Healthcare and Design MSc / MRes: Q&A

Last night, HELIX hosted an information session for the new Healthcare and Design Masters from Imperial College and the RCA.

There was great turnout with 25 attendees — including doctors, nurses, service designers, product designers and healthcare managers — all interested to learn more about the programme.

We heard from Stephanie Somerville, Director of Operations for HELIX, Dan Leff, the new course’s lead for Imperial College, and Maja Kecman, the Design Lead for HELIX.

There were some excellent questions during the Q&A that we wanted to share here.

Does the programme have any any priority areas for research-focus?

No — as long as there is a clear clinical need, and a scalable solution.

Is the course focussed on the acute, hospital setting only?

No — the programme content covers the whole health system.

Will there be much collaboration between designers and clinicians on the course?

Yes — there is a lot of group work, and opportunities to work with people from other disciplines. In fact, this will be encouraged.

How quickly can you start testing something with patients?

It has to be safe, but we have relationships with clinicians and nurses in the hospital, which makes it easier to get things in front of patients quickly

How does the programme work if you are in full-time employment?

We run multiple masters programmes aimed at professionals, and the course structure is designed to allow to you remain in employment. There are four intense two-week blocks of teaching over 2 years, with other tasks and learning occurring outside of this face-to-face teaching time.

Your dissertation can be done in your workplace. Alternatively, we can accommodate your dissertation here, in which case you would need approval from your employer.

Ultimately, you should be able to demonstrate to your employer that this course would be worthwhile for them — you would bring your learning and experience from the programme back to your workplace, and your research project could contribute to their business objectives.

Could you do this Masters at the same time as another programme?

No — you’re not allowed to register for more than one course at the same time.

Is this course a platform from which students could develop their own business ideas?

Yes — the research dissertation is a great opportunity to further develop your idea, though arriving on the course with a ready formed idea is not necessary — we will support students to develop their own ideas throughout the programme.

It’s important to remember that no single person has all of the expertise necessary to bring an idea to life. This programme brings together people with different expertise and perspectives, and allows you to form a network that will help you to take an idea right through to delivering a real solution.

What would happen to the Intellectual Property (IP) if a student came up with an idea on the course?

It depends on who is involved, and their relative contributions. You are in a fortunate position as a student, as you own your own IP. It is more complex if you are / working with someone who is an Imperial College or Royal College of Art employee, in which case there are more stringent IP rules. However, this programme is the perfect environment in which to encounter and learn to deal with such challenges, as there is the support (legal and otherwise) to guide you through the process.

Does the programme have any links with industry if we are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare innovation or design following our completion of the course?

We have strong relationships with many organisations in this space, including multi-nationals, startups, tech companies, and Venture Capital firms. You will have access to a number of networking events throughout the programme, as well as the global leaders in healthcare innovation and design that will be teaching on the course.

How is this programme different from an MBA?

It is healthcare specific, and is focussed on developing solutions through design thinking. It is also less intensive, and much cheaper!

What will the cohort size be?

We think it will be between 20 and 30 students in the first year, though there is no official limit. We want to match the number of people from a design and healthcare background, and will accept students based on the quality of their applications.

Is the research dissertation an individual or group research project?

The dissertations will be graded individually, though there could be more than one student working on the same problem.

Has the cost of the course been finalised?

This is still to be confirmed, but the programme should cost close to £11,900 for home and EU students (for the full 2 years), and £29,700 for Overseas students.

Will there be any scholarships available?

We are looking into the possibility of developing a course-specific scholarship, though this is still to be confirmed. There are other general scholarships available. For more information, see the RCA and Imperial websites.

Will students have access to additional training?

Yes — students will have access to all training courses offered by Imperial and the RCA.

If you would like to be notified when applications open, please register your interest here.

Check out the new video for the course here.