Postgraduate study
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Family Medicine (Online Learning) MFM

Awards: MFM

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

Online learning

Funding opportunities

The Master of Family Medicine (MFM) is an innovative online Masters degree. To help you achieve your potential we will equip you with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to deliver quality clinical care in family practice. You will also learn about family medicine as an academic specialty and develop specific academic skills.

Our aspiration is to empower our learners to promote the development of compassionate and values-based family medicine that has a real impact on the individuals and communities that we serve.

Through the provision of excellence in family medicine education, the MFM delivers to Global Health targets including the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (part of Sustainable Development Goal 3) and the World Health Organisation’s vision for strengthening primary healthcare. To achieve the WHO vision, family doctors will play a pivotal role within health systems around the world providing leadership to primary healthcare teams.

Whilst studying on the MFM, you will join a diverse community of family medicine practitioners from around the world resulting in enhanced learning.

Our experienced team of tutors and administrators will support you and ensure you make the most of the learning experience. We look forward to welcoming you to our growing family medicine community at the University of Edinburgh.

This blended distance learning programme is delivered via the LEARN platform. Students have access to comprehensive learning materials as well as the University of Edinburgh’s library resources. Online tutorials are delivered regularly by experts in the field.

Students can study to Masters, Diploma, or Certificate level.

Year One (Certificate)

All students take the following compulsory courses:

  • Foundations of Family Medicine (20 credits)
  • Applying Evidence Based Practice in Family Medicine (20 credits)
  • Professionalism in Family Practice (20 credits)

Year Two (Diploma)

All students take the following compulsory courses:

  • Family Medicine Approach to Child and Maternal Health (20 credits)
  • Family Medicine Approach to Non-Communicable Diseases (20 credits)
  • Family Medicine Approach to Complex Needs (20 Credits)

Year Three (Masters)

The primary focus of learning in the third year is in quality improvement, although teaching on other research methods is also incorporated. All students take a compulsory 20 credit methodologies to improve Family Medicine course followed by a 40 credit Family Medicine research project.

Additional Opportunities

In addition to the compulsory courses and projects that make up the Masters programme, there is an optional summer school which runs for one week in July each year. The theme and content of the summer school changes every year but the activities are designed to complement and enhance learning on the programme as well as develop our vibrant international community of practice.

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
MFMFamily MedicineUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2024/25
MFMFamily Medicine3 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2024/25

The programme is aimed to provide learners with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to become effective family doctors. The content is relevant to doctors of all backgrounds and experiences from early career to those established in other specialities.

The programme is also suitable for allied health professionals working in primary healthcare settings.

The programme provides a high-quality Masters level qualification in Family Medicine that is recognised by institutions around the world.

The qualification is an academic degree and can be used to enter PhD programmes or to assist in developing a role as an educator.

The skills gained will enhance your clinical practice but do not replace the vocational training often required to demonstrate clinical competency. In order to find out how the Master of Family Medicine is recognised towards training progression in your country please contact your local accrediting body.

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.

An accredited medical degree (MBChB) or its international equivalent) is required.

We may also consider applicants who are in a profession allied to medicine or have relevant work experience in a clinical context. Please contact the programme team to check before you apply.

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
MFMFamily MedicineUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
MFMFamily Medicine3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Johnson and Johnson East Africa Scholarships

These scholarships are available to students born and working in East Africa. The award covers tuition fees for the three-year part-time MFM and is awarded to students who have a vision for improving equitable and primary health-led care through the role of family doctors.

The Carl and Gillean Kjeldsberg Online Scholarships in Family Medicine

These scholarships are awarded to outstanding African health workers who are living and working in any African country and who have a passion to strengthen family medicine and primary health care within their country and region.

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

Search for Scholarships and other funding opportunities

Many of the University's scholarships are listed on this site:

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Centre for Population Health Sciences
  • Medical School
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG
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.

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

Further information

  • Centre for Population Health Sciences
  • Medical School
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG