Module code: BMSM032

Module Overview

Health informatics and digital health are disrupting and changing health service delivery, the organisation of care, and how research is conducted, presenting new ethical and regulatory challenges. This introductory module will equip students with foundations of conceptual issues in health informatics and digital health, with an emphasis on people-centered innovations and methodologies for real-world evaluation of outcomes and impact, to optimize quality improvements and maximize success and reach. This includes how to formulate a research question; search, appraise and synthesise available evidence; and design research proposals relevant to health informatics and digital health. The development of these skills will aid students in following modules within the programme, such as Tutorials in Health Data Sciences, as well as the Dissertation module.

The module explores key issues in best practice in health informatics and digital health (e.g., Open Science, documentation of meta data, understanding regulatory and ethical frameworks) and explores mixed-methods frameworks for understanding the barriers and facilitators to implementation of new health technologies/innovations, and assessment of effectiveness and impact.

The module emphasises the value of user involvement (e.g., patient, professionals, public and charities/stakeholders) in conception, design, and evaluation, and will provide students with a grounding in applied methodologies relevant for health informatics and digital health, to complement the technical and data skills developed across other modules.

Module provider

School of Health Sciences

Module Leader

ARMES Jo (Health Sci.)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 35

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 6

Independent Learning Hours: 100

Lecture Hours: 12

Seminar Hours: 12

Tutorial Hours: 6

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 4

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:  

  • Developing research questions  

  • Literature searching to inform research and evidence-based solutions  

  • User (patient, public, professional) involvement  

  • Research ethics, governance and regulatory approvals 

  • Data management and meta-data

  • Open Science

  • Introduction to electronic health records

  • Introduction to clinical and health ontologies

  • Introduction to designing person-centred digital health technologies

  • Preparing a research/project proposal  

  • Real-world evaluations of evidence (focus on RCTs, quasi-experimental methods and mixed-methods research and health economic evaluation) and measuring impact

  • Introduction to Implementation Science and social science frameworks

  • Communicating bioinformatics and digital health to non-specialist audience

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation Presentation 30
Coursework Research poster 70

Alternative Assessment

Oral presentation: Students will be able to present their work in class, or alternatively submit a video of their presentation together with the written poster.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to allow students to demonstrate their understanding of ethical, regulatory, methodological and conceptual issues in health informatics and digital health and the application of these skills and knowledge to health or social care problems.

The formative stage enables students to develop their skills and confidence in identifying and communicating about their ideas for implementing a digital tool into healthcare, and the summative assessment will enable students to further demonstrate these communication skills for different audiences via an oral and written presentation.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of: 

  • An individual ‘pitch style’ presentation of a business case aimed at a lay audience, providing a rationale of topic, articulating their aim and proposing a suitable methodology (30% of the final grade; covering learning objectives 2, 3, 4)

  • Online submission of a structured poster presentation of the same business case, aimed at a clinical/professional audience (70% of the final grade; covering learning objectives 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Thus, the assessments are designed to directly address all of the learning outcomes outlined above.



Students will be given verbal formative feedback within small groups on their development of the short ‘pitch style’ presentation which will prepare them for developing their summative assessment presentation. They will also submit a structured outline of their poster for written formative feedback on their poster ideas.  

Module aims

  • Explore some uses of clinical and health data in real-world settings
  • Introduce key issues in information governance; including data quality, security and confidentiality
  • Consider ethical and regulatory framework and alongside issues in best practice
  • Introduce key health information systems and formal knowledge representation
  • Introduce key methodological frameworks for developing digital health interventions
  • Introduce key methodological frameworks for demonstrating an evidence-based evaluation of health informatics/digital health applications
  • Explore key issues in the real-world implementation of health informatics/digital health applications
  • Demonstrate the importance of user (public, patient, professional) involvement in health informatics/digital health

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Differentiate the ethical, regulatory, methodological and theoretical frameworks within a health informatic/digital health context CK
002 Articulate and formulate well-defined and answerable research question(s) within health informatics/digital health CKT
003 Design people-centered projects to answer research questions or address real-world issues in health informatics/digital health CPT
004 Communicate their ideas in health informatics/digital health to a non-specialist (lay) or clinical audience PT
005 Critically appraise the strengths and weaknesses of health informatics/digital health project CP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to provide students with a thorough grounding in conceptual, ethical and regulatory issues in health informatics and digital health, as well as an overview of some of the key methodologies for real-world evaluation and implementation with relevance to health and social care. Topics covered by the module will address global and cultural issues that relate to the development and implementation of digital health innovation and health informatics. The module will provide students with the knowledge and tools that will enhance their employability across a range of sectors, as well as soft skills to build up communication skills, resourcefulness, and self-assurance.

The module is designed to give students the opportunity to work in smaller groups so they can discuss their ideas, receive peer feedback and support from the module team. Students will have a structured introduction to various key issues, evaluation designs and theoretical frameworks. They will gain experience of developing their oral and written communication of complex ideas in health informatics/digital health to a non-specialist audience (directly addressing learning outcome 4). Students will¿ through seminars, workshops, presentations and discussions¿ understand how to develop research questions (learning outcome 2) and outline project proposal/solutions within ethical and regulatory frameworks (learning outcomes 1, 3, 5), learning valuable skills which can be taken forward to the dissertation module.


 The learning and teaching methods include: 

  • Live lectures with structured discussion 

  • Seminars ang guest lectures

  • Panopto lectures and online discussion 

  • Workshops with small group work

  • Homework tasks (flipped classroom) and class discussion

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMSM032

Other information

The MSc Health and Biomedical Informatics programme is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module in Health Informatics and Digital Health is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

  • Employability: Through fostering a real-world understanding of the digital health landscape and gaining practical skills to enhance their employability; this includes developing business cases and successful communication/engagement with diverse audiences.
  • Digital Capabilities: Through their gaining a practical understanding of the application of the theoretical background that underpins digital developments.
  • Global and cultural capacities: Supported and enhanced through an awareness of the ethical, regulatory and importance of socio-cultural issues in the design, evaluation and impact of health informatics and digital health
  • Sustainability: Through developing students’ understanding of the contribution of economic, behavioural and social sciences, and mixed-methods evaluations in  Digital Health and Bioinformatics, students will develop deeper level understanding of key issues in resource sustainability, to complement the technical and research skills developed in the wider programme. 
  • Resourcefulness and Resilience: Through participatory and group activities students will develop resilience and resourcefulness through a learning framework designed to model self-efficacy and confidence (see Methods of teaching/learning, above).

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.