Postgraduate study

Surgical Writing and Evidence Based Practice (Online Learning) PgCert, PgProfDev

Awards: PgCert, PgProfDev

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

Online learning

Funding opportunities

For those who are interested in academic surgery, this programme comes highly recommended. It gives you literally the building blocks you need to build a career in academic writing. It was an interactive programme. The faculty were very helpful through the webinars they organised and behind the scenes support they gave throughout the length of the programme.

I’m in my final year of my residency training as a neurosurgeon and one of the things I'm supposed to do is to write a dissertation. For me, the course couldn't have come at a better time and was instrumental in helping me finish up my dissertation in good time.

Dickson Bandoh Writing in Surgery Graduate 2022
Dickson Bandoh               Writing in Surgery Graduate 2022

The Postgraduate Certificate of Surgical Writing and Evidence Based Practice is offered by the University of Edinburgh, in partnership with the British Journal of Surgery Society (BJSS). The programme aims to support surgeons and others to acquire an academic qualification that recognises knowledge and skills in surgical writing, editing and evidence based surgical practice.

Why Edinburgh

As one of the top 20 universities in the world (QS World University Rankings 2021), the University of Edinburgh has a strong historic and trusted reputation within academic surgery and particularly online surgical education. The BJSS has a unique international reputation within surgical editing and publishing. The Certificate Programme exploits the strong synergies between both parties, ensuring that teaching insights and material are contemporary and at the cutting edge of academic surgery practice.

This part-time, online learning programme builds on the global reach of the University’s existing successful award-winning online surgery programmes, providing students an opportunity to gain a formal qualification in surgical writing and evidence based surgical practice without a requirement to be based in Edinburgh. Students may elect to take individual courses as Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) or take all four courses, gaining sufficient to graduate with a Post Graduate Certificate degree. A global student population from a variety of different academic and professional backgrounds will enjoy a rich learning experience while studying on the programme.

Who this programme is for

The programme will attract surgeons and others globally and provide a formal qualification for those wishing to enhance their professional and academic development in surgery or related fields. Applicants would be recommended to set aside 100 hours for each 10 credits of study.

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. Applicants would be recommended to set aside 100 hours for each 10 credits of study.

The programme consists of two 10 credit courses and two 20 credit courses. All 4 courses (60 credits) are required to complete the certificate. Alternatively, you can opt to take individual courses as Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD).

The courses offered are:

  • Writing in Surgery (10 credits)
  • Reviewing the Evidence Base in Surgery (10 credits)
  • Editing in Surgery (20 Credits)
  • Evidence Based Practice (20 credits)

Postgraduate Certificate Qualification

To gain the Postgraduate Certificate Qualification you need to complete all of the above 4 courses.

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD)

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 Postgraduate Certificate.

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 one year of taking courses you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a Postgraduate Certificate.

Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout a year you may only start a 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 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
PgCertSurgical Writing and Evidence Based Practice1 YearPart-timeProgramme structure 2023/24
PgProfDevSurgical Writing and Evidence Based PracticeUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2023/24

The programme’s learning outcomes have been mapped onto the SCQF11 level characteristics.

This programme aims to equip students with evidence-based tools to be able to write in a scientific academic style, undertake critical appraisal/peer review, editing and literature reviews to understand evidence-based practice. On graduating from this programme, students will be able to write a manuscript for publication.

Many students on the programme will be in full-time employment (mainly as training and qualified surgeons) seeking to enhance their professional and academic development. Knowledge and skills in research and academic writing is integral to a career in surgery, providing a solid foundation for future academic work.

A non-surgical audience may be attracted by the reputation of the BJS and the University, seeing the courses and programme as enhancing their career by equipping them with evidence-based tools to be able to write a manuscript for publication. The PPD courses may also be seen as attractive optional content for other online masters programmes.

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) recognised by the General Medical Council in the UK, or an equivalent national body, or a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a subject related to healthcare, medical writing or publishing.

We may also consider your application if you have a UK 2:2 honours degree or its international equivalent, in a subject related to healthcare, medical writing or publishing and you have relevant work experience. If your experience is in medical writing or publishing it must total three, or more, years. 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

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.
  • 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:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PgCertSurgical Writing and Evidence Based Practice1 YearPart-timeTuition fees
PgProfDevSurgical Writing and Evidence Based PracticeUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees

Edinburgh Surgery Online offer a broad range of scholarships, which range in their value and eligibility criteria.

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.

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Room G10/G11, Simon Laurie House, 196 Canongate
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ
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

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Room G10/G11, Simon Laurie House, 196 Canongate
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