Healthcare IT degree goes virtual

University College London has re-launched its MSc Health Informatics course using e-learning techniques to make it more accessible to full-time employees.

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University College London has re-launched its MSc Health Informatics course using e-learning techniques to make it more accessible to full-time employees.

UCL's Centre for Health Informatics and Multi-professional Education (CHIME) said the programme aimed at those using IT in healthcare organisations would be delivered through "blended learning" from September, to offer maximum flexibility for students.

The blended learning programme allows for significant portions of the course to be completed online. Teaching material is delivered via a virtual learning environment with tutorials, chatrooms and other web-based tools. Students can access professional health databases, hold discussions and submit assignments online.

David Ingram, director of CHIME, said: “Our aim is to make the course more flexible and accessible to a wide range of healthcare professionals. New teaching techniques mean that studying for the MSc can now be combined with existing career or personal commitments.”

The MSc is designed for clinicians, IT professionals and managers who are interested in the development of high-quality healthcare in a technologically advanced and information rich society, according to CHIME.

The course will cover many of the health informatics challenges being tackled in national electronic health programmes, such as the NHS's £12.4bn National Programme for IT. Students will study clinical information and healthcare record systems, evaluation methods, health knowledge management and decision support systems.

A limited number of part-funded Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council studentships are available to UK or EU students. Applications for the September 2007 intake need to be submitted by 31 July.

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