MSc in Translational Health Sciences

Course details

The social science of innovation: this new course takes an interdisciplinary and applied approach to the challenges of implementing innovations and research discoveries in a healthcare setting.

Turning innovations into practical solutions for healthcare needs is an imperative – and one that can only become more urgent as demands on health systems increase. Our key focus in this Master's programme will be the ‘downstream’ phases of translational health sciences – the human, organisational and societal issues that impact on the adoption, dissemination and mainstreaming of research discoveries. We will address these issues using robust, interdisciplinary and practice-based approaches in this highly applied course.

This MSc is ideal for researchers who want to study scientific and technological innovation in a healthcare setting and research managers looking to run clinical trials or promote the uptake of research findings. It will also assist entrepreneurs (from an industry or clinical background) who seek to improve patient care through innovation and policymakers (local and national) wishing to support research and its translation to improve services. For students interested in undertaking doctoral research, the MSc will prepare them to apply for a DPhil in Translational Health Sciences. We expect all our students to have some relevant past experience in a work environment.

Translational science is inherently interdisciplinary, and we anticipate a vibrant, international cohort from multiple sectors, allowing the sharing of ideas and experience for the benefit of all our students. A bank of frequently asked questions about the course are available here.

To complete the course, you must take one compulsory module, five modules that you choose from approximately nine options, and complete a dissertation of up to 15,000 words.

Each module typically involves:

  • preparatory reading
  • structured individual and group activities (delivered online)
  • a one-week intensive course with lectures, small group activities and presentations
  • an online follow-up to support you in writing your module assignment.

Our teaching model aims to make full use of our students’ real-world experience and diversity. Once you have covered key principles and topics, you will be encouraged to immerse yourself in case studies (some of which can be from your own experience) and to contribute actively and critically to group discussions. Your learning will be further enriched with input from visiting lecturers, experts-in-residence and organisations outside academia (potential examples would include biotech and software companies, policy bodies such as NICE and patient charities).

The course is delivered by research-active tutors from the University’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, led by Professor Trish Greenhalgh.

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Course aims

The MSc in Translational Health Sciences aims to provide:

  • An introduction to theory and method in the ‘downstream’ phases of translational health sciences – the human, organisational and societal issues that influence the adoption, dissemination and mainstreaming of research discoveries
  • A coherent overview of how, with a pragmatic orientation to real-world issues, different academic disciplines can inform problem-solving and guide action in translational health sciences
  • A rigorous interdisciplinary training that develops advanced intellectual and research skills and prepares students who want to progress to doctoral study.

At the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Explain the theoretical basis and practical importance of translational health science as an interdisciplinary field of study
  • Critically analyse the human, organisational, socio-cultural, economic, regulatory/legal, policy and ethical dimensions of translational health sciences
  • Identify, combine and apply appropriate theoretical models and empirical methods to address practical challenges of translational health science, thereby producing tangible benefits for patients, health services and wider society.

Programme details

The MSc in Translational Health Sciences is available as a part-time course or full-time. There is one compulsory module, five option modules and a dissertation (*Note: Not all option modules are guaranteed to run in every year).

Compulsory module

Option modules (five must be chosen)

A module is run over a nine week cycle where the first two weeks are spent working on introductory activities using a Virtual Learning Environment, then there is a week spent in Oxford for the face to face teaching week, there are then four weeks of Post-Oxford activities (delivered through the VLE) which are designed to help you write your assignment. You then have a week of personal study and you will be required to submit your assignment electronically the following week (usually on a Tuesday at 14:00 UK Local Time).

Modules are spaced out throughout the academic year, allowing a choice of options to be taken over a year (for full-time students) or longer for students attending part-time. Not all modules are guaranteed to run every year. Further details about the course and modules can be found on the course page, on the Department for Continuing Education Website (See further Information and Enquiries).

Part time attendance details

As a part-time student, there are six modules that require your attendance on the programme. Each module requires you to attend a week (5 days) in Oxford for supported face to face teaching (A total of 6 weeks attendance in Oxford).  For additional note: Part time students are required to attend a minimum of one module in each academic year on course. 

Assessment methods

Assessment for each module will be based on performance in a group presentation and a written assignment, which shall not be of more than 4,000 words. Students for the MSc will also be required to complete a dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with a supervisor and the Course Director. The dissertation should not normally exceed 15,000 words.

