Infection Prevention and Control MSc

What is special about this course?

Promoting and developing best practice in the field of infection prevention and control is a pressing issue for professionals and the community as a whole. The issues facing hospital and community staff evolve quickly and IPC practitioners must be equipped to respond appropriately.

This innovative postgraduate course in Infection Prevention and Control has been designed to help you deal safely and effectively with infection risks.  You will develop your confidence and expertise in the management and implementation of infection control change.

If you have to deal with infection as part of your job, or if you’d like to widen your knowledge and be in a position to apply for more senior posts in infection control, the MSc Infection Prevention and Control can help you achieve these goals.


Special features

  • The course is delivered online through the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE), enabling you to fit your study around your personal and professional commitments, wherever you are in the world
  • You can choose to study individual modules for continuing professional development (CPD), or work towards the PgCert, PgDip, or full masters degree
  • Specialist modules at PgDip and MSc level allow you to specialise in areas of particular relevance to your career
  • 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; quality; and equality and diversity
  • Students can complete the university’s Skills and Employability Award whereby you 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 in a health subject 
  • Applicants with an ordinary degree or below, but with a minimum of three years experience and/or evidence of successful completion of relevant CPD study at SCQF level 10
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) may also be considered
  • All students should be in employment in a relevant area

*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

  • Three years relevant experience and/or successful completion of either the SCQF level 9 module Infection Control, or HAI Surveillance, will allow access to the PgCert level


Core modules are:

  • Micro-organisms and disease
  • Decontamination
  • Epidemiology and surveillance of healthcare associated infections


Core module:

  • Host defence and protection

Option modules, from which you choose two, may include:

  • Healthcare outbreak management
  • Informatics in health and social care
  • Qualitative inquiry*
  • Research methods and techniques*
  • Introduction to patient safety in integrated health and social care environment
  • The built environment

*You must choose one of these modules if you wish to continue to the MSc


To achieve the award of MSc Infection Control you must complete a research dissertation related to your professional field.

How will I study my course?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

As your course was designed to be fully online and has run successfully for many years in this way, we can confirm that there will be no change to how the course will be delivered next year. You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment. You will also have an online induction at the start of the course and will be able to meet your fellow students, lecturers and personal academic tutor through video conferencing.
  • You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • Part-time (structured) – 60 credits in an academic year
  • Part-time (unstructured) – less than 60 credits in an academic year
  • We also strongly recommend that you attend a one and a half days face-to-face induction at the university's postgraduate weekend which is offered at the beginning of September
  • Assessments are varied and include essays/case study essays, reflection on laboratory visits, discussion board contributions, reports, electronic or poster presentations, research proposal and dissertation

How long will my course last?

  • Part-time (structured) (MSc): 4 years  @ 10 hours per week
  • Part-time (unstructured) (MSc): 6 years  @ 10 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?

  • Inverness College UHI - You can study this fully online programme from anywhere in the world. You will be enrolled and supported by staff at Inverness College UHI.

Start date

  • September
  • January


Fees payable for this online postgraduate course depend on your assessed fee status:

2020-21Scottish (SC) and EU (EU)*Rest of UK (RUKO ) and EU (EUO**) International (INTO)**
Per module (20 credits) £560 £650 £980
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £1,680 £1,950 £2,940
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £3,360 £3,900 £5,880
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation) £5,000 £5,850 £8,820
2019-20Scottish (SC) and EU (EU)*Rest of UK (RUKO ) and EU (EUO**) International (INTO)**
Per module (20 credits) £560 £650 £960
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £1,680 £1,950 £2,880
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £3,360 £3,900 £5,760
Masters degree (60 modules + dissertation) £5,000 £5,850 £8,640

*EU students with a term-time address in Scotland.

** EU or international students studying from their own country.

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

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


From 2017, eligible Scotland domiciled students studying full time for any taught postgraduate course up to full Masters level can access loans up to 10,000 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). This comprises a tuition fee loan up to £5,500 and a non-income assessed living cost loan of £4,500. EU students studying full time can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £5500.

Part-time students undertaking any taught postgraduate course over two years up to Masters level who meet the residency eligibility can apply for a for a tuition fee loan up to £2,750 per year.

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

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact Inverness College UHI for more information.

Additional Costs

  • Travel and accommodation costs for the induction weekend
  • Dissertation printing costs (approx. £100.00)

What can I do on completion of my course?

  • This MSc Infection Prevention and Control opens up opportunities for career advancement through continuing professional development (CPD)
  • NHS staff currently on bands 5 and 6 of the NHS Career Framework Ladder can progress to bands 7, 8 and to Consultant
  • You will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to apply for senior posts in infection control and other health protection related posts

Can I progress into further study?

Progression to PhD study may be possible.

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

I chose this university because of its great reputation and I knew colleagues who’d had positive student experiences here. I completed the course online in my own time whilst in full-time employment as an Infection Prevention and Control Specialist Nurse. 

Distance learning can be thought of as challenging, but if the recent lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that it can be done! The tutors and lecturers were fantastic and they were available to provide guidance and support throughout the blackBoard modules.

Distance learning provides you with the opportunity to engage and participate in online discussions. with individuals from across the world. You get to understand the infection prevention and control challenges that colleagues face in other countries, such as extensive antimicrobial resistance, and share and discuss how we would manage issues within in our own areas.

Through completing this course I have not only gained promotions in my field, but I have had the opportunity to present at national and international conferences. When I started the MSc I was a Band 5 IPC Audit and Surveillance Nurse. Having completed it I am now a Band 8A Senior IPCN at ARHAI Scotland. I’ve been at the forefront of the COVID-19 Response, providing evidence and guidance, reviewing outbreak and incident data and working closely with stakeholders such as NHS Boards and the Scottish Government. We are leading the national agenda for IPC in Scotland. 

Sofie French, graduated from the MSc Infection prevention and control

The MSc has helped me to link theory with clinical practice and to improve my confidence and knowledge as an Infection Prevention Control Nurse Practitioner. Additionally, I am planning to publish my research with support from the university and I am interested in getting more involved in research projects in the future.

Susan Taylor studies part time on our MSc Infection Prevention and Control programme while working as an Infection Prevention Control Nurse Practitioner with NHS Borders.

Got a question? Send us a message

Got a question? Send us a message

Send us a message
Got a question? Send us a message


Thank you for your interest in studying Infection Prevention and Control MSc with us.

If you are ready to apply, please start your application below by selecting when you would like to start your course. This will take you to the UCAS website or our online application system.

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