Quality & Safety in Healthcare Management

The MSc in Quality & Safety in Healthcare Management offers you the opportunity to use quality improvement tools and interventions that are specific to quality, safety and risk in healthcare.

Throughout the programme you will develop skills in evaluating core concepts around patient safety, quality, accreditation and governance. Following the completion of six modules, you will further enhance your skills by leading a change project aimed at enhancing quality and safety in your organisation.

Graduates of this programme are better able to ensure the delivery and configuration of high-quality health services and lead change and development within their areas. They are also equipped to specialise in formal quality and safety roles.

Suitable for:
All those working in the healthcare sector including doctors, managers, nurses, interdisciplinary health and social care workers, allied health professionals, other clinical specialists and administrators who wish to develop their knowledge and skills in the management of quality and safety in healthcare. Personnel in allied health businesses such as medical supplies and equipment, as well as the pharmaceutical sector, and particularly healthcare regulators should also find the programme highly relevant.

Learning Outcomes
This programme will provide you with the skills and knowledge to:
• Develop critical thinking around internal and external catalysts for quality and understand the core concepts of quality and safety.
• Evaluate research and use measurement tools for quality and safety.
• Manage and evaluate tools and frameworks for quality.
• Provide effective leadership skills, for a changing healthcare environment.
• Evaluate the concepts of governance including clinical risk management and audit.
• Effectively manage the accreditation process and evaluate the use of standards.
• Carry out an organisational development project, demonstrate skills in learning from reflection of this experience and the skills to disseminate your projects.

Subjects taught

Delivery and Design
The MSc in Quality and Safety in Healthcare Management will be facilitated in a digitally engaged format via our online teaching platform and will be delivered though a blend of online content and activities and live interactive sessions, to offer a collaborative and supportive student experience.

Our experienced team have the skills and technology to provide a rich and engaging online experience and will be on hand to smooth your course for success as you commence your studies, no matter what your level of technical ability.

Students will have the opportunity to become part of an international, healthcare focused, learning community, as they are supported to engage through collaborative group work, team building and networking opportunities – benefiting from each other's experience in a safe and supported environment.

Module 1: Introduction to Quality & Safety in Healthcare (10 ECTS)
This module will provide you with an introduction to the concepts of quality and safety in healthcare within your national healthcare system. The paradigms of Safety I and Safety II are explored and models for learning from error and successful care are applied to practice. The evolution of quality and its pioneers are addressed, as are the catalysts and drivers for quality. The dimensions of quality, as viewed by key influential thinkers, are debated and applied to the various areas of practice.

Module 2: Tools & Frameworks for Quality (10 ECTS)
This module will help you to further develop team working skills and use quality improvement methods to foster a culture of person-centred quality care. You will explore measurement for improvement techniques and the role of dynamic data in quality management. You will examine structure, process and outcome as key areas of safety and quality. Incorporating staff engagement techniques, you will systematically apply quality tools and techniques to your everyday work practice.

Module 3: Leadership & Strategic Management (10 ECTS)
This module will explore different approaches to leadership and your preferred leadership style. You will learn how to design and implement strategy using a wide variety of tools to understand the external environment and assess the internal strengths and weaknesses of your organisation. You will further explore case based learning and will have an opportunity to apply learning to your setting.

Module 4: Accreditation & Standards (10 ECTS)
In this module you will discuss the accreditation process as an external audit of quality. National and international systems will also be explored. Models of accreditation and standard setting will be examined for appropriateness and applied to your work setting. This module will also assist you to further develop your communication and influencing skills. You will be introduced to debate as a learning strategy in this module.

Module 5: Clinical Governance (10 ECTS)
The focus of this module is on providing you with the knowledge and skills to implement a safe and quality service using a clinical governance approach. Clinical incident reporting, risk management, integrated care pathways and legal issues will be addressed. You will also gain the skills of poster presentation. Building on preceding modules, approaches to learning and implementing actions after events are addressed using scenario-based learning techniques will be explored.

Module 6: Evaluation Measurement & Research (10 ECTS)
In this module, you will focus on how to gather, analyse, interpret and present data in the context of quality and safety. You will learn about using data for improvement, accountability and research. Audit, performance indicators, understanding variation and the use of research methods in quality improvement and safety monitoring are key topics. You will participate in an inter-professional quality improvement journal club and will learn how this model may be applied to practice. Activities draw on the principles of co-design and the habits of improvers.

Action Learning Sets and Action Research Project (30 ECTS)
In order to fulfil the requirements for an MSc Degree, you must complete the six modules outlined above and conduct a change management project in your organisation. This component of the programme is facilitated via action learning sets.

Use your learning from Year 1, in conjunction with Year 2 seminars dedicated to the leadership of change, to develop and direct your own change project.

In collaboration with your work-based manager you will select a project designed to produce benefits to your organisation, such as process improvements or resource restructuring, that are likely to result in substantial cost savings.

With the support of a dedicated Action Learning Set comprising a small group of fellow students, you will lead the selected organisational development project within your own workplace setting. The set will also support you to produce a dedicated project report with a reflective account based on your ongoing diary notes and a poster for display.

Year 2 of the programme is an exciting and beneficial opportunity for students dedicated to leading local healthcare change.

Participants on our MSc programmes in the past have produced considerable developments in their organisations and many projects have resulted in significant improvements, substantial cost savings and publications in management journals.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements
• All applicants must hold an undergraduate or bachelor degree - For applicants who don't hold a primary degree, there is a recognition of prior learning (RPL) pathway outlined below.
• Applicants should be working in healthcare industry
• Applicants (unless exempt) must meet the English Language Requirements - English proficiency test - IELTS score of 6.5 or the equivalent score on another standardised test.

There are two exceptions to the above:
• If you are a native speaker of English and have completed your undergraduate education in an English institution in a country where English is the official language.
• If you were admitted to and graduated from an English medium institution and can provide evidence that you acquired a minimum TOEFL score of 500 on the paper-based test (or its equivalent on another standardised test) upon admission to your undergraduate programme.

Recognition of prior learning
The RCSI regulations for RPL provide a process and framework for validating and placing a value on prior learning for the purpose of:
A. Admission
B. Exemption

The EU Council (2012) defines validation as a process of confirmation by an authorised body that an individual has acquired learning outcomes measured against a relevant standard which consists of four distinct phases:
1. Identification – dialogue of particular experiences of an individual
2. Documentation – making visible the individuals experiences
3. Assessment – formal assessment of these experiences
4. Certification – the results of the assessment

These regulations are intended for use by the RCSI staff and faculty involved in admissions processes relating to applicants seeking assessment of their prior learning for the purposes of admission or exemption and to provide clarity and direction for candidates during their application process.

Application dates

How to apply
Applications for the MSc in Leadership and Innovation in Healthcare are now open for Autumn 2022.

Please ensure to attach the following supporting documents with your application:
• Clear copy of a valid passport.
• Copies of your academic transcripts/degree
• Copy of CV
• English proficiency test (If required)

Please direct any enquiries about online applications to leadership@rcsi.ie

Assessment Info

Assessments take the form of case studies, applied group and individual assignments, change projects, examinations and poster presentations. You will also participate in debates and action learning sets.


The MSc in Quality and Safety in Healthcare Management is a two-year, part-time academic programme.

Mode of delivery:
This course is delivered in a digital format via our online teaching platform, making it accessible to busy healthcare professionals wherever they may be working.

Mode of delivery:
This course is delivered in a digital format via our online teaching platform, making it accessible to busy healthcare professionals wherever they may be working.

Module teaching dates:
Orientation Module
The two-week online Orientation Module begins on 13 September. Students will be required to complete some brief exercises and view a suite of short instructional videos. Students will be fully supported to access materials and the programme team will be on hand to assist students. There will be two live sessions as part of the Orientation Module:

• Getting Started – 17 September (time TBC)
Meet your Programme Director and academic orientation – 24 September (time TBC)

• Module lecture days will start at 9am and finish at 12:30pm Irish Time.

Module 1
Start Date: 27 Sep 2021
Week 1: Lecture Day 1 - 30 Sep 2021
Week 1: Lecture Day 2 - 1 Oct 2021
Week 2: Lecture Day 3- 8 Oct 2021

Module: 2
Start Date: 8 Nov 2021
Week 1 - Lecture Day 1: 11 Nov 2021
Week 1 - Lecture Day 2: 12 Nov 2021
Week 2 - Lecture Day 3: 19 Nov 2021

Module: 3
Start Date: 3 Jan 2022
Week 1- Lecture Day 1: 6 Jan 2022
Week 1 - Lecture Day 2: 7 Jan 2022
Week 2 - Lecture Day 3: 14 Jan 2022

Module: 4
Start Date: 14 Feb 2022
Week 1 - Lecture Day 1: 17 Feb 2022
Week 1 - Lecture Day 2: 18 Feb 2022
Week 2 - Lecture Day 3: 25 Feb 2022

Module: 5
Start Date: 28 Mar 2022
Week 1 - Lecture Day 1: 31 Mar 2022
Week 1- Lecture Day 2: 1 Apr 2022
Week 2 - Lecture Day 3: 8 Apr 2022


EU applicants
•Year 1: €8,000
•Year 2: €4,500

Non-EU applicants
•Year 1: €16,000
•Year 2: €9,000

You can complete three modules to receive a postgraduate certificate (total fee: €4,150) or you can exit with a postgraduate diploma upon completion of six modules (total fee: €8,300). A stand-alone module option can also be made available (total fee: €1,395) depending on class numbers.

Please note
•The tuition includes all resources, including core textbooks, access to our award-winning online learning portal and access to extensive RCSI-only databases.

•The tuition fee is also inclusive of an NUI fee.

•Fees are payable via instalments or in one lump sum.

•All fees must be paid in full at the beginning of each semester.

•Students with outstanding fees will not be entitled to receive their grades.

•Students with outstanding fees will have VLE and library privileges withdrawn.

•Students with outstanding fees at the end of Year 1 will not have grades brought forward to the Exam Board and will not progress to Year 2.

•Students with outstanding fees at the end of Year 2 will not have their grades brought forward to the exam board and will not graduate.

•We ask that students who are being sponsored or funded by their employer forward us on a funding confirmation letter. This can be sent to leadership@rcsi.ie.


If your studies are being funded by your employer, please complete the sponsorship form below and upload it during the application process. (NMPDU Students please upload a copy of your confirmation letter).

We will invoice your employer directly for fees, however if fees are not paid by your employer it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that they are cleared before results can be issued.

Enrolment dates

September intake

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Blended

  • Apply to

    Course provider