Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Paediatric Emergency Medicine (Online Learning) MSc, PgCert, PgDip, PgProfDev

Awards: MSc, PgCert, PgDip, PgProfDev

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

Online learning

Funding opportunities

The really great thing about the Paediatric Emergency Medicine course is that there are so many things you learn about that can be applied practically. You find that one week if we're studying something like surgical emergencies, the likelihood that I'm actually going to be able to practically implement what I've learned online is very high.

Dr Ra'ana Hussain MSc Paediatric Emergency Medicine student
Dr Ra'ana Hussain               MSc Paediatric Emergency Medicine student

Our programme has been designed to provide the educational background required for clinicians managing medical emergencies in children.

Paediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) is a rapidly expanding specialty. It has its roots in Emergency Medicine and Paediatrics but also has close affiliations with Paediatric Surgical Specialties, Paediatric Critical Care, Primary Care and Public Health.

From quite a diverse background, PEM has now developed into a specialty in its own right and there is a great need for extra PEM training on a UK, European and worldwide basis.

Prospective students will often be working full-time in professional roles caring for ill and injured children, including practicing doctors, nurses, paramedics and physician associates. Our programme is delivered as a part-time, online, interactive MSc - which affords students learning in a real-world context a degree of flexibility in their approach to study.

We use a problem-based learning approach, which promotes active learning appropriate to individual needs.

Students will have the option of graduating after one, two or three years with a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, or MSc respectively.

Learning outcomes

The key learning outcomes of the programme are to enable students to:

  • understand the physiology and pathology behind critical illness and injury in children
  • develop critical and analytical skills
  • develop scientific writing and presentation skills
  • prepare for the ever-changing and expanding medical and scientific knowledge base

Educational aims

We aim to create a stimulating learning environment using ‘problem-based learning’ to produce graduates with a deep understanding of the principles and practice of paediatric emergencies, and who can improve outcomes for patients and families based on this understanding.

This approach can be broken down into three main principles:

  • The application of existing knowledge via a problem-based approach. This challenges the student to critically reflect on their clinical practice.
  • Active rather than passive learning within a real-world context, based on the current scientific literature.
  • Communication of information visually and in prose.

Our online learning technology - Learn Ultra - is a fully interactive, award-winning platform. It enables students to communicate with our highly qualified teaching team, programme team and fellow students from the comfort of your own home or workplace.

Students access course content and resource lists, and are guided through clinical topics by completing Clinical Exercises, participating in Discussion Boards and working towards Major Assignments. The vast majority of work is self-directed following our problem-based learning approach and we do not deliver live lectures/teaching sessions. Online group facilitation sessions are offered when appropriate to the course.

Assessment in Years 1 and 2 will take place through coursework including Clinical Exercises, participation in the online Discussion Boards, and submission of Major Assignments such as essays and PowerPoint presentations. In Year 3, students complete group task reports and an independent piece of enquiry and academic writing (Written Reflective Element (see below)).

There are no technical requirements for students.

The programme team support our students throughout their studies, and course tutors provide academic guidance and feedback. You will also be part of a learning community with your peers in the programme. We encourage and provide opportunities for students to interact with one another and work together in small groups.

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

Studying online at Edinburgh

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

You may choose to study to postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma or MSc level. Each year of study is structured into three terms and students will study a mixture of compulsory and optional courses.

Year 1: Certificate courses

You will study a wide range of specialties in Fundamentals in Paediatric Medicine. Topics include the anatomy, physiology and function of different clinical systems (for example, airway, respiratory, cardiac, renal, GI and upper/lower limbs), child protection and theory of resuscitation.

Year 2: Diploma courses

In Year 2, students will study a core course and then have the choice of taking courses in a Paediatric Emergency Medicine or Paediatric Critical Care pathway:

  • Core course: Paediatric Medical Emergencies
  • Paediatric Emergency Medicine Pathway: Surgical Emergencies and Trauma/Anaesthesia and Sedation and Additional Topics in Paediatric Emergency Medicine
  • Paediatric Critical Care Pathway: 2 courses in Paediatric Critical Care Medicine

Year 3: Masters courses

You will study 2 courses:

  • Management Issues in Paediatric Emergency Medicine which involves group work with peers.
  • Written Reflective Element where you will undertake an independent research/dissertation project (detailed literature review or briefer literature review and audit) on a clinical area of interest agreed with your supervisor.

Postgraduate Professional Development

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.

PPD credits and credit transfer

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 completing one year of courses, you can choose to transfer your credits and continue studying towards a higher award on a masters, postgraduate diploma, or postgraduate certificate programme.

Starting PPD

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
MScPaediatric Emergency Medicine3 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2024/25
PgCertPaediatric Emergency Medicine1 YearPart-timeProgramme structure 2024/25
PgDipPaediatric Emergency Medicine2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2024/25

This programme has been designed to help you achieve a successful career in paediatric emergency medicine with a high-quality qualification and the latest understanding and knowledge.

Many of our students find their postgraduate studies help their career development, such as securing Consultant positions. Our alumni frequently present their Written Reflective Element projects at national and international conferences, and publish their work in academic journals.

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 equivalent) plus one year of postgraduate clinical experience (for example, FY1 in UK, or equivalent elsewhere). You must have an ongoing commitment to the clinical care of children, and be actively attending to children in emergency situations.

We will also consider your application if you have a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a subject relevant to the practice of Paediatric Emergency Medicine (for example, Nursing, Physician Assistant, Paramedic Science). You must be actively involved in the management of ill and/or injured children and demonstrate advanced level care equivalent to medical practitioners.

All applicants must include details of all their experience working with ill and/or injured children in acute settings in their application. Please ask your referee to confirm this experience in the reference they supply.

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
MScPaediatric Emergency Medicine3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
PgCertPaediatric Emergency Medicine1 YearPart-timeTuition fees
PgDipPaediatric Emergency Medicine2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
PgProfDevPaediatric Emergency MedicineUp 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, and your residency status.

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

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Administrator, Lisa Horsburgh
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 312 1643
  • Contact:
  • Programme Directors, Dr Tom Beattie and Dr Laura Smith
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 312 1643
  • Contact:
  • Child Life and Health
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Royal Hospital for Children and Young People
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4TJ
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

  • Programme Administrator, Lisa Horsburgh
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 312 1643
  • Contact:
  • Programme Directors, Dr Tom Beattie and Dr Laura Smith
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 312 1643
  • Contact:
  • Child Life and Health
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Royal Hospital for Children and Young People
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4TJ