Postgraduate study

General Surgery (Online Learning)

Awards: ChM (General Surgery)

Study modes: Part-time

Online learning

Funding available

This two-year, part-time masters programme is offered jointly by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh, and is taught entirely online. Both institutions have combined well previously to deliver an award-winning Master’s programme to support early surgical training, and continue to serve as a powerful brand in surgery.

You will be taught by experienced tutors – all leading clinicians in their field – and you will have access to well-defined and managed learning resources and educational material, including an unparalleled online library facility.

Illustrative cases will cover technical skills and procedures as well as core knowledge and clinical skills.

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.

Studying online at Edinburgh

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

Based on the UK Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum, this programme allows you to select advanced modules that match your declared subspecialty, and supports your study towards the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) examinations.

Year 1

Compulsory modules will cover the basic elements of subspecialties, for instance, emergency surgery and critical care including the assessment and the pre-/peri-/post-operative care of the surgical patient.

These modules will be taught and assessed using a clinical problem-based approach, supported by systems-based review of the course material.

Year 2

Academic modules will explore research and teaching methodology, whilst enabling students to develop the ability to analyse published evidence and enhance their interactive and written clinical communication skills. Students will also have the opportunity to complete an academic research project in Year 2 e.g. Original research or a Systematic Review in a relevant area of work. Following completion of the programme, students are encouraged to seek publication of their study in a peer-reviewