Health and Wellbeing MA

Course code B992

What is special about this course?

The MA Health and Wellbeing is designed to meet the career development needs of health and social care professionals in the UK.

The course will increase your awareness of the social, technological, economic, political and environmental changes taking place within health and social care, whether in the public, private or voluntary sectors, enabling you to take your career to the next stage.

You will study core modules in the development of local, national and international health and social care policy, the influence of sociology, psychology and ethics on our understanding of health and wellbeing, the issues of health and social care provision in remote and rural areas as well as gaining skills in research methods.

You will study part time through fully-supported online learning, with lectures, tutorials and other materials accessible via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE).  You will receive regular support from your tutors and peers via online discussions, telephone and email; whichever suits you best.

Special features

  • Staff teaching on the programme have won UHI HISA Awards for: 
    • Best Online Tutor (2019)
    • Best Personal Academic Tutor/Learning Support (2020)
    • Most Inspiring Lecturer (2022)
  • and been Highly Recommended for: 
    • Best Online Tutor (2020)
    • Best Personal Academic Tutor/Learning Support (2021)
    • Best Research/Dissertation Supervisor Highly Recommended (2022)
  • PTES Survey 100% overall satisfaction in 2021 and 2022 
  • The course is delivered online which means you can fit your studies around your work and personal commitments wherever you are in the world
  • The course content contributes to the development of the core dimensions in the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF): communication; personal and people development; health, safety and security; service improvement; quality; and equality and diversity
  • You will also have the opportunity to study modules in more specialised areas, such as: child and adolescent mental health; diabetes; digital health and social care; ehealth; digital health; patient safety in health and social care environments; lean quality improvement methodology
  • You are encouraged to undertake a systematic review or service evaluation in relation to your specific interest or in relation to your employment for the dissertation module
  • Students can complete the university’s Skills and Employability Award and gain recognition (not academic credit) for a range of activities you take part in addition to your studies to help you stand out from the crowd and demonstrate the skills you have, prepare for a real interview and impress prospective employers

Entry requirements

  • 2:1 honours degree, or equivalent OR 
  • Postgraduate diploma award or a professional qualification recognised as being equivalent to an honours degree
  • Applicants with a 2:2 honours degree or below, an ordinary degree or DipHE in a relevant subject, plus relevant professional experience may also be considered through successful completion of the admissions essay
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and/or Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) may also be considered
  • All students should be in employment and/or engaged in voluntary activities


*Funding support notice*

Postgraduate Loans (SAAS) (Scottish domiciled and EU students)

Loans for tuition fees are available from SAAS for eligible Scotland domiciled and EU students, and loans for living costs for eligible Scottish students.

Access routes


Core modules are:

  • Policy into practice (SC)
  • Individual and social influences on health (S2)
  • You will also choose one option module from those listed in the PgDip (S1 + S2)


If you wish to progress to the MA, the core modules are:

  • Challenges and practice solutions in remote and rural areas (S1)
  • Qualitative inquiry (S1 or S2)

Option modules include:

  • Advanced diabetes (S2)
  • Child and adolescent mental health (S1)
  • Developing communities (S2)
  • Disability and society (S2)
  • Digital health and social care (S2)
  • Introduction to patient safety in integrated health and social care environment (S1)
  • Introduction to Lean quality improvement in health and social care (S1)


To achieve the award of MA Health and Wellbeing you must complete either a systematic review or a service evaluation for dissertation.

How will I study my course?

  • Part-time (structured) – 60 credits in an academic year
  • Part-time (unstructured) – less than 60 credits in an academic year
  • You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • You will have the opportunity to meet fellow students and staff by attending the online virtual induction, usually held in late August. This is a half day event, and we strongly recommend that all new students attend
  • Assessment is varied and includes online multiple-choice questions, reflective portfolio, discussion board contributions, essays and reports, case study analysis, collaborative project, electronic and poster presentations, critique of a journal paper, research proposal and dissertation

    How long will my course last?

    • Part-time (structured) (MA): 3 years @ 20-30 hours per week
    • Part-time (unstructured) (MA): 6 years @ 10-15 hours per week

    The number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in discussion with tutors and your own time spent on individual study and research.

    Where can I study my course?

    • North, West and Hebrides
    • This is a fully online course. You will be enrolled and supported by staff at UHI North, West and Hebrides

    Start date

    • September
    • January


    For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

    This includes

    • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
    • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
    • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
      2023-24 2024-25
    Per module (20 credits) £584 £584
    Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £1,752 £1,752
    Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £3,504 £3,504
    Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation) £5,256 £5,256

    Rest of UK students

    For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) or assessed as rest of the UK for fee status, the following fees apply:

      2023-24 2024-25
    Per module (20 credits) £720 £780
    Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £2,160 £2,340
    Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £4,320 £4,680
    Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation, 180 credits) £6,480 £7,020

    EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK

    Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Scottish Government confirmed that EU/EEA and Swiss nationals, who do not have settled or pre-settled status, will be considered as international for fee purposes. These students will get an automatic fee scholarship.

    This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

      2023-24 With scholarship 2024-25 With scholarship
    Per module (20 credits) £1,080 £810 £1,110 £833
    Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £3,240 £2,430 £3,330 £2,499
    Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits, 180 credits) £6,480 £4,860 £6,660 £4,998
    Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation, 180 credits) £9,720 £7,290 £9,990 £7,497

    International students

    For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union, studying online from their home country, or assessed as international for fee status, the following fees apply:

      2023-24 2024-25
    Per module (20 credits) £1,080 £1,110
    Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £3,240 £3,330
    Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits, 180 credits) £6,480 £6,660
    Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation, 180 credits) £9,720 £9,990

    This course is not available to international students requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.

    A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK, EU and international postgraduate students for continuous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


    Eligible Scotland-domiciled students studying part-time can apply for a tuition fee loan from SAAS. You must be intending to complete the course in no longer than twice the length of time it would take for a full-time student. For example, if your course is available to full-time students as a one-year programme, you will be funded for a maximum of two years' part-time study. If your course does not have a full-time option, you must complete within three years. You can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £7,000, which will be paid pro-rata for each academic year of study. 

    Full details can be found on the SAAS website. Applications for loans open in April.

    Students from the rest of the UK who meet the eligibility requirements may be able to apply for a loan from the Student Loan Company.

    What can I do on completion of my course?

    Once you have completed your MA Health and Wellbeing course, NHS staff currently on bands 5 and 6 of the NHS Career Framework Ladder can progress to bands 7 and 8.

    Completion of this course will also lead to enhanced employment opportunities.

    Can I progress into further study?

    Progression to PhD study may be possible.

    Is there more information available online?

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    The MA Health and Wellbeing course is a well thought out programme for anyone working within health provision, and the ability to tailor it to your own speciality is invaluable. This course will give you the skills and knowledge to provide evidence-based health care. The ability to study online, with the support of the university's tutors, makes the course flexible enough to study alongside work and family commitments at a pace that is achievable.

    Susan Macaulay, graduate, MA Health and Wellbeing.

    The MA Health and Wellbeing course is an exceptionally well laid out programme. It is ideal for anyone working within health and social care as all the topics are contemporary and relevant. The programme has allowed me the flexibility to study while working full time and continue with family commitments. I have gained skills and knowledge that have opened doors and are invaluable to me in my role within health education. The university tutors are approachable and fully engage with students at every step of the learning journey – they provide a truly supportive and collaborative learning environment. My next step is the dissertation and I look forward to the challenge!

    Mandy Hobbs, student, MA Health and Wellbeing.


    Reflecting back several months after finishing my Masters I find myself missing studying. I have no regrets at all. Completing the MA Health & Well-being at the University of Highlands and Islands (UHI) has only ever been positive for me. Completing a Masters has provided me with so much more than the qualification; it was something I very much wanted to achieve and I am especially proud of the achievement. The discipline to complete this Masters has actually enriched all parts of my life.

    My independence and confidence have allowed me to be much more confident in my own ability and not requiring approval or constant feedback. If I don’t know something, I now have the skills to know how to find out. My writing ability has significantly improved and I am proud of the academic work I can now produce. From the time management and organising myself prospectively I am delighted with my ability to use time effectively especially with a young family. As a busy working mum studying online allowed me to have “my thing” that fitted round family and work needs. One of the most important things I think I have witnessed is my curiosity and ability to learn and it is almost the more you learn the more you realise you don’t know but you are provided with advanced skills developing the ability to think and this totally has facilitated my ability to analyse, synthesise, conceptualise to develop an argument to think and write critically. One of the strengths of the MA Health & Wellbeing is the detailed feedback from lecturers that allows you as a student to develop and progress.

    Ruth Barclay-Paterson, graduate, MA Health and Wellbeing.

    Apply for Health and Wellbeing MA

    I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024 or Jan/Feb 2025

    We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.