Postgraduate study

Clinical Education PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Clinical Education

This new PhD in clinical education builds on our world-renowned expertise in the field of clinical education, and our well-established and respected Masters in Clinical Education programme.

It is an ideal programme for those wishing to further their career in academic clinical or medical education, who already have experience of delivering education for healthcare professionals, whether students, doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, dental or veterinary practitioners. It will particularly appeal to those seeking leadership positions or to undertake independent high-quality research in clinical education.

Some of our current research focuses on:

  • Faculty development
  • Assessment and feedback in medical education
  • Psychometrics
  • Learning outcome development and mapping
  • Students learning to teach and Peer Assisted Learning (PAL)
  • Preparation for practice
  • International medical education
  • Clinical skills

The Centre for Medical Education has 25 members of academic staff (including fixed-term Fellows), 5 administrators, approximately 100 distance-learning MSc students, and typically 5-7 doctoral students.

We have good collaboration between university faculty, clinicians, NHS Education for Scotland and other institutions.

The Centre has an excellent track record in providing training within clinical education to MSc students, undergraduate medical students and fixed-term clinical Fellows.

Doctoral students receive direct support from at least two academic supervisors during their studies, and a dedicated thesis committee provides guidance throughout the programme of research.

Research training is tailored to each doctoral student, but typically includes material from the well-established MSc ‘Research in Clinical Education’ and ‘Dissertation’ courses, an extensive programme of university PhD training workshops and meetings, and fortnightly ‘Medical Education Forum’ and ‘CME Research Meeting’ events for presentation of completed research and work-in-progress.

The Centre for Medical Education is based in The Chancellors Building, Little France, next to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

Most faculty and doctoral students share three large offices, with others based in the state-of-the-art Clinical Skills Centre.

A UK masters degree, or its international equivalent, in a clinical, medical or health field, and a primary clinical qualification, such as an MBChB, BVS, BDS or Bachelor of Nursing.

You must have experience of clinical, medical, allied healthcare or veterinary education, for example teaching undergraduate or postgraduate students.

We will also consider your application if you have a biomedical or social science qualification, or a professional qualification, such as RGN, with appropriate clinical experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

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

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

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, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, 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.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhDClinical Education3 YearsFull-timeTuition fees
PhDClinical Education6 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

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, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • GU304 The Chancellors Building
  • 49 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • Eh16 4SB

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 two references with your application.

Before making your application, you must make contact with a potential supervisor to discuss your research proposal. Further information on making a research degree application can be found on the College website:

You will be formally interviewed (in person, by video-conferencing or Skype).

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

Further information

  • GU304 The Chancellors Building
  • 49 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • Eh16 4SB