M.Sc. Health Informatics

Trinity College Dublin

Application deadline: August 31st 2013
Tuition fee:
  • € 2,750 / Year (EEA)
  • € 11,500 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: October  2015
Credits (ECTS): 90 ECTS
Duration full-time: 24 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time

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As one of the largest consumers of public funds, health plays a major role in economic policy throughout the world. The main objectives of western governments in the health sector today are twofold - efficiency and effectiveness - with improved quality of care at the same, or reduced cost. Healthcare is an information intensive industry generating enormous volumes of information every day in hospitals, GP surgeries, clinics and laboratories. Yet most of this data continues to be processed manually in spite of decades of experience in the successful application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in other information intensive industries such as banking and insurance.

There are many reasons for the slow uptake of ICT in healthcare including lack of investment in the technology and a lack of people with the relevant skills. The application of ICT in healthcare, now generally known as Health Informatics, is a complex and intellectually demanding interdisciplinary field in which Medicine, Computer Science, Management Science, Statistics and Engineering are all represented. Health Informatics is no longer viewed as a peripheral issue but rather as a central means of improving the overall efficiency and effectivess of healthcare delivery. This in turn is encouraging Governments to increase investment in ICT in healthcare.

However, the lack of people with appropriate education and training in Health Informatics continues to be a major problem. The aim of the Postgraduate Diploma/MSc Programme in Health Informatics offered jointly by the Faculties of Health Sciences and of Engineering and Systems Sciences aims to address this problem by equipping students with the knowledge required to ensure that the health sector gets the best out of ICT.

Aims of the course:

* to give students from a health science background a broad appreciation of the fundamentals of Information Technology
* to give students from a computing background a broad appreciation of the fundamentals of Health sciences
* to give students a comprehensive understanding of the role of Information Technology in the health sector
* to provide students with a good understanding of the principles underlying Health Informatics
* to study the application of Health Informatics with emphasis on both practice and theory
* to provide students with an appreciation of the medico-legal and ethical issues
* to provide the necessary supporting research methodology and demonstrate its application to practical problems

This course has been co-funded under the National Development Plan (Graduate Skills Conversion Programme) for EU fee paying students. In 2010/2011 the fee for EU fee paying students will be EUR2,500


The course runs over two years, part-time. The first year consists of taught modules, with lectures October - June on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings to facilitate those in full-time employment. Given the nature of Health Informatics, there is a strong emphasis on practical team-based continuous assessment. In year 2 students receive instruction in research methodology and undertake an independent research project which is reported in the form of a dissertation.

Year 1

* Introduction to Health Informatics
* Introduction to Programming
* Basic Medical Sciences
* Clinical Decision Support Systems
* HCI Healthcare
* Biomedical Imaging
* Bioinformatics
* Health Information Systems

Year 2

* Research Methods
* Research Dissertation

On successful completion of this programme students should be able to:

* identify the central roles of information in healthcare delivery and service management
* explain the principles, applications and multidisciplinary nature of Health Informatics, the opportunities and limitations of Information Technology in healthcare and its impact in
improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of healthcare
* express clearly user requirements for information systems in healthcare according to standard methodologies, design information systems solutions, including clinical decision support interventions, to support clinical work,
* prepare organizational security and data protection policies,
* evaluate system usability, identify user interaction issues and design successful user interfaces for healthcare IT systems,
* plan for the realization of business benefits from ICT investments,
* work in a multi-disciplinary team to produce a comprehensive report to a deadline,
* present material orally and in written form to an audience of peers
* pursue independent research in health informatics including formulating a research question, identifying and applying appropriate research methodologies, developing a research proposal, preparing a comprehensive literature review, drawing appropriate conclusions and assessing the outcome in the context of the state of the art.

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