The Digital Health Sector
The way that healthcare is delivered, and the way we can take responsibility for our own health, is undergoing a revolution. Digital Health is an industry that sits directly between the health and care, and information and mobile technology, sectors. The global value of this industry was an estimated £23 billion in 2018, and this is growing significantly year on year.
Many health professionals, and a growing number of the population, already use apps on their mobile phones or smartwatches to monitor their health and to track health and performance. This might be through inbuilt apps for example on mobile phones, through specialist apps for example for runners or cyclists, or through sensors in football boots or running shoes.
Digital Health focuses on the science behind these technologies and considers how they can do more, how they can be used in a wide range of setting, and how they can be best designed to engage users. It encompasses the development of hardware, the background systems and databases, and the interfaces that ensure users can intuitively engage with, understand, and use data.
It involves sub-disciplines such as Tele healthcare, Health Analytics, and Digitised Health Systems, and together these present many opportunities to enhance care. This can be in clinical and hospital situations (‘point-of-care’), and also via a wide range of technologies that can be used by the public to understand and improve their own health.
The Digital Health degree is delivered over 4 years as an integrated Masters (MSci) with an exit point at the end of 3 years of BSc (Hons). After two years of study, and subject to achieving the required level of academic attainment, students can elect to proceed to the Integrated Masters, or complete a 3rd year to exit with the BSc (Hons).
Year 1 introduces key principles related to the two disciplines of health and digital technology. Technology-focused modules will provide a foundation for understanding how to develop digital-solutions for health improvement, with modules covering Architecture and Operating Systems, Computational Thinking, and Principles of Programming.
Health-focused modules will develop an understanding of health and disease, focusing on understanding the definitions and determinants of both, human anatomy & physiology, and biomarkers of health and disease. This will include technology and biomedical laboratory based classes.
Year 2 develops both disciplines, moving towards greater integration of the two core disciplines. There is a focus on active problem solving, with health modules focusing on assessing and improving population health, clinical exercise physiology and physiological wellbeing and laboratory skills and data analysis.
Technological skills will be developed in relation to software carpentry, mobile and web technologies and physical computing. A module on Human-Centred Design is included, and there is an applied focus on health-related scenario problem solving.
Year 3 continues the theme of integration and application of the two disciplines. Human Centred Design will be further developed, and there will be a focus on interventions for health and sustainable development, applied digital health technology, professionalism and ethics in digital health (20).A project will be undertaken that is driven by briefs received from industry partners.
Students undertaking the MSci will study 50% of credits at Masters level in preparation for a fourth year at that level.
Year 4 further develops the application of digital health to real-world problems and extends the scale of these challenges to the population level. Sensor technology will be introduced, and frameworks for public health applied through a placement and a project that draws together multiple themes from the programme into the development of a digital health product aimed at defined problems in specific populations.
Evidence based practice will be emphasised to guide the development of creative, constructively critical, and practically capable graduates.
Learning & Teaching
A range of learning and teaching approaches are used on the course, including lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and group work. A problem solving approach is adopted, with group work focusing on the development of problem solving skills in relation to real-life scenarios. Laboratory-based practical sessions are undertaken in the School of Technologies - relating to the development of skills in the development of software and hardware - and the School of Sport and Health Sciences - relating to understanding and gaining experience of the measurement of various markers of health, disease and functional performance. These activities are informed by briefs provided by stakeholders including the NHS, Public Health Wales and the MediWales Life Science Network.
The programme is delivered by staff from the Schools of Technologies and Sport and Health Sciences, with specialist content also provided by the School of Art and Design in relation to Human-Centred Design. Technologies staff have expertise in hardware and software development, whilst Health Sciences staff have expertise in the definition and measurement of health, disease and functional performance, and in relation to the provision and assessment of a range of interventions from population to individual levels. There are thriving research groups in all areas, which enhances the environment in which the programme is delivered.
Moodle, the University Virtual Learning Environment, is used to enhance delivery and engagement.
All students are supported by a personal tutor, who provides both academic and pastoral guidance through the period of study.
Assessment is designed to measure the extent to which the student is able to satisfy the intended learning outcomes of each module. These learning outcomes are assessed within the programme’s modules using a range of methods including:
- Essays, including literature and critical reviews;
- Laboratory practicals, including their conduct and reporting;
- Case studies;
- Group projects;
- Poster and oral presentations;
- Development of apps or other digital / mobile health interventions, especially in relation to the final year research project.
The assessment schedule is provided at the start of the programme. Assessment briefs are provided by module leaders. Feedback is provided on all assessments. This will always include a written component of feedback and depending on the format of the assessment may also include real-time commentary, for example in relation to presentations and group work. Personal tutors provide feedback on overall performance that draws on performance across all assessments.
Employability & Careers
This integrated Master's degree in Digital Health prepares graduates for a range of careers in health and care across various settings where health improvement enhanced by technology, and project management in such areas, is sought. This includes the NHS and Public Health organisations, private sector organisations who develop digital technologies for use in promoting health, and 3rd sector organisations that include charities, community groups and social enterprises. The programme will also lead on to opportunities for further study, both in terms of research (PhD) and management and leadership (e.g. MBA).
Entry Requirements & How to Apply
Five GCSE passes including English Language, Mathematics and Science* at grade C or above (grade 4 or above for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England), plus 112 points from at least two A levels (or equivalent)
Typical offers may include:
- 112 points from at least 3 A levels to include grades BB, one to be in a Science/Technology subject; Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate considered as the third subject
- RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma/Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma DMM (Applied Science)
- 112 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 2 x H2 grades, one to be in a Science/Technology subject. Higher level subjects only considered with a minimum grade H4
- 112 points from at least two Scottish Advanced Highers to include grades CC, one to be in a Science/Technology subject
- 112 points from the Access to Higher Education Diploma in a relevant subject
*For Welsh applicants sitting the reformed Mathematics GCSE, we will accept either GCSE Mathematics or Mathematics – Numeracy.
If you are studying combinations of the above, or if your qualification isn't listed, please either contact Admissions or refer to the UCAS Course Search for entry requirements. Further information on our entry requirements, including qualifications from the EU can be found by clicking here.
Candidates who do not possess normal minimum entry qualification are interviewed and considered individually on the basis of their prior learning or working background. For applicants who are only undertaking 2 A levels or equivalent, this will be considered along with the rest of the academic profile and we may issue a graded offer in lieu of an offer using the UCAS Tariff.
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.0 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.
Selection is usually on the basis of a completed UCAS application and where relevant an interview.
How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made online to UCAS at www.ucas.com. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/howtoapply.
Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer into year 2 & 3
If you are interested in transferring credit from another institution to study at Cardiff met for a course which accepts entry for year 2 and/or 3, you can find further information on this and information on how to apply on the RPL page. Please contact Admissions for any queries that you have on RPL.
A mature applicant is anyone over the age of 21 who didn't go to university after school or college. Cardiff Met welcomes applications from mature applicants and further advice and information can be found here.