Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Masters (MSc.) in Human Factors in Patient Safety

Masters Programme for established healthcare professionals who are responsible for the care of acute hospital patients. The programme has attracted consultant and trainee surgeons, anaesthetists and emergency medicine physicians, along with senior nursing staff and other allied health care professionals. The programme provides participants with the practical skills, knowledge and qualification to advance patient safety and to help drive safety and quality improvements in the acute hospital setting.

Key facts


The Masters in Human Factors in Patient Safety is accredited by the National University of Ireland (NUI) at level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications. It is an interprofessional programme designed to develop participants’ expertise in error, risk and safety in healthcare and to advance their personal, interpersonal and cognitive skillsParticipants will emerge from this programme with the knowledge and skills to be agents of change in their organisation. 


Course title: Masters in Human Factors in Patient Safety
Award:MSc. in Human Factors in Patient Safety
NFQ level: Level 9
ECT: 90 credits
Start date: 3rd September 2018
Course length: Two years, part-time
Mode of attendance: Blended learning – online and face-to-face
Accredited by: Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI), National University of Ireland (NUI), Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

Who should apply?


The course is open to healthcare professionals involved in the care of acute hospital patients. This includes This includes: Surgeons, Anesthetists, Emergency Medicine doctors, Nurses, Radiologists, Radiographers, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists and all other allied healthcare professionals. Candidates must hold either:

  • An MB and be registered with the Irish Medical Council or

  • a primary degree in a health sciences field with a qualification achieved at the level of 2.2 Honours. All candidates must have evidence of four years’ work experience in acute hospital care and must be currently working in the Irish acute hospital setting and involved in the care of surgical patients.

How to apply


Applications for the MSc in Human Factors in Patient Safety, must be made through the online application link.

Please note that candidates must have four years of experience caring for acute hospital patients and be currently employed in the Irish hospital system.

Please ensure to attach the following supporting documents with your application:

  • A recent passport-sized photograph

  • A scanned copy of the award certificates for all relevant third level qualifications listed in the online application.

  • A scanned copy of the award certificates for all other relevant professional qualifications listed in the online application.

  • A scanned copy of your curriculum vitae or résumé.

  • A personal statement (between 800 to 1,000 words in length) outlining your reasons for applying to this course and your knowledge and interest in Human Factors in Healthcare.

  • Proof of your current employment. Please upload a scanned copy of a letter signed by your current employer or with a recognised stamp from the HR department in your hospital on headed paper stating your current employment status, your job title and the date of commencement of your employment. If you have worked in more than one hospital in the last four years you will require multiple letters or if you have been on a training programme, which meant that you worked in different hospitals, please upload a stamped letter on headed paper from the training body to indicate this.

Before accessing the online application system it is important that you read the instruction guide for usersprivacy statement and terms of use.

Apply now

Please direct any enquiries about online applications to:


Why study Human Factors in Patient Safety at RCSI?


Patient safety and quality of care are at the heart of healthcare delivery. At RCSI, we recognise the importance of human factors to safe and effective care. We are committed to delivering Human Factors training to support healthcare professionals to meet the demands of today’s complex healthcare environment. 

What is human factors?


Human factors is concerned with the relationship between human beings and the systems within which they work. Human factors training focuses on teamwork, decision-making, leadership and enhancing efficiency with the goal of minimising errors and improving patient safety. In the context of healthcare, human factors incorporates interactions with patients and relatives and also interprofessional communication and collaboration.



Why choose RCSI?


  • RCSI is a multidisciplinary healthcare education provider

  • The programme is delivered by experts in human factors in healthcare

  • There is a strong focus on interprofessional practice

  • Students will improve their personal effectiveness

  • The programme emphasises skills enhancement

  • The programme offers flexible access and participation through blended learning modalities

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Programme description


The Masters in Human Factors in Patient Safety is a two-year part-time programme of study.

There are six modules of study plus a research dissertation. Students will complete 6x10 week modules of study over years one and two, and will complete their research dissertation in year 2.

The MSc. can be completed in two years but must be completed within five years of commencement. Students may opt for the following exits:


  • The Postgraduate Certificate: 30 ECTS credits Students may exit following successful completion of 3 (10 Credit) modules, with a RCSI/NUI Certificate in Human Factors in Patient Safety.
  • The Postgraduate Diploma: 60 ECTS credits Students may exit following the successful completion of six (10 Credit) modules with a RCSI/NUI Postgraduate Diploma in Human Factors in Patient Safety.


Mode of study


The course is part-time and is delivered via face-to-face and online teaching modalities. The course is structured into 6x10 week modules. Students will attend RCSI for face-to-face teaching for three days per module structured as one full day per month. This will be supplemented with online content and individual and group based learning activities.

How is the programme assessed?


Formative assessment will include participation in classroom activities and group work. Summative assessment will involve

  • A 2,000 word written assignment per module.

  • Participation in a group project and presentation, per module.

  • A 300 word submission to a weekly discussion forum.         

  • For those progressing to the Masters programme a research protocol and a research thesis will be submitted for assessment.

Certificate Programme
Error and Safety in Surgical Healthcare
Personal effectiveness and non-technical skills
Teamwork and Leadership
Diploma Programme
Safety Management Systems
Professionalism and Advanced Communication
Research Methods
MSc. Dissertation
Research dissertation



The current fee is €12,500 for the Masters programme. This equates to €5,000 per annum for year one and two plus €2,500 to complete the Masters (MSc.) programme. The balance of the annual fee may be paid in two installments. The first installment of fees must be paid prior to registration. A non-refundable deposit of €500 is required within two weeks of acceptance of a place on the programme. This deposit will be deducted from the overall fee.

Students who are being sponsored or part funded by their employer should complete a sponsorship form and submit it to the administration office.

Students with outstanding fees at the end of the year will not have grades brought forward to the Examination Board and will not be permitted to progress or graduate.

Please click here for more information on our fees policy.
 Year 1 Postgraduate CertificateYear 2 Postgraduate DiplomaMasters (MSc.)
Fees €5,000 €5,000 €2,500