Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Clinical Education (Online Learning) MSc, PgCert, PgDip, PgProfDev

Awards: MSc, PgCert, PgDip, PgProfDev

Study modes: Part-time, Part-time Intermittent Study

Online learning

Funding opportunities

What I like best about the programme is its flexibility and accessibility. With my unpredictable work schedule, I am grateful for the opportunity to study when, where and how I can.

Kristna Thompson MSc Clinical Education
Kristna Thompson               MSc Clinical Education

Our online Clinical Education programme takes advantage of our world-renowned expertise to enhance your abilities to teach and assess students in a clinical environment.

This is an ideal programme for those with an educational role in relation to healthcare professionals and veterinary practitioners, including:

  • doctors
  • nurses
  • dental practitioners
  • clinical psychologists
  • occupational therapists
  • those involved with veterinary education
  • associated scientists (biomedical or social)

What will I learn?

Our aim is to help you reflect upon, and share thoughts about, your practice, while increasing your understanding of how to apply educational theories and evidence from the literature. As a result, you will learn the knowledge and skills you need to deliver, develop and research high-quality clinical education in your own discipline.

This programme is affiliated with NHS Education for Scotland and the University's Global Health Academy.

Upon completion of the Postgraduate Certificate, and by meeting qualifying criteria, you will be eligible to apply for fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

We are members of the Academy of Medical Educators and on completion of the Postgraduate Certificate and by meeting their qualifying criteria, you can apply for membership through the shortened route.

Our award-winning online learning technology is fully interactive and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.

Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.

We host online open days where prospective students and applicants can meet some of the tutors and students, and experience the online tutorial rooms.

Studying online at Edinburgh

Find out more about the benefits and practicalities of studying for an online degree:

There are three courses at the certificate stage and three at the diploma stage. This is followed by your thesis in the third year.

We deliver lectures and live conversations online. You will be expected to use self-directed learning, peer-discussion boards, live conversations, peer presentations and other similar e-learning activities to help engage with and get the most from the course materials.

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.

Accelerated routes are available in discussion with the programme team.

Year 1: Certificate

Courses previously offered include:

  • Principles of Teaching and Learning
  • Assessment, Examinations and Standard Setting
  • The Curriculum

Year 2: Diploma

You will study Research in Clinical Education along with 2 elective courses. Please see the programme structure links below, for the choice of elective (optional) courses.

Please note that elective courses will run subject to demand. You will be notified in advance if an alternative course choice is required.

Year 3: Masters

The third year consists of either: three 20 credit courses, one 20 credit course plus a 40 credit quality improvement project proposal course, or a dissertation research project.

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD)

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.

You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit.

Alternatively, after one year of taking courses you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a higher award on a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme. Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout a year you may only start a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme in the month of September. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.

Please contact the programme team for more information about available courses and course start dates.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScClinical Education3 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2024/25
PgCertClinical Education1 YearPart-timeProgramme structure 2024/25
PgDipClinical Education2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2024/25
PgProfDevClinical EducationUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2024/25

This programme has been designed to enhance your prospects as a teacher and instructor in human or animal health.

It promotes high quality clinical education by helping you to:

  • reflect upon and share insights about your practice
  • understand and apply educational theories and evidence from literature
  • develop a good solid foundation in clinical education and educational research upon which to build your academic career

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A primary clinical qualification, such as an MBChB, BVS, BDS, Bachelor of Nursing, or a UK 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject, or their international equivalents.

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 be currently teaching in clinical or educational settings.

Students from China

This degree is Band D.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScClinical Education3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
PgCertClinical Education1 YearPart-timeTuition fees
PgDipClinical Education2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
PgProfDevClinical EducationUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees

The University of Edinburgh offers a small number of scholarships to outstanding candidates. These are very competitive. We publish data on the success rate for scholarship applications to help you understand the level of demand.

(Revised 18 March 2024 to remove 'Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships' information) 

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Edinburgh Medical School: Medical Education
  • The Chancellor's Building
  • 49 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SB
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2024 23 August 2024

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.

You must submit one reference with your application.

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.

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

Further information

  • Edinburgh Medical School: Medical Education
  • The Chancellor's Building
  • 49 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SB