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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences : Health Information

Postgraduate Course: Foundations of software development in health and social care (HEIN11066)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course uses experiential learning to introduce the different processes in software development in the context of health and social care services. Through workshops and reflective practice, students will develop an appreciation for the knowledge and skills required for the development of secure software for the health, social and care service sector. Learners will also have an opportunity to hone core programming skills and consider the needs of different stakeholders involved in health, social and care services, including service users, care professionals and data scientists. Students taking this course do not need to have any prior exposure to software development.
Course description 1) Academic description
Software lies at the heart of health and social care information systems.┬┐Many of the interactions amongst service users and care providers are through applications and digital services. The quality and efficiency of these interactions is driven by well-developed software. This course will introduce students to software development in the health, social and care service context; providing them with the capacity to recognise applications that will improve health and wellbeing and the management of care systems.

2) Outline Content
This course provides an introduction to software development in the health, social and care services context. The course will provide students hands-on practical experience of programming in Python, one of the main languages used in software development, as well as the tools and frameworks that are used in the health and social care sector. The course will then outline how software is designed, developed and managed to achieve the delivery of high-quality, efficient, robust, portable and usable software applications. Finally, students will be introduced to areas of increasing prominence in the health, social and care services sector, including the importance of software sustainability and the rise of reusable methods and programming.

3) Student Learning Experience
Students will learn from software developers working in health and social care. The course is delivered online and is divided into five sessions, each lasting a week. Teaching sessions will be composed of written materials and video presentations, accompanied by guided reading in the form of links to journal articles with problem-based learning questions.

Discussion of the content and reading materials will be posted to an online forum, along with students' answers to the problem-based learning questions. Course tutors will moderate discussion boards. Students will be graded on discussion board postings. Students will further evidence their learning by undertaking a programming assignment by the end of the course.
Formative peer and teacher-led feedback will be given throughout the course through the discussion boards, and summative assessment feedback will be provided at the end of the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Students will be responsible for their computer equipment and internet access.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Flexible
Course Start Date 05/08/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 5, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 1, Online Activities 35, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 5, Formative Assessment Hours 5, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 46 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Formative feedback will be provided throughout the course through discussion board postings

Reflective blog post
Software development project
Reflective report
Feedback Feedback is information provided to the students about their learning relative to learning outcomes. The two main types of feedback are formative and summative. Formative feedback is generated to engage learners to constantly reflect on how they can approach, orient and evaluate learning, which leads to successful learning outcomes. Summative feedback provides an evaluation of how much a student has learned at the end of the course through a final assessment.

Formative feedback will be provided throughout the course, for example, during live question and answer sessions, quizzes, and discussion boards. A formative task will also be offered before the student submitting their summative assessed course work. All assignments will be marked, and feedback is provided within fifteen working days (where possible).
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the different stakeholders, constraints, and processes involved in software development and best practices to improve software applications for the health, social and care services sector, and Python as a useful scripting language for software developers.
  2. Apply Python programming language and libraries and best software development practices to evaluate, and write readable source code programme build, run and develop software, and conduct software performance experiments.
  3. Apply logical, analytical, and problem-solving skills to review and critically evaluate and modify software applications developed by others.
  4. Apply evidence-based arguments to communicate software development concepts and processes to a range of audiences.
  5. Critically reflect on their own and others' work.
Reading List
Recommended, but not essential:

Book: J.L. Devore and K.N. Berk (2012) Modern mathematical statistics with applications. An electronic copy of Devore and Berk (2012) is available to download from the University of Edinburgh Library.

Book: M.J. Crawley (2013) The R Book. An electronic copy of Crawley (2013) is available to download from the University of Edinburgh Library.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1) Mindsets:
Enquiry and lifelong learning
Students on this course will be encouraged to seek out ways to develop their expertise in software development. They will also be encouraged to strive for excellence in their professional practice and to use established and developed approaches to software related issues as they arise in health and social care systems.

Aspiration and personal development
Students will be encouraged to draw on the quality, depth and breadth of their experiences to expand their potential and identify areas in which they wish to develop and grow. Students will also be encouraged to understand their responsibility within, and contribute positively, ethically and respectfully to the health and social care community, while acknowledging that different students and community members will have other priorities and goals.

Outlook and engagement
Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning. Students will be asked to use on their initiative and experience, often explicitly relating to their professional, educational, geographical or cultural context to engage with and enhance the learning of students from the diverse communities on the programme. Students will also be asked to reflect on the experience of their peers and identify opportunities to enhance their learning.

2) Skills:
Research and enquiry
Students will use self-reflection to seek out learning opportunities. Students will also use the newly acquired knowledge and critical assessment to identify and creatively tackle problems and assimilate the findings of primary research and peer knowledge in their arguments, discussions and assessments.

Personal and intellectual autonomy
Students will be encouraged to use their personal and intellectual autonomy to critically evaluate learning materials and exercises. Students will be supported through their active participation in self-directed learning, discussion boards and collaborative activities to critically evaluate concepts, evidence and experiences of peers and superiors from an open-minded and reasoned perspective.

Personal effectiveness
Students will need to be effective and proactive learners that can articulate what they have learned, and have an awareness of their strengths and limitations, and a commitment to learning and reflection to complete this course successfully.

Effective data scientists' practitioners in the health and social care sector require excellent oral and written communication, presentation and interpersonal skills. The structure of the interactive (problem-based learning examples, discussion boards and collaborative activities) and assessment elements incorporate constant reinforcement and development of these skills.
Special Arrangements This course will be taught online using the Learn virtual learning environment. All course materials are protected by secure username and password access.
Keywordssoftware development,best practice,Python programming,health,social and care services
Course organiserDr Pawel Orzechowski
Course secretaryMr Matthew Newlands
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