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Digital Health (MSc)


Programme Description

The application of technology in health is experiencing rapid growth and the field is seeking qualified professionals to optimise technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare domain. The MSc Digital Health equips students with the knowledge required to ensure that the health sector gets the best out of technology and the opportunity to work with a high calibre group of people with similar aspirations to make a difference to health/medical settings. This interdisciplinary course, led by Business Information Systems in collaboration with the Medical Education Unit, is suitable for qualified applicants aspiring to work in the health sector.  

The MSc Digital Health will provide business and health/healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to plan, design, implement and manage leading-edge health technology while remaining cognisant of the ethical, security and data protection implications arising from such scenarios.

The course provides participants with a critical understanding of how information systems are used to improve create efficiencies in health/healthcare settings and positively influence patient care and patient health outcomes. It is a new programme with internationally recognised faculty at the forefront of digital health/health information systems research.

As part of this experience, students will act as a business consultant, mentored by industry experts, to create an innovative health information systems solution or digital health focussed dissertation addressing a real business need or opportunity in a setting of their choice. Expert guest speakers from both business and health/clinical settings contribute to the syllabus and students will benefit from strong healthcare links with both internal and external partners. 

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

  • Demonstrate advanced analytical and problem-solving skills associated with effective practice
  • Engage in advanced application of IS/IT frameworks and techniques in organisational settings
  • Communicate and work effectively to a high professional standard
  • Leverage IS to improve healthcare organisational performance
  • Improve healthcare through the application of leading-edge technology solutions
  • Research, plan, design, develop and manage an innovative digital health solution, by critically analysing and interpreting data, and effectively disseminating results

Students take 90 credits as follows: 

Year 1 - Candidates must complete 30 credits for Year 1.

  • IS6630 Fundamentals of Digital Health (10 credits)
  • EC6072 Economics for Healthcare (10 credits)
  • MX6010 Ethical and Evidence-Based Health Data (10 credits)

Year 2 - Candidates must complete 30 credits for Year 2.

  • IS6303 Seminars in Healthcare Information and Performance Systems (10 credits)
  • IS6631 Decision Support and Data Analytics for Health (10 credits)
  • MX6011 Clinical Trials and Data Management (10 credits)

Year 2 - Research Stream: Candidates must complete one of the 30 credit research modules below. 

  • IS6305 Innovative Health Information Systems Research Solutions (30 credits)  or
  • MX6012 Dissertation in Digital Health (30 credits)

Full details of modules may be found on the College Calendar.

Why Choose This Course

Are you passionate about health? Are you seeking to make a difference in the health domain? The MSc Digital Health offers a unique opportunity to consider how technology can make a transformative impact on the health/medical sector and improve the lives of patients. The area of digital health is experiencing rapid growth, with the market in Europe alone expected to be worth over 300 billion euros per annum by 2020. However, a key challenge for this rapidly developing area is the lack of appropriately skilled people worldwide, namely professionals who have an understanding of health/medicine and Information Systems.  The MSc Digital Health will address this gap, contributing to a niche area of expertise at the cross-section between health and technology. This programme combines teaching and innovative research in Health and health information systems in healthcare settings providing students with the opportunity to develop highly sought after skills preparing them for the workplace.

Skills and Careers Information

Students with a postgraduate qualification in MSc Digital Health will be equipped with much sought after skills in both the Information Systems field and the health/healthcare field.  

These include:

  • Senior Clinical/Health Informatician
  • Senior Healthcare Data Analyst
  • Healthcare Software Supplier
  • Senior Health Data Manager
  • Senior Hospital IT Project Manager
  • Senior IT Quality Control
  • Data Steward
  • Data Protection Officer
  • Hospital Management
  • Senior Health Economist
  • Management Consultant specialised in Health/Healthcare
  • Business/Systems Analyst
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Learning Outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate advanced analytical and problem solving skills associated with effective practice;
  • Engage in advanced application of IS/IT frameworks and techniques in organisational settings
  • Communicate and work effectively to a high professional standard
  • Leverage IS to improve healthcare organisational performance 
  • Improve healthcare through the application of leading edge technology solutions
  • Research, plan, design, develop and manage an innovative digital health solution, by critically analysing and interpreting data, and effectively disseminating results.
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Practicalities & Assessment

The MSc Digital Health will be delivered via classroom lectures. Lectures will take place in a three-day block.  There will be an induction session and all course material will be provided. In Year one of the programme, you will complete 18 days of lectures (6 days* 8 hours) which run from September to March. In year two you will complete an additional 18 days (6 days* 8 hours) of lectures from September to March. Finally, you complete your Research Project under the supervision of a faculty member from April to August in year two. 

Group work is a key feature of this programme as students with different backgrounds will learn from a variety of skillsets and apply their knowledge to create innovative digital health solutions. There will be site visits to health/IT/clinical settings whereby students will be presented with the challenges faced by IT, data and clinical practitioners and they will be required to analyse the problem and propose innovative solutions.

Course Assessment will incorporate a blended approach of continuous assessment. Assessments will include both group and individual assignment content and will consist of written reports, presentations, role-play scenarios and debate. The course offers the integration of classroom study with professional experience and industry-aligned coursework.

Dr Ciara Heavin and Dr Yvonne O'Connor are academics in the Department of Business Information Systems and are researchers in the Health Information System Research Centre (HISRC) in the Cork University Business School. The HISRC is the first of its kind in Ireland as a dedicated research centre of Health Information Systems. Dr Heavin and Dr O'Connor are the course directors of the MSc Digital Health and will be involved in the teaching, delivery and oversight of the course. They will be supported by a team of expert academics from both the Medical Education Unit and Cork University Business School, University College Cork. IS and Health/Clinical subject matter experts will deliver guest lectures and support the programme.  

Listed below in the Lecture Dates for the MSc Digital Health for 2019-2020:

18-20 September 2019

16-18 October 2019

27-29 November 2019

22-24 January 2020

26-28 February 2020

25-27 March 2020

Full module information is detailed in the section below.

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Entry Requirements

To apply for this programme, you will have:

a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in any area


at least 2 years’ experience in the health/healthcare domain


2 referees’ reports.

International applicants should have a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent

Candidates who do not meet the degree standard may be admitted to the programme under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) on the basis of at least six years practical or professional experience in a health/healthcare domain as deemed appropriate by the Academic Programme Directors.


View the grades comparison table

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website .

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Application Process

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 

5. Rounds

For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants) 

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

  • Please enter the names and email addresses of 2 referees. 

The closing date for non-EU applications is Not currently open to Non EU applicants

Non-EU Applications

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

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