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Patient safety - theory and practice

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

This course is about how patient safety can be understood, explained and maintained when a patient is in need of healthcare services. The aim of the course is to give students the knowledge, skills, and analytical capacity to understand the important preconditions necessary for achieving a high level of safety in healthcare (in theory and practice).

Learning outcome

Upon completion of this course, the students are expected to have the following knowledge, skills and competence:
Advanced knowledge
  • About existing theories and research in patient safety
  • About current practices in patient safety in the Norwegian health care system
  • About differences between an individual perspective and a system's perspective on safety
  • About how risk-based methods, simulation, safety culture and learning can be used as a means in patient safety work
  • About how patient experiences can be incorporated in patient safety work

  • To apply theories/methods to improve patient safety in practice
  • To evaluate scientific publications on patient safety

General competence
  • To critically analyze different theoretical, methodological and practical approaches to patient safety


Course content is based on recent safety research in healthcare, however, examples from other sectors of society are applied when relevant. The course covers the following main topics:
  • System perspective
  • Patient perspective
  • Role of governmental bodies, policy and practice
  • Interaction and transitions
  • Risk-based approach
  • Leadership, learning, safety culture and work environment
  • Education, simulation and training

Required prerequisite knowledge



Weight Duration Marks Aid
Term paper1/1 A - FAll.

Coursework requirements

Presentation, Essay
Group work: Student presentations on the curriculum.
Submitted and approved essay about the research problem for the individual assignment (maximum 500 words).

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Eline Ree
Study Program Director
Margareth Kristoffersen

Method of work

The teaching is based on student-active methods, both individually and in groups. Teaching will extend over three sessions of 2-3 days.
Note: If only a few students are registered, the course can be organized as a supervised reading course.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Patient safety - theory and practice (FXMHV264_1) 10
Patient safety - theory and practice (E-MRS170_1) 10

Open to

The course is open to all master's students.

Candidates with a relevant bachelor's degree may apply for admission to the course if there is availability.

Course assessment

There is continuous evaluation of the quality of the teaching and learning experience according to current regulations.


Link to reading list

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Sist oppdatert: 10.08.2020