Innovation session

Innovation and Improvement Science

Harnessing research and innovation to improve healthcare organisation and delivery. Navigate your way to a Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or Masters.

About the Programme

This course allows you to explore how to make better use of research and innovation to improve ways in which healthcare is organised and delivered for patient benefit. It is a work-based course, requiring you to identify and implement service improvement projects in your own work context.

The course is designed to focus on key concepts:

  • Improvement science concepts
  • Evidence-based approaches
  • Quality improvement and measurement

You may also make a claim for credit for prior learning to gain exemptions from some modules by undertaking the module to be deleted.

The Postgraduate Certificate focuses on the development of key underpinning knowledge and skills. There are progression routes to Postgraduate Diploma and MSc with increased emphasis on bespoke learning related to the delivery of innovation and improvement projects and you can choose from a range of optional modules in line with your specific needs.

Organisational Event

Key Facts

Programme Content

To achieve a Postgraduate Certificate, you will study a range of modules including those below plus two optional modules.

Assessment Methods

The assessment methods vary, and may include coursework, project proposals, reports, reflective commentary, and oral presentation.

  • Personal Learning and Development

    This module is mandatory and integral to your Postgraduate Certificate Programme. It initiates your programme by facilitating activities to raise self-awareness about your strengths, development needs and the skills and knowledge you need to for your personal and professional development. This enables you to negotiate a programme of study that best fits your personal and professional development needs, with the support of a learning mentor who will support you during the length of your programme of study.

    Further to designing and negotiating your programme, this module will shadow your learning journey through to completion. The module’s main purpose is to facilitate your ‘learning about learning’ and develop this critical lifelong and work-based skill. This should bring confidence to critically evaluate and challenge ideas, have a voice to make a case and communicate complex ideas to different audiences.

    Duration, attendance and delivery

    You will normally start this module at the beginning of your Postgraduate Certificate Programme. The module course usually lasts 12 months as it runs alongside your taught courses in the Postgraduate Certificate. There is a face-to-face workshop at the start of the module and then the module learning consists of online self-study, online group mentoring, personal mentoring, reflection activities, and completion of a learning portfolio.


    You will be assessed at the end of the module through submission of a learning portfolio that represents the progress of your learning from the beginning to the end of this module. You will be assessed against the module learning outcomes, including evidence of learning with and from others on the modules that comprise your programme.

    Entry requirements

    You will need to be in work (paid or unpaid) in a role which enables you to meet the requirements of the Postgraduate Certificate.

    Start dates

    • January

    • April

    • September

    N.B. CETAD reserve the right to cancel or move the course to a later date if the number of students registered for the advertised course is not sufficient.

  • Understanding Improvement Methods and Techniques


    • History and development of Quality Improvement Science

    • Models and techniques for Quality Improvement and Improvement Science

    • Policy and context of Quality Improvement in health care

    • Organisational readiness for Quality Improvement

    By the end of the course you will have developed

    • A critical understanding of the role of improvement science in a health care context

    • Knowledge and understanding of key models related to Quality and Improvement Science

    • An understanding about the improvement practices in relation to your own organisational role and context.

    Duration, attendance and delivery

    The course usually lasts approximately 10 weeks.

    The delivery of this module is through our online+model for distance learning consisting of online learning, self-study, reflection, discussion and sharing learning with and from others, application of learning to your organisational context and the completion of assessment tasks. There is also the opportunity for students who value face-to-face workshops to attend optional themed workshops.


    At the end of the course you will undertake an assessment. This is an applied work based assessment rather than a theory based essay. This means that typically you will be required to apply what you have learnt to your context at work, evaluating concepts for their applicability and usefulness.

    The assessment format may be a reflective account, a project report, a presentation or portfolio of evidence; all being the equivalent of 2000 words in length.

    Entry Requirements

    You will need to be in a work role (paid or unpaid) which allows you the scope to put the concepts learned into practice. This is a core course for students who are enrolled on the Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation and Improvement Science (exemption may be given via APL).

    There are no formal qualification requirements for entry; we assess suitability on each individual application.

    Start dates

    • March

    N.B. CETAD reserve the right to cancel or move the course to a later date if the number of students registered for the advertised course is not sufficient.

The Diploma and MSc includes the following:

  • Work-based enquiry methods for investigating innovations and improvement projects
  • Work-based innovation and improvement projects, varying in size and scope
Business people

"I now understand Improvement as a science with an evidence base and its value. I feel proud of its history and feel that I can justify my role in terms of benefits to patients." Jane O'Neill, Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Entry & Apply

Entry Requirements

Applicants working in a health care context. Usually three years work experience (clinical or nonclinical), which allows for the scope to undertake innovation and improvement projects. All applications require employer/ stakeholder support. For the Postgraduate Diploma/MSc, a Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation and Improvement Science is required.


For fees information, please visit our Course Fees page.

Start Dates

We are recruiting now for start dates throughout the year. To discover more about the programme, please make an enquiry.



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