Edinburgh Surgery Online

Enhancing the Student Experience Through Strategic Partnerships

In this article, Dr Susan Morrow (Senior Lecturer and Deputy Programme Director for the Postgraduate Certificate in Surgical Writing and Evidence Based Practice) shares reflections on how a strategic partnership between the University of Edinburgh and the BJS Foundation adds value to the student experience.

A number of the long standing postgraduate programmes offered by Edinburgh Surgery Online work with external groups including the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Nursing, the British and Irish Orthoptic Society and the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors. These strategic partnerships are recognised as as providing added value to the student experience.

One of Edinburgh Surgery Online’s most recent strategic partnerships is a collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and the BJS Foundation where both parties worked together to develop and deliver the newest Edinburgh Surgery Online programme, the Postgraduate Certificate of Surgical Writing and Evidence Based Practice. The programme was launched in September 2024 and aims to support surgeons and others to acquire an academic qualification that recognises knowledge and skills in surgical writing, editing and evidence based surgical practice.

One of the keys to the successful development and launch of the online Surgical Writing Certificate Programme was the ability to exploit the strong synergies between both parties in the partnership. Ranked 22nd among world universities (QS World Rankings 2024), the University of Edinburgh has a strong historic and trusted reputation within academic surgery and particularly online surgical education. The BJS Foundation has a unique international reputation within surgical editing and publishing. By working closely together, the dedicated team of surgeons, editors, and academic staff have been able to ensure that teaching insights and material are contemporary and at the cutting edge of academic surgery practice.

Having served as a surgical journal editor myself, and having been involved with the BJS Foundation in the past, I saw an opportunity for a collaboration that could provide academic credibility to match the efforts of a committed BJS editorial team in setting high standards in surgical writing and editing. The positive feedback to date from course participants within this programme indicates to me that this partnership has succeeded in delivering practical experience within an academic qualification that raises the bar in all aspects of manuscript publication.

Professor James GardenProgramme Director and Professor Emeritus

The link between BJS Foundation and Edinburgh University is a unique collaboration that should benefit any trainee who aspires to undertake and publish research. The skills acquired on the courses will undoubtedly equip students with the tools to write high quality manuscripts that will improve the chance of successful publication. I am aware that authors and trainees often find the inside workings of a journal and how we make decisions an opaque process, on this programme the insight provided by the BJS team will demystify the way it works.

Mr Martyn EvansConsultant Colorectal Surgeon, BJS Editor, Honorary Senior Lecturer

Students who have undertaken courses within the Surgical Writing programme tell us that they don’t only value the opportunity to achieve an academic qualification in surgical writing from the University of Edinburgh, they have also benefited from the opportunity to interact with highly skilled and specialised tutors from the BJS Foundation. These opportunities support and enhance their professional and academic development, increasing their chances of going on to publish in high quality journals.

The Writing in Surgery course from the University of Edinburgh has been a game-changer for me. One major positive of studying online with Edinburgh is the course's expert planning, tailored to fit the demanding schedules of early to mid-career surgeons. The blend of asynchronous learning, engaging board discussions, group tasks, and personal assignments ensures a rich learning experience. The accessibility of esteemed teaching staff, authors, and editors in the publishing field has been invaluable. To fellow surgeons, especially from lower to middle-income countries, I highly recommend the Writing in Surgery course. It's not just about acquiring knowledge; it's about transforming your practice and expanding your horizons. Here's to taking that next step towards a brighter future in surgery!

Kwekuma YalleySurgical trainee from Ghana with a passion for academic surgery

To find out more about the programme, you can contact the programme team at surgicalwriting@ed.ac.uk or visit our programme website at Postgraduate Certificate of Surgical Writing and Evidence Based Practice