To complete the programmes students must:

  • Attend and complete the 1 compulsory module and 5 option modules
  • Complete a dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with a supervisor and the Course Director. The dissertation should normally not exceed 15,000 words.
  • Attend a viva voce examination at the end of the course of studies at the discretion of the examiners.

Oxford college affiliation

As a matriculated postgraduate degree student, you will become a member of one of the University’s famous interdisciplinary colleges, enabling you to encounter new perspectives in your field or learn more about many other different subjects from fellow college members.

The collegiate system makes studying at Oxford a truly special experience. Oxford colleges are small, intimate communities, where you could find yourself absorbed in fascinating conversations with students and academics from a variety of disciplines at college seminars, dinners, and informal occasions. 

To find out more about Oxford University colleges, please consult the University's Graduate Admissions website.

Who should apply

To be eligible for the course you should:

  • Be a graduate or have successfully completed a professional training course
  • Have professional work experience in the health service or a health-related field
  • Be able to combine intensive classroom learning with the application of the principles and practices of evidence-based health care within the work place
  • Have a good working knowledge of email, internet, word processing and Windows applications (for communications with course members, course team and administration)
  • Show evidence of the ability to commit time to study and an employer's commitment to make time available to study, complete course work and attend course and university events and modules.
  • Be able to demonstrate English Language proficiency at the University’s higher level

For the full selection criteria please refer to the Graduate Admissions website.

Fees and funding

Fee rates for the academic year 2024-25*

*Rates for 2025/26 to be confirmed

These rates (in pounds sterling) are for students joining in the 2024-25 academic year and will increase annually.

The annual award fee is due for every academic year (or part-year) attended; module or dissertation fees are due in advance as invoiced. Fees must be paid in accordance with the Terms and Conditions for the programme.

  • Annual award fee: £16,910 (full-time students) £8,455 (part-time students)
  • Module fees: £2,570 (per taught module)
  • Dissertation fee: £7,710 (equivalent to 3 module fees)

Total fees for full-time students joining in 2024-25: £40,040 

Illustration for part-time students completing in three years, with six taught modules and a dissertation:

  • 3 annual award fees: £25,365*
  • plus 6 module fees: £15,420*
  • plus dissertation fee: £7,710*

Total: £48,495*


  1. The fee rates listed are for the academic year shown, and you should be aware that these rates will increase annually.
  2. The Illustration is based on the fee rates for the academic year shown; however, fee rates for attendance in future years will increase, so students attending for more than one year should expect the total to be higher than is shown in the Illustration. The exact amount will depend on the fee rates set annually, and upon the years you are in attendance; these are normally published well before the start of each academic year, but for your own budgetary purposes you may wish to estimate a 9.9% annual increase on fee rates.
  3. Funding: Eligible applications completed before the January deadline will automatically be considered for a Clarendon Fund Scholarship.  


Details of funding opportunities, including grants, bursaries, loans, scholarships and benefit information are available on our Fees and Funding page.

In addition, for those interested in pursuing a DPhil in this subject in the future the Rosamund Snow Scholarship for Patient Led-Research may be available.

When to apply

We strongly recommend that you apply by the January or March deadlines.  After the March deadline, the course will only stay open for that year's entry if places are still available. 

Remember that it can take a number of weeks to obtain all of the documents you need and prepare a competitive application. You should also allow your referees plenty of time to submit your references. We therefore recommend you apply as soon as possible.

How to apply

Applications for this course can be made via the University of Oxford Graduate Admissions website.  This website includes further information about this course and a guide to applying

Early application for the programme is advised. Applications which have not been fully completed before the application deadline cannot be considered, so please ensure any applications are received by us in good time so that we may advise of missing or incorrectly completed elements. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to telephone interview, and asked to provide evidence of their funding for the programme.

Applications open in September for entry in the following academic year. To see if this course is still open for applications for admission please visit the University of Oxford Graduate Admissions website. Courses with a green admission status are open for applications, amber means the course will be closing at 12 noon on the following Friday and red means it has closed to new applications.

Please read our Terms and Conditions before submitting your application. If you would like to discuss your application or any part of the application process before applying please contact:

Tel: +44 (0)1865 286943



Central accommodation for visitors and students at the Department for Continuing Education