Postgraduate study

Family Medicine (Online Learning) MFM, PgDip, PgCert

Awards: MFM, PgDip, PgCert

Study modes: Part-time

Online learning

Funding opportunities

The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) calls family doctors "our rising stars of the future". This reflects WHO’s renewed commitment to build family medicine as a specialty across all regions. Strengthening family medicine has been recognized as a key component of achieving Universal Health Coverage as part of the Sustainable Development Goals to which every country committed at the last United Nations General Assembly. This degree aims to build on this momentum for strengthening primary care by developing competent family physicians who are empowered to become leaders and advocates for the future of the profession.

The University of Edinburgh provides high quality postgraduate medical education in through an online distance learning format. Students are from a variety of countries across the world, each bringing their unique experiences to create a vibrant global learning community. The programme will give doctors the essential medical knowledge and management skills for the common presenting health issues and explore management within the context of the principles, processes, and practices of family medicine. The programme will equip students with the skills to become expert family physicians whose approach will provide continuous, coordinated, comprehensive and cost effective care build around an understanding of the patient in the context of the family and the community.

This blended distance learning programme is delivered via the Moodle 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)
  • Applied Principles of 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 NCDs (20 credits)
  • Family Medicine Approach to Complex Needs (20 Credits)
Year Three (Masters) *

All students take a compulsory 20 credit research methods course followed by a 40 credit Family Medicine project.

Online teaching is complemented by a one week period of face-to-face teaching in both the certificate and diploma year, which builds on the online content. This is currently delivered in Edinburgh. Attendance provides the unique opportunity to travel and view the practice of Family Medicine in other countries whilst meeting and learning from fellow students.

*(Revised 20 February to reflect a change to the type and structure of the courses undertaken)

The programme is aimed to provide doctors with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to become effective Family Physicians. It is relevant to doctors of all backgrounds and experience from early career doctors to those established in other specialities.

The programme provides a high quality Masters level qualification in Family Medicine and builds on the skills already gained by the student in their post graduate clinical training. It is not a recognised vocational training course and cannot be used for direct entry to clinical practice as a Family Physician.

A 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.

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 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions 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.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

Online Commonwealth Scholarships: Global Health

We are offering 10 awards covering tuition fees. These scholarships will be awarded to outstanding candidates who are citizens of and resident in low- and middle-income Commonwealth countries. Successful applicants will benefit from the University’s Global Academy network.

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.

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:

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

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