Edinburgh Surgery Online

ChM Trauma & Orthopaedics

This two-year part-time Masters programme delivered through the University of Edinburgh’s virtual learning environment, taught entirely online, is designed to give you the freedom to study flexibly.

Based on the UK Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum, the programme provides the opportunity for trainees in Trauma & Orthopaedics to select those advanced modules relevant to their declared specialty, and supports learning for the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) examinations.

Trainees are taught by experienced tutors, all leading clinicians in their field, and have access to a large structured learning resource of educational material, including an unparalleled online library facility. Illustrative cases cover technical skills and procedures as well as core knowledge and clinical skills.

In the first year of the programme, compulsory core modules cover the basic elements of the subspecialties. Modules are taught and assessed using a clinical problem-based approach, supported by systems-based review of the course material.

In the second year, trainees undertake a tailored academic module that reflects their subspecialty interest. Academic modules (core and specialist) explore research and teaching methodology, as well as developing skills to ensure an ability to analyse published evidence and explore interactive and written clinical communication skills. Trainees are required to complete an academic critique in an appropriate subspecialty area of work undertaken during the two-year period of study such as that resulting from a publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

On completion of this programme, trainees will be able to:

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of their chosen surgical subspecialty, and be able to apply this knowledge to the systematic assessment and management of surgical patients in the elective, urgent and emergency clinical setting;
  • Recognise the leadership contribution and responsibilities of the surgeon in the multidisciplinary management of complex surgical disease;
  • Critically reflect upon day-to-day surgical practice in the context of recent advances, and engage in critical dialogue with peers and experts in other sub-specialties;
  • Apply the general principles of clinical study design, ethics, and statistics to critically evaluate the scientific literature in surgical research, and make informed judgements on new and emerging issues in surgery;
  • Exercise a high level of autonomy and initiative in professional activities at a level of independent surgical practice.


Eligibility Criteria

Prospective entrants would normally have acquired their MRCS (or equivalent assessment milestone) and be an Advanced Trainee in Trauma & Orthopaedics - ST3 or greater [Specialist Training years] in the UK, or equivalent outside the UK.

Eligible candidates will have completed a minimum of 3 years speciality training in Trauma & Orthopaedics before the proposed date of admission to the programme and will be pre-FRCS status.

For those candidates who already hold FRCS status, we will look at each application on a case-by-case basis and may accept if there is a substantive training element in their current post.  However if you have passed Section 1 but not Section 2 of the FRCS you are still eligible to apply.


Programme Structure

Year 1

Semester 1 September to January   

Basic Science Part 1    

10 credits

Adult Reconstruction     

5 credits

Shoulder and Elbow     

5 credits


5 credits


5 credits

Semester 2 February to June  

Basic Science Part 2

10 credits


5 credits


5 credits

Ankle and Foot  

5 credits


5 credits

Total credits: 60

Year 2

Semester 1 September to January       

Basic Science Part 3     

10 credits

Core Academic Activity

20 credits

Semester 2 February to July   

Specialist Academic Activity

30 credits


Total credits: 60

Cumulative credits: 120

Fee Information

Students on full-time and part-time programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that annual tuition fees are subject to revision and are typically increased by approximately 5% per annum. This annual increase should be taken into account when you are applying for a programme.

Online learning fees 2024-2025 | The University of Edinburgh

Please see the scholarships page for full information on the range of Edinburgh Surgery Online scholarships available