Postgraduate study

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 on-line 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)
  • 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 Non-Communicable Diseases (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 research project.

In addition to the compulsory courses and project that make up the Masters programme, there are educational activities offered over the summer break designed to complement and enhance learning. These activities are not credit-bearing. Our preference is to offer face to face teaching in Edinburgh to enable students to meet with peers and faculty. During the Covid-19 pandemic, these additional activities have been carried out online.

Semester dates for the academic year 2021-2022

These are key dates in the academic year, which vary slightly year to year. For your programme these are:

  • Welcome Week: 13 – 17 September 2021
  • Term 1: 20 September - 3 December 2021
  • Term 2: 10 January – 25 March 2022
  • Term 3: 11 April - 24 June 2022

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
MFMUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2021/22
MFM3 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2021/22

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 MFM is recognised towards training progression in your country please contact your local accrediting body.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

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.

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.
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: 62 overall 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.

(*Revised 17 November 2021 to add accepted PTE Academic qualifications.)

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
MFMUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
MFM3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Online Commonwealth Scholarships: Global Health

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) supports students living and working in listed Commonwealth Countries. Every year the Global Health Academy makes application to the CSC for scholarships, some of which are available for Family Medicine applicants. Please watch this site for updates on 2022 scholarship opportunities.

The scholarships cover tuition fees and are awarded to outstanding candidates who are committed to ensuring that their study is impactful to their country. Successful applicants will benefit from the University’s Global Academy network.

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 are awarded to students who have a vision for improving equitable and primary health-led care through the role of family doctors.

*[Please see this link for application] (

Search for Scholarships and other funding opportunities

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

*Online Learning Scholarships *Search for Funding *Scholarship Application success rates

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
12 September 2022 26 August 2022

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