PGCert Simulation Based Clinical Education
Our PG Cert Simulation Based Clinical Education programme is an interactive, online programme for healthcare professionals who wish to pursue a career in healthcare simulation. This programme is 100% online and is in partnership with the Medical Education Directorate, NHS Lothian.
- Video: Reasons to apply for PGCert Simulation Based Clinical Education
- Nathan Oliver Co-Director of PGCert Simulation Based clinical Education talks about the Programme
PG Cert Simulation Based Clinical Education Programme Information
The Postgraduate Certificate Simulation Based Clinical Education at the University of Edinburgh is an interprofessional programme which will prepare graduates for careers in clinical education which involving developing, designing, facilitating and evaluating, simulation based learning experiences within healthcare simulation. Through development of collaborative and scholarly attitudes towards clinical education ensures graduates are ideally placed to become the clinical education leaders of the future.
Students at Edinburgh will benefit from the unique partnership between the Clinical Education team at the University of Edinburgh and the Clinical Simulation team at the Medical Education Directorate, NHS Lothian. This collaboration brings together experts in simulation based learning who have an international reputation with the Clinical Education team’s pedagogical expertise and international reputation for designing a highly successful research-led, online programme for a global market of healthcare professionals.
Programme aims and outcomes
The programme aims to promote high quality clinical education by helping participants reflect upon, and share insights about, teaching and learning. Through reflection on your own experiences and others you will gain an understanding into why simulation based learning can be so effective.
By the end of the programme graduates will be able to:
- Demonstrate a critical knowledge and understanding of the theories, concepts and principles underpinning simulation based education
- Engage with critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of relevant educational literature and the evidence base relating to simulation based education.
- Use skills of collaborative working to effectively build group and facilitate relationships within interprofessional context.
- Design and critique simulation based educational experiences
- Critically evaluate your own teaching practice within context of simulation based education and that of others
Who is the Programme for?
All students on the programme have a primary degree in a health related discipline (or relevant professional experience); and are currently involved in clinical education and who have an interest in simulation based learning within clinical education.
Students include doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, dentists, clinical psychologists, veterinary practitioners, and biomedical or social scientists that teach in medical, veterinary, dental or healthcare education.
The programme is delivered online and our participants come from all over the world. This allows for a very rich learning environment.
If you have any specific questions please contact us via email: ClinEd.Sim@ed.ac.uk
The 1-year part-time programme consist of three, 10-week courses which are compulsory. All assignments are designed to allow you to integrate your learning to your clinical practice and involve written assignments and online presentations. There may also be some flexibility in the length of the programme of study, so please contact us if you would like to discuss this further.
During term time, you should be prepared to spend an average of 15-20 hours per week engaged in study, with study time intensifying prior to submission of your assignments.
If you have undertaken previous study at postgraduate level in a related subject, e.g. Medical Education, Health Professions Education etc, you may be able to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), if your qualification is less than 5 years old and there is comparability between the courses studied and our courses. Please contact us for more information at ClinEd.Sim@ed.ac.uk
Our online programme involves the same level of work as our on-campus programmes and the qualification you receive is of equal value.
The academic year runs from September to May. Course materials are provided online via our dedicated website and we facilitate online synchronous “live” conversations. Students use self-directed learning, peer-discussion boards, peer presentations and other similar e-learning activities to engage with the course materials.
The programme has one intake per year, in September.
Please note that the courses shown below are indicative and may be subject to change.
The programme consists of three courses. In year 1: Principles of Teaching and Learning (20 credits), Simulation Methodology for Clinical Education (20 credits) and Current Issues in Simulation Education (20 credits). As a one year programme there is no expected entry into year 2.
On completion of your PG Certificate studies in Simulation Based Clinical Education there are opportunities to continue your studies with us at Edinburgh University. You can apply for the PGDiploma/MSc in Clinical Education programmes with the credits from your PG Certificate allowing you to continue your studies in Clinical Education at Edinburgh University should you wish to do this. You may apply for the MSc (3 years part-time), or the Postgraduate Diploma (2 years part-time). At the point of application, it is not important which of the above routes you choose, as we will ask you at the end of each academic year whether you wish to graduate or continue.
If you graduate with a PG Certificate or Diploma, you can return within 5 years of graduation to complete the higher qualification.
The programme consists of 3 compulsory, 20 credit courses. Each course has 10 weeks of content, with a reading week in the middle and some also have statutory holidays. The academic year runs from September to May.
Please note that the courses shown below are indicative and may be subject to change.
Principles of Teaching and Learning
Joining students from the Clinical Education programme, this course is designed to encourage students to consider the learner, the teacher and the educational environment and how these factors interact. This will involve comparisons between simulation and other teaching and learning approaches, drawing on the experiences and insights of peers from different disciplines:
- Critically consider a range of different teaching approaches including simulation based learning experiences
- Develop approaches that take into account individual learner differences, including background, beliefs, motivation and preferences.
