Within Ontario, and across Canada, there are no Master of Science in Health Science Education programs that focus specifically on graduate level education to improve knowledge and skills for health practitioners who teach in clinical health science fields. Over the past twenty years there has been growing interest by health science educators in graduate programs that pertain to clinical teaching and scholarship and prepare individuals for leadership roles in a faculty of health science academic environment; however, there have been few opportunities to pursue such studies in Canada.
This online inter-professional master’s program leads to the degree Master of Science in Health Sciences Education for health science clinical educators (physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, midwives, physician assistants, etc.), and others who teach in health sciences education, research, and academic clinical care, and who lead in health care settings. The program builds on the internationally renowned signature pedagogies in health science education developed and pioneered at McMaster University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, (Problem-Based Learning, Self-Directed Learning). The PBL teaching and learning methodology that uses an inquiry approach focuses on student-driven small group learning to foster critical thinking, higher retention, and stronger cognitive competencies including coping with uncertainty and communication skills. The program will act as a strategy to enhance collaborative, patient-centred care by engaging learners in inter- and intra-professional practice; to shape the future of education in health science professional programs; and to foster health professions leadership and succession planning.
The Masters of Science in Health Science Education (MSc HSED) is an online inter-professional program designed for health professionals and non-clinicians who teach or would like to engage in scholarship or research in health professions education. Our core faculty includes a range of interdisciplinary PhD and Masters prepared health professionals in order to facilitate the development of health profession educators. This allows for the understanding and application of theories of health science education, whether in an academic or clinical setting. All aspects of the program highlight the overt inter-professional culture and engagement of peer feedback and support that exist in the structure and content of the MSc HSED program.
The HSED program is designed primarily for clinicians in a health sciences field that wish to strengthen their abilities as educators in their area of expertise and to develop proficiency in education scholarship or research. Although the majority of students will have already completed training in health professions related discipline (i.e. medicine, nursing, midwifery, paramedic, veterinary, dental hygienist), direct entrance is permitted to undergraduate non-clinicians that aspire to be scholars in the field of health sciences education.
The MSc. HSED Program caters directly to full-time employed health care professionals who are seeking MSc level education but require a flexible and accessible learning schedule to complete the program at their own pace. Students are given the option to complete the program in one or two years to do so in the full-time option. The program also has the flexibility to allow those students who wish to complete the program part-time, which, in conjunction with the accessibility and availability of the online teaching modules allows for the completion of a MSc. level program without sacrificing valuable and profitable time, all the while maintaining a rich and steady learning experience. Part-time students are allowed to take a maximum of 9 units each academic year, such that they complete their studies in 3 to 5 years.
The program will be highly accessible through blended delivery of online and in-class formats. The Master of Science in Health Science Education program offers online courses in learning and curriculum, simulation/technical & non-technical skills, online learning, educational leadership, assessment and evaluation, and research methods. In addition, two mandatory in-person residency periods must be completed. The program offers students two completion pathways: a course-based option which is offered in online format through part-time studies (full time may be considered with special permission), or a thesis-based option offered in either part-time or full-time studies. Non-health practitioners will only be considered for the full-time, thesis stream.
Mandatory residency periods (HS EDUC 700 & HS EDUC 707) are held concurrently in June before the start of every academic year and every student in the MSc. HSEd program must complete 2 residency weeks twice during the entirety of their enrollment in the program.
Both HS EDUC 700 and HS EDUC 707 mandatory residency periods are held concurrently and for the 2019/2020 academic year the HS EDUC 700 residency period is June 3rd - 7th, 2019 and the HS EDUC 707 residency period is June 4th -7th, 2019. To learn more about the residency periods please see the Current Students tab.
The Scholarly Paper is the final degree requirement for the course-based HSED program. The paper should reflect the student’s ability to integrate ideas that reflect their analysis and use of knowledge in areas of health science teaching and learning, research, and leadership in a scholarly way as well as the ability to apply and discuss these concepts in a concise, critical, and coherent manner. The paper will demonstrate integrative thinking and focus on a topic selected by the student in consultation with their advisor and one other faculty member and submitted to the MSc HSED Program Officer prior to commencement.
For the thesis option, students will complete a formal written research proposal that outlines their project plan prior to commencing research and submit it for approval to their Thesis Committee within six months of entry into the program for full time students and within one year of entry for part-time students. The thesis will demonstrate integrative thinking, an understanding of the relevant literature, and involve the conduct of original research focusing on a health science education topic that is selected by the student in consultation with their thesis Supervisor. The proposal will be individualized to the student’s area of interest.
For more information regarding the requirements to graduate from the MSc HSED program please see our Current Students page.