can be found in our Postgraduate Applicant Privacy Policy.

Admissions panels and assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgement of at least two members of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and must also be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent within the department).

Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

After an offer is made

If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, your offer letter will give full details of your offer and any academic conditions, such as achieving a specific final grade in your current degree course.  In addition to any academic conditions which are set, you will be required to meet the following requirements:

Financial Declaration

If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a Financial Declaration in order to meet your financial condition of admission.

Disclosure of criminal convictions

In accordance with the University’s obligations towards students and staff, we will ask you to declare any relevant, unspent criminal convictions before you can take up a place at Oxford.

Resources

The Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Science (NDPCHS) is the largest and top-ranked, multidisciplinary centre for academic primary care in the UK (judged by the UK's Research Excellence Framework 2014). The department leads research and teaching designed to rethink the way healthcare is delivered in general practice and community settings, across the UK and globally.

Digital Health is one of five cross-cutting themes in our research strategy. Applied Digital Health is also one of six themes in the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford & Thames Valley Applied Research Collaboration (ARC), led by Theme Lead John Powell, Academic Director of the MSc in Applied Digital Health.

Academic staff in NDPCHS have world-leading reputations in researching a wide range of digital health topics and the department has critical mass of applied social science and clinical researchers leading studies aimed at bringing a critical perspective to understanding the practices and processes of digital health care. In addition, the MSc draws on the expertise of colleagues from the wider university, building on existing collaborations within the department.

Beyond the University, the department has strong links to the active digital health innovation community in academia, the NHS and industry, both in the Oxford area and further afield.

Students will also have access to the Medical Sciences Graduate School, whose main activities are:

  • dissemination of information to students on events and activities across Medical Sciences and the University, as well as the outstanding services and facilities the University provides for all students; and
  • a website for prospective students with clear and comprehensive information on the application process, funding opportunities and research opportunities organised by research theme.

Funding

The University expects to be able to offer around 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships across the collegiate University in 2022-23. You will be automatically considered for the majority of Oxford scholarships, if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant December or January deadline. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential. 

For further details about searching for funding as a graduate student visit our dedicated Funding pages, which contain information about how to apply for Oxford scholarships requiring an additional application, details of external funding, loan schemes and other funding sources.

Please ensure that you visit individual college websites for details of any college-specific funding opportunities using the links provided on our college pages or below:

Please note that not all the colleges listed above may accept students on this course. For details of those which do, please refer to the College preference section of this page.

Costs

Annual fees for entry in 2022-23

Fee status

Annual Course fees

Home£36,370
Overseas£36,370

Further details about fee status eligibility can be found on the fee status webpage.

Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on changes to fees and charges.

Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below.

For more information about course fees and fee liability, please see the Fees section of this website. EU applicants should refer to our detailed fee status information and the Oxford and the EU webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s exit from the EU.

Additional information

Please note that this course requires that you attend in Oxford for teaching, and you may incur additional travel and accommodation expenses for this. Further, as part of your course requirements, you will need to choose a dissertation, a project or a thesis topic. Depending on your choice of topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2022-23 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,215 and £1,755 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our living costs page. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2022-23, you should allow for an estimated increase in living expenses of 3% each year.

College preference

All graduate students at Oxford belong to a department or faculty and a college or hall (except those taking non-matriculated courses). If you apply for a place on this course you will have the option to express a preference for one of the colleges listed below, or you can ask us to find a college for you. The Colleges section of this website provides information about the college system at Oxford, as well as factors you may wish to consider when deciding whether to express a college preference. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 45 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as Permanent Private Halls (PPHs). 

For some courses, the department or faculty may have provided some additional advice below to help you to decide. Whatever you decide, it won’t affect how the academic department assesses your application and whether they decide to make you an offer. If your department makes you an offer of a place, you’re guaranteed a place at one of our colleges. 

The following colleges accept students on the MSc in Applied Digital Health:

How to apply

You are not required to make contact with academic staff in the department before you apply.

The set of documents you should send with your application to this course comprises the following:

Official transcript(s)

Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.

More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.

CV/résumé
Full instructions and link to standard CV creation form

A CV/résumé is compulsory for all applications. You will need to upload a standardised CV to the graduate application form as part of your application. This standardised CV should be generated using the online form that requests certain information that you will likely have included on your CV. Once you have completed the form, you will have 15 minutes to download your CV as a PDF document. 

This PDF document will be in the same format for all applicants and you should not modify the document before you upload it, or submit your CV in a different format. 

Full instructions and a link to the standard CV creation form are provided on the Medical Sciences Division website. The instructions page contains links to example clinical and non-clinical CVs, with details of what to include and suggested answer formats.

If you require help or advice while generating your CV using the online form, please contact the Medical Sciences Graduate School for assistance (graduate.school@medsci.ox.ac.uk).

Personal statement:
A minimum of 750 words to a maximum of 1,000 words

Your statement should be written in English and explain your motivation for applying for the course at Oxford, your relevant experience and education, and the specific areas that interest you and/or you intend to specialise in. 

Your statement should focus on your academic achievements and interests rather than personal achievements, interest and aspirations. 

If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.

Your statement will be assessed for:

  • your reasons for applying
  • your ability to present a coherent case in proficient English
  • your commitment to the subject, beyond the requirements of the degree course
  • your preliminary knowledge of the subject area and research techniques
  • your capacity for sustained and intense work
  • reasoning ability.

Written work:
Two essays of a maximum of 2,000 words each or one essay of a maximum of 4,000 words

Academic essays or other writing samples from your most recent qualification, typed and written in English, are required. 

The work should demonstrate your ability to write a good academic document though it does not need to be related to the proposed area of study. Extracts of the requisite length from longer work are also permitted if prefaced by a note that puts them in context.

If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.

Your written work will be assessed for:

  • your ability to construct and defend an argument
  • your aptitude for analysis and expression
  • your ability to present a reasoned case in proficient academic English.

To submit one longer piece of work in your application, upload your work as written work in your application and for the second piece of written work, upload the following text as a PDF or Word document:

"I have included one long essay in lieu of the two short essays as permitted by the department."

References/letters of recommendation:
Three overall, of which at least two should usually be academic

Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.

Your references will be assessed for:

  • your intellectual ability
  • your academic achievement
  • your motivation and interest in the course and the subject area
  • your ability to work effectively both in a group and independently.

Start or continue an application

Step 1: Read our guide to getting started, which explains how to prepare for and start an application.

Step 2: Check that you meet the Entry requirements and read the How to apply information on this page.

Step 3: Check the deadlines on this page and the deadline information in our Application Guide. Plan your time to submit your application well in advance - we recommend two or three weeks earlier.

Step 4: Check if you're eligible for an application fee waiver. Application fee waivers are available for:

Step 5: Start your application using the relevant link below. As you complete the form, consult our Application Guide for advice at each stage. You'll find the answers to most common queries in our FAQs.

Application GuideApply

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