- Critically reflect on a range of theories of learning and your capacity to analyse and inform practice.
- Critique the role of the teacher in formal and informal learning situations.
- Appreciate the impact and importance of the learning environment
Simulation Methodology for Clinical Education
The aim of this course is to develop participants from a novice to a competent/proficient facilitator in utilising clinical simulation as a learning tool. On completion of this course, you will be able to:
- Critically consider a range of simulation based educational techniques and their purposes
- Critically engage with the relevant learning theories that inform simulation education as a methodology.
- Formulate a constructively aligned simulation programme.
- Demonstrate an effective debrief in the context of an immersive simulation scenario.
Current Issues in Simulation Based Clinical Education
This course is aimed at experienced, practising healthcare professionals with an educational remit within Simulation. The aim is to allow students to undertake an in-depth study into a topical area of your choice which relates to simulation based education. This course will allow you to develop your research skills, produce an informed, evidence-based position paper and engage in academic debate. On completion of this course, you will be able to:
- Identify a topical area in simulation based education and undertake an in-depth period of independent study in the area of your choice.
- Critically engage with, and evaluate the literature in the area of choice.
- Synthesise information gathered, selection of relevant points and distillation to produce a short position paper.
- Lead an online seminar and communicate key findings to peer group.
- Actively engage in peer assessment.
Our students are expert health professionals from a range of disciplines bringing a wealth of experience, knowledge and practical examples to the programme. You can be part of this international community, engaging in online discussions on current issues in clinical education. Broaden your expertise through collaborative study and interaction with colleagues.
Read quotes below from our students about how the programme has positively impacted their educational practice.
Jess O' Keefe is a ICU Nurse
Q: What was your overall impression of the course?
Put simply, I really enjoyed the course. The latter two modules in particular (simulation methodology and current issues in simulation based clinical education).
Q: How did you find the assignments/assessments involved?
Each module is assessed differently. The first module is part of the MSc in clinical education and is a generic principles of teaching module. This was assessed by means of a reflective essay. The second module was simulation focussed, and assessed by creation of your own simulation scenario and a debrief of an immersive simulation. The final module was self-directed, and you could chose a topic of choice and generate a position paper based on your stance. None of the assignments were more than 3000 words.
Q: How did you find the workload – and was this difficult to balance alongside working a full-time job in the NHS?
I found the workload entirely manageable. There was so no requirement to attend any of the sessions in live time- they were all recorded and available to access at any point. This meant it was entirely accessible and I didn’t feel disadvantaged for not attending the tutorials in live time. Everyone on the course was working full time and the faculty are aware of that.
Q: How did you find completing the Simulation Course in the online setting? Understandably, it would seem difficult to be able to deliver simulation based education online – but do you think that this was delivered effectively within the online course?
The online format was totally appropriate. A lot of the learning was around principles of designing and delivering simulation- we watched videos, discussed case studies and shared ideas through the online format. I don’t feel disadvantaged by the online nature, in fact I wouldn’t have been able to complete it in the time frame if it were face to face.
Q: Do you think that the course is targeted at a wide range of clinical education MDT members? I would be completing this course as a qualified pharmacist – do you think that there would be any issue with this? Or is the course targeted very specifically towards medical doctors?
The course is absolutely accessible to MDT members. In our cohort, we had nurses, physios, university lecturers, medics and even a veterinary nurse! The teaching team are MDT too which helps to foster a shared understanding of different roles and responsibilities.
Dr Juan Mejia, Medical Professional teaching and assistant to the Simulation Hospital Director at the San Francisco University of Quito (USFQ)
The Postgraduate Certificate in Simulation-based Clinical Education was incredibly beneficial in providing me with a comprehensive understanding of this teaching methodology. The course is well-structured, beginning with a module focused on general learning and teaching theories that have significantly influenced the way I deliver my lectures. The subsequent modules on simulation methodology covered various aspects such as the experiential learning cycle, scenario creation and delivery, and conducting effective debriefings. These concepts were easy to comprehend and apply to my daily simulation teaching practices.
I can confidently say that much of the knowledge I gained during the course has been readily applicable and has equipped me with a wide array of tools to enhance my teaching based on evidence-based practices. Additionally, the opportunity to develop a simulation project was invaluable, as it allowed me to learn how to select a topic, conduct a literature review, and develop a position informed by the available research. I have already utilized this project to assist the medical school in which I work in redesigning the anatomy curriculum using simulation-based education.
Overall, this program fosters professional development in teaching by preparing participants not only to create and deliver effective simulation-based lectures but also by providing them with essential skills to critically analyse the literature and explore their creativity, both of which are crucial for initiating new projects. The program also facilitates networking opportunities with professionals in the simulation field across various healthcare disciplines, including veterinarians, nurses, and doctors. Furthermore, engaging in extra activities like the attending to the Scottish Simulation Journal Club sessions has been particularly valuable in staying updated on the latest studies and advances in simulation.
As a healthcare professional working in Ecuador, understanding how to efficiently deliver simulation scenarios is essential for creating a significant impact in teaching, particularly in low-resource settings where training can help improve patient outcomes. One of my future goals is to contribute to delivering effective simulation to enhance patient safety and ensure high-quality education for all healthcare professionals, regardless of their place of training. This course has opened my eyes to the importance of teaching as a strategy for changing clinical outcomes and improving patient safety, which should be the ultimate goal in education.
Rachael Bacon, Veterinary Nurse
As a newcomer to simulation, I wasn't sure what to expect, however the Postgraduate Certificate in Simulation Based Clinical Education has been instrumental within my own career development. Through its undertaking I have had questions answered that I didn't even know I had. The weekly lectures have been enjoyable broadening my understanding of simulation within clinical teaching. Group discussions with people from differing professions and disciplines has been insightful, providing me with ideas that I can apply within my own setting. I would highly recommend this programme to anyone with an interest in this diverse topic.
This collaborative programme between the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian involves tutors from the University of Edinburgh’s Clinical Education Programme who have varied clinical backgrounds and extensive experience in higher education and the tutors from NHS Lothian who have varied clinical expertise and in leadership roles within Simulation Based Education across the Health Board. In addition the programme is supported by our highly experienced academic administrator, Irena Duchniewicz.
We are actively engaged in the scholarship of teaching and learning; undertaking research projects and contributing to national and international conferences. As well as being participants in the University of Edinburgh community of scholars; we have an expanding network of national and international links. Our practice as educators is underpinned by an 'ethic of hospitality' whereby we seek to welcome people into an environment where all are valued and feel able to make a contribution.
View the profiles of programme team
University of Edinburgh
Name Job Title Profile
Jane Hislop Co-Programme Director view profile
Janette Jamieson Academic Co-ordinator view profile
Stephen Meldrum Lecturer view profile
Femke Morrison Programme Administrator view profile
NHS Lothian Medical Directorate
Name Job Title Profile
Ed Mellanby Consultant Anaesthetist, NHS Lothian view profile
Nathan Oliver Co-Programme Director, Clinical Simulation Programme Manager, NHS Lothian view profile
- Video: Overview of PGCert Simulation based Clinical Education by Dr Jane Hislop
- Overview of the PGCert Simulation in Clinical Education
The closing date for applications is listed on the online application webpage
Qualifications and Experience
We welcome applications from those with an educational role in relation to healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, dentists, clinical psychologists, veterinary practitioners, or associated scientists (biomedical or social). You should:
Have a primary clinical qualification such as an MBChB, BVS, BDS, Bachelor of Nursing, or a UK 2:1 honours undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, or their international equivalents.
Currently be teaching in clinical or educational settings.
We will also consider your application if you have a biomedical science qualification or a non-university professional qualification, such as Registered General Nurse, with appropriate clinical experience.
You must include a personal statement with your application. This should include details of why you want to undertake the programme, the qualifications, experience and attributes you bring to the programme, and how it fits with your future career plans (300-500 words).
The statement must include details of your experience of teaching health professionals. This experience must have been gained since graduation and may involve any level of student or post graduate training. The courses and assignments that make up the programme ask you to draw on your teaching and integrate it with theory; this is difficult if you have limited experience. If information on your teaching is limited, the programme team will need to contact you for more details; this may delay a decision on your application which could be critical if the programme is nearly full.
Please write your personal statement carefully as these are scrutinised by the programme team during the applicant selection process.
Information on the fees and funding options for this programme
Our tuition fees are the same for both overseas and home students, due to the programme being fully online.
|Academic Year||Online learning||Additional Programme costs|
|£5,700 per year||£0|
For further information from the university on fees and funding Scholarships and Funding
There is an instalment scheme for self-funding students, please see below.
Employer or Sponsor paying fees
For University of Edinburgh Graduates
University of Edinburgh Scholarships
The University of Edinburgh has a useful scholarship search tool.
Polish School of Medicine Scholarships
For Polish medical scientists at the outset of their careers to undertake a period of further study or research. For more information see: https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-funding/postgraduate/uk-eu/medicine-vet-medicine/polish
Loans for postgraduate study
If you are a UK/EU student, you may be eligible for a tuition fee loan, depending upon where you live.
Other sources of funding
We recommend that you also undertake your own research for other potential sources of funding. For queries about scholarships and funding, please contact the University's Scholarships and Financial Support Team: email@example.com