Postgraduate study

Clinical Education

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: Clinical Education

This new PhD in clinical education builds on our world-renowned expertise in the field of clinical education, and our well-established and respected Masters in Clinical Education programme.

It is an ideal programme for those wishing to further their career in academic clinical or medical education, who already have experience of delivering education for healthcare professionals, whether students, doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, dental or veterinary practitioners. It will particularly appeal to those seeking leadership positions or to undertake independent high-quality research in clinical education.

Some of our current research focuses on:

  • Faculty development
  • Assessment and feedback in medical education
  • Psychometrics
  • Learning outcome development and mapping
  • Students learning to teach and Peer Assisted Learning (PAL)
  • Preparation for practice
  • International medical education
  • Clinical skills

The Centre for Medical Education has 25 members of academic staff (including fixed-term Fellows), 5 administrators, approximately 100 distance-learning MSc students, and typically 5-7 doctoral students.

We have good collaboration between university faculty, clinicians, NHS Education for Scotland and other institutions.

The Centre has an excellent track record in providing training within clinical education to MSc students, undergraduate medical students and fixed-term clinical Fellows.

Doctoral students receive direct support from at least two academic supervisors during their studies, and a dedicated thesis committee provides guidance throughout the programme of research.

Research training is tailored to each doctoral student, but typically includes material from the well-established MSc ‘Research in Clinical Education’ and ‘Dissertation’ courses, an extensive programme of university PhD training workshops and meetings, and fortnightly ‘Medical Education Forum’ and ‘CME Research Meeting’ events for presentation of completed research and work-in-progress.

The Centre for Medical Education is based in The Chancellors Building, Little France, next to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

Most faculty and doctoral students share three large offices, with others based in the state-of-the-art Clinical Skills Centre.

A UK masters degree, or its international eqivalent, in a clinical, medical or health field, and a primary clinical qualification, such as an MBChB, BVS, BDS or Bachelor of Nursing.

You must have experience of clinical, medical, allied healthcare or veterinary education, for example teaching undergraduate or postgraduate students.

We will also consider your application if you have a biomedical or social science qualification, or a professional qualification, such as RGN, with appropriate clinical experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

For detailed information on fee status, policies and payment see:

You will be responsible for securing funding to cover all your tuition fees, additional fees and living costs for the duration of your studies. For guidelines on living costs see:

  • GU304 The Chancellors Building
  • 49 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • Eh16 4SB

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit two references with your application.

Before making your application, you must make contact with a potential supervisor to discuss your research proposal. Further information on making a research degree application can be found on the College website:

You will be formally interviewed (in person, by video-conferencing or Skype).

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • GU304 The Chancellors Building
  • 49 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • Eh16 4SB