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Every day staff across the NHS strive to ensure safety for their patients through work arounds and going the extra mile. We seek to enable you to build resilience into your healthcare systems and to understand how and why things go wrong sometimes.

Through the modular approach of the certificate, we help you answer questions such as:

  • How do I ensure a just culture through our incident investigation systems?
  • What would a high reliability hospital look like?
  • How could I introduce sustainable change?
  • How can I best understand what is happening in my organisation?
  • What are the best methods to understand this patient safety issue?

The aim of the PGCert in Patient Safety is to provide a solid foundation in the core subject areas required for the practice of Patient Safety in acute, primary or community care. The knowledge gained will enable the next generation of patient safety leaders to evaluate the system they work within, and make changes that are safe, sustainable and achieve high quality care.

The PGCert in Patient Safety is a part-time, modular course designed to be completed in one to two years alongside your current working commitments.

Offered by the Department of Continuing Education and delivered in collaboration with the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, it is designed to prepare nurses, managers, allied health professionals, trainees or consultants for tackling the issues faced in by our patients in our current healthcare system. 

Several high profile publications and organisations have called for greater training and support in the scientific disciplines around patient safety for those working in healthcare. This course is designed to equip you to learn about and practice the methods and tools needed. We have a faculty to both support your learning and build your network in safety science.

Please keep me informed about the Patient Safety programme


The PGCert offers a flexible modular framework and is structured to enable students of the course to fit study around their work commitments. The programme consists of three week-long modules, two of which are mandatory, followed by a third of your choice.

Mandatory modules:

Optional modules (one only):

Please note: the module links will take you to this academic years running of the module (so the dates will be for the current year).

Each module takes place once a year, giving students the opportunity to individualise their patterns of study.

Taught by global experts, the modules in this programme can also be taken as individual stand-alone courses.

Please visit the Department for Continuing Education website for further information.


Please visit the PGCert in Patient Safety page on the University of Oxford Graduate Admissions website for details of the entry requirements.