Join our online Health Informatics course and learn to handle healthcare data.
There’s rapid growth in the digital capture of information through patient records, health-monitoring devices and more. But what do we do with this huge volume of data? How can it help us understand the health of individuals and populations?
Gain the skills to tackle Big Data in healthcare.
- Find out how to capture, link together and analyse large datasets.
- Learn how we can use health informatics to improve public health.
- Explore the legal and ethical challenges data collectors face.
Join this short course you can fit around full-time work. You’ll develop sought-after skills that will set you apart. You’ll be supported by leading health researchers, ranked top in Scotland for public health research.
Build credits towards a Masters degree
This online course is part of:
- MSc Applied Health Sciences
- MSc Clinical Nutrition
- MSc Health Economics for Health Professionals
- Master of Public Health (MPH)
You can use the credits you earn on this short course towards any of these postgraduate qualifications.
What you’ll study
You’ll study the breadth of health informatics, exploring ways to use health informatics research to improve public health and healthcare.
As well as learning the key methodological considerations, you’ll examine the legal and ethical challenges involved in the collection of personal health data.
You’ll cover these core concepts:
- Data sources
- Data gathering
- Data quality
- Ethics and governance
- Data specification
You’ll gain the skills and knowledge to undertake basic data linkage and health informatics research yourself.
By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…
Describe the relevance of health informatics to research, public health and care.
Identify key data resources for understanding health.
Undertake and understand the principles of data linkage.
Produce a data specification for a data linkage study.
Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical, confidentiality, data protection and information governance issues relating to health informatics research and population statistics.
Communicate health informatics from routine health data.
How you’ll study
Our distance-learning Health Informatics course is delivered flexibly, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.
This course is taught at Masters level.
Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.
You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:
- recorded sessions
- videos to stream or download
- reading materials
- the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library
- discussion boards with colleagues and tutors.
Your course is delivered across seven units, each headed by a tutor who is an expert in that field.
The first week of your course will be pre-course reading, and your final week will be revision for your final online assessment.
You’ll learn from a team of practising health informatics researchers from our Institute of Applied Health Sciences.
The course totals approximately 150 hours of study and assessment time. That’s around 10 – 15 hours per week.
This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.
You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.
Activities at fixed times
There may be some activities scheduled for fixed times, such as assessments with deadlines or online meetings with your tutor. But otherwise, you can access and work through the course at your convenience.
This course is assessed entirely online.
During your course, you’ll be assessed via:
- a set of multiple-choice questions on information governance
- a task to develop a research question.
And at the end of your course, you’ll have:
- a one-hour, short-answer online test on key concepts (worth 20% of your final grade)
- a data linkage protocol and data specification written report, 2,000 words (60%)
- a communicating-with-data exercise, creating a one-minute podcast or one-page graphical or narrative ‘data story’ (20%).
Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors throughout your course. This could be by email, Skype, FaceTime or phone. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.
We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:
- Careers and Employability Service
- Disability support
- IT support
- Library support
- Student Support Service – help with finances, stress, wellbeing and non-academic issues
- Student Learning Service – study support, with advice sessions available via phone or Skype
- Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) – run by students for students
- Toolkit – clever apps and free training that can make your study life easier
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.
Where this will take you
Towards a Masters
You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards our:
Masters in Applied Health Sciences
Fast-track your career in healthcare with our uniquely flexible MSc Applied Health Sciences. Study 100% online or combine with on-campus courses at our Foresterhill Health Campus. 10% discount for NHS staff.View MSc Applied Health Sciences
Masters in Clinical Nutrition
Join an online Nutrition degree accredited by the Association for Nutrition. Study the link between diet and health, and how issues of over and undernutrition affect populations today. 10% discount for NHS staff.View MSc Clinical Nutrition
Masters in Health Economics for Health Professionals
Advance your career in health. Develop sought-after research skills and you build your knowledge of health economics tools and principles. 10% discount for NHS staff.View MSc Health Economics for Health Professionals
Master of Public Health (MPH)
Join an online Master of Public Health (MPH) you can tailor to your career. Study with experts and choose from a wide range of courses to focus your training. 10% discount for NHS staff.View Master of Public Health (MPH)
Build your learning
We have a range of online healthcare and medicine short courses you can use to build your skills.
Many carry credits you can build up into postgraduate qualifications, including Masters degrees:
The demand for health researchers with training and experience in health informatics is high, and for professionals in public health it is a key skill.
You’ll gain a strong career advantage as a researcher or health professional. This course will equip you for any career in health research or public health practice, and is a perfect first step if you’re looking to develop a specialist interest in this field.
Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.
We welcome students from all over the world. You do not need a visa to study online with us.
This course has no formal entry requirements, so you do not need to provide proof of your qualifications.
However, you should check the entry guidance above to understand the level of teaching delivered. If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check the equivalent teaching level for your country.
English language requirements
Teaching is delivered in English.
You do not have to provide proof of your English language skills to join this course. But we want to make sure that you can use English well enough to study successfully.
At this level of teaching, we recommend the following level of English language proficiency. These are minimum scores:
Duolingo English Test (taken from July 2019 onwards)
- 115 overall
LanguageCert International ESOL C1 Expert (Written and Spoken)
- All skills: C1
IELTS Academic and IELTS Online
- 6.5 overall
- 6.0 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition
- 90 overall
- 21 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
- 62 overall
- 54 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency
- 176 overall
- 169 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
If you hold a degree from a UK university then evidence of proficiency in English may not be required.
For more information about language qualifications see our English Language Requirements page.
You will need access to:
A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:
- Windows 10 or later
- macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.
Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.
Reliable internet access
- a wired connection
- a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.
Speakers or headphones
- We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
- A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one from some interactive sessions.
We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.
If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.
See our detailed IT requirements for more information.
When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.
But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.
Your most important commitment to your course will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.
Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your course each week:
- Be realistic
- Create a weekly schedule as a guide
If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.
Your course fee needs to be paid in full before you start your course.
We accept payment via Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Mastercard.
Ways to save
You may be able to get help funding this course via:
- Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)
- discounts – if any discounts are available for this course, they’ll appear in the section below
- employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors.
All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.
This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.
The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least:
- a 2:2 (second-class) undergraduate degree
- or relevant experience that supports this level of study.