Design in Healthcare Module at School of Medicine

How could learning about design help prepare our clinical workforce of the future? 


The interest in, and demand for interdisciplinary courses around #Healthcare #Design #Technology and #Innovation is constantly increasing. This is well evidenced in the wide range of interdisciplinary postgraduate courses; intercalating options; and one-off design hackathons, sprints, bootcamps, crash courses and workshops currently available in this area.

However, introducing a select group of clinicians to the importance and power of Design mindset and processes at a later postgraduate level, or through add-on activities and one-off events, is perhaps one step too short and too late. It does miss a key opportunity; to embed design as an integral part of a medical training that helps prepare our clinical workforce of the future.

Hence in 2019-2020, The Inclusionaries Lab director, Dr Nickpour pioneered a first-ever Design in Healthcare module, specifically designed, developed and delivered to a cohort of 300+ Year 3 MBChB Medicine and Surgery students at The University of Liverpool Medical School. A first of its kind, such innovative and interdisciplinary Higher Education initiative was considered both highly relevant and exciting.


A new Design in Healthcare lecture and workshop series aimed at addressing a strategic knowledge gap was developed. This was the first component of a wider three-year Healthcare Technology and Design Course pioneered at The University of Liverpool Medical School.

Series of theoretical design lectures and practical workshops with Year 3 Medicine and Surgery students were designed and developed, focused on human-centred design and innovation in healthcare.

The lecture series was kicked-off by capturing medical students’ perceptions on design and if/how they saw it relevant in healthcare. The same was captured again at the end of the module in order to document what student doctors had learnt about human-centred design in the context of healthcare provision, improvement, and innovation and how their perceptions about design had evolved.


Design and delivery of a successful Design in Healthcare module, as part of Year 3 MBChB Medicine and Surgery curriculum at The University of Liverpool.

Pioneering an interdisciplinary Higher Education initiative to help further recognise and embed Design as a core part of medical training, adopted by a forward looking medical school in the UK.