Postgraduate study

Surgical Sciences (Online Learning) MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Flexible

Online learning

Funding opportunities

Graduating from the MSc in Surgical Sciences is an important milestone in my surgical career and it helped me to pass my MRCS first time. I strongly recommend the course for young surgeons in training who wish to have a strong foundation in basic sciences.

Jin-Jiun Mah MSc Surgical Sciences (Online Learning) graduate

This 3 year part-time fully online programme is jointly offered by the University of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Year 1 and 2 of the programme each consist of three 20-credit courses. On successful completion of core year 1 and year 2 courses, students complete a research project.

There are University awards of:

  • Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert: 60 credits)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip: 120 credits)
  • Master of Science (MSc: 180 credits)

Courses making up Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma degrees cover the UK Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum, giving you first-rate preparation for the Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) examination, with additional emphasis on acquired knowledge and its application.

To gain the Master of Science qualification, students complete a research project which serves as an opportunity to develop an academic career in surgery.

For further details about the programme please see our programme website.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Health Academy.

(Revised 14 April 2023 to remove PG Professional Development option)

Our online learning technology is fully interactive, award-winning 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.

The University of Edinburgh offers a number of outcome awards from its Surgical Sciences programme from Postgraduate Certificate to Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Science.

All courses are delivered online using methods that are fully supported by the University’s award-winning online learning environments.

Year 1: Certificate

Core Courses

  • Cardiorespiratory Science
  • General Surgery
  • Locomotor, Urology and ENT/OMFS

Year 2: Diploma

Core Courses

  • Principles of Surgical Management
  • Communication and Care
  • Academic Surgery, Orthopaedic & Trauma

Year 3: Masters

You must complete 60 credits in Year 3. You have two options in Year 3:

  • Dissertation; or
  • Evidence Based Surgery

Read more about the programme content

(Revised 14 April 2023 to remove PG Professional Development option and update courses) (Revised 25 July 2023 to amend Core Courses in Year 2)

The Certificate, Diploma and Masters programmes are designed to let you study towards your MRCS in a flexible way.

(Revised 14 April 2023 to remove PG Professional Development option)

These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.

An accredited medical degree (MBChB or equivalent). You must be in a supervised clinical environment while you are studying.

Students from China

This degree is Band D.

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 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • 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 three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:


You will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit before an unconditional offer can be made.

  • £500 (this contributes towards your tuition fees)

Find out more about tuition fee deposits:

Tuition fee deposits can be paid using the University's online payment facility, ePay:

Tuition fees

Online Commonwealth Scholarships: Surgical

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
  • your tuition fee status

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

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • MSc Surgical Sciences Programme Administration
  • University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Surgery Online, Office Room G10/G11
  • Simon Laurie House, 196 Canongate
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ

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.

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

Further information

  • MSc Surgical Sciences Programme Administration
  • University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Surgery Online, Office Room G10/G11
  • Simon Laurie House, 196 Canongate
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