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Health Services Research  MSc


The MSc in Health Services Research offers advanced research training to enable graduates to conduct and evaluate research to understand and improve service delivery, quality of care and patient outcomes.

Health Services Research explores the multifactorial causes of healthcare outcomes to develop and evaluate complex interventions to improve these outcomes. Health Services Research addresses questions such as: Why are there still quality gaps in care? How can we speed up the translation
of evidence into healthcare practice? How can we apply evidence to improve patients' self-management of long-term conditions? The MSc in Health Services Research equips students with the research knowledge, skills and experience to consume and generate primary and secondary research which addresses these questions.

Who is the course for?

The course is suitable for professionals from clinical and non-clinical backgrounds, including those who have worked in medical and allied health professions, local government, non-governmental organisations, research institutions and consultancies and pharmaceutical and healthcare
industries. The course also provides a foundation for MPhil or PhD-level study in Health Services Research.

Why study Health Services Research at City?

  • We have over 100 years experience in providing education to health and social care professionals
  • The School of Health Sciences is centrally placed in the largest concentration of hospitals in the UK, we work with over 70% of London NHS Trusts
  • Our School is home to one of the strongest and the most research productive units in health services research headed by Professor Stanton Newman, Dean of School of Health Sciences
  • For research power the School is ranked 1st in London and 9th in the UK for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health for research strength.

You will:

  • Develop key work-relevant skills in health services research to enhance your career aspirations
  • Gain the knowledge needed to undertake health research
  • Learn from experts in health services research who are renowned nationally and internationally
  • Study alongside a range of professionals from clinical and non-clinical backgrounds
  • Learn in a flexible way choosing from a range of relevant modules.


Scholarship opportunities are available for international students for academic and clinical excellence as well as for exceptional innovation in enterprise. Please see the 'Fees & Funding' tab for more information.

Course Fees:

  • Full-time EU: £7,500
  • Part-time EU: £3,750
  • Full-time Non EU: £15,000
  • Part-time Non EU: £7,500

Start Date:

The programme has one September intake. The next intake will be September 2016.

How to Apply

Entry Requirements

An undergraduate degree in a medical/health or social sciences discipline is required (minimum 2:1 honours degree). Applicants with equivalent qualifications or substantial experience in health services will also be considered on an individual basis.

Postgraduate Preparatory Courses for International Students

If you do not qualify for direct entry, our partner INTO City University London offers an academic preparation programme - the Graduate Diploma. The course offers a route to City University London through an excellent teaching and learning experience, located in purpose built study facilities.  Successful completion of the Graduate Diploma at INTO City University London to the standard required provides guaranteed progression to this Masters degree.

English Requirements

For students whose first language is not English, one of the following qualifications is also required:

  • IELTS: 7.0

Language Programmes

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner, INTO City University London offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information.

English for Postgraduate Study
Pre-sessional English

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

Visa Requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.  

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course; there are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than 6 months
  • Students on courses of less than 6 months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English Language course

Please note: If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City University London courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

When and Where

Start Date:
The programme has one September intake. The next intake will be September 2016.
Full-time: one year, Part-time: two years

Course Content

During the course of your studies at City you will be part of an active academic/research community with a wide range of interests. You will be encouraged to attend discussion groups and lectures, which will guide you to gain a wealth of knowledge in the area of Health Services Research. Teaching and learning is undertaken via a mix of lectures, class discussions, seminars, student presentations, poster presentations, case study analyses, interactive computer based exercises, a virtual learning environment, guided independent learning and individual supervision. You will undertake seven taught modules, including three core modules, plus a dissertation.

Our aim is to provide you with a challenging, stimulating and free-thinking environment, which will nurture your aspirations, talent, and career prospects.

Course Structure

Length of course:

The normal period of registration for a Masters degree is one year's taught programme for full-time students (plus up to one year for dissertation) or two years' taught programme for part-time students (plus up to one year for dissertation).

Alternatively students can take modules from this Masters degree as standalone CPPD (Continuing Personal and Professional Development) courses. In this case, course costs might vary. For further information please click on the CPPD links below each module.

Core modules include:

Elective modules include:

Students are required to complete a dissertation and have the option to undertake a Masters by Research route, which requires an extended dissertation.

Discover more School of Health Sciences CPPD modules.

Read the full 2014 programme specification.

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching and learning is undertaken via a mix of lectures, class discussions and seminars, student presentations, poster presentations, case study analysis, interactive computer based exercises, a virtual learning environment and self-directed reading.

Modules are assessed through a combination of methods. More specifically: research proposal; mini lab examination; systematic review; poster presentation; data analysis workbook; practical exam and associated lab report; formative online quiz.

Read the full 2014 programme specification.


  • Full-time EU: £7,500
  • Part-time EU: £3,750
  • Full-time Non EU: £15,000
  • Part-time Non EU: £7,500

Length of course:

The normal period of registration to complete a Masters degree is one year for full-time students or two years for part-time students.

Please note that fees are subject to annual increases.


For up-to-date information about tuition fees, living costs and financial support, visit Postgraduate Fees and Finance.

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.


The School of Health Sciences believes that exceptional academic and clinical performance should be recognised and rewarded. We have several scholarships available for students starting on our courses this September and January:

Apply for scholarships using the official scholarships form.

Career Prospects

The course gives students a thorough grounding in practical research and statistical skills enabling you to work in management, service provision and practice roles. You can go on to develop your career across a range of health service settings including the NHS, charities, industry, government, private practice and academic and research environments.

You will gain vital transferable skills which are applicable to all health and medical related careers where attention to detail, conducting research and evaluation for evidence based practice, and report writing is a career advantage. Students are also able to further their academic achievements by undertaking doctoral level study.

If you would like more information on the Careers support available at City, please visit our website.

About the School and Department

School of Health Sciences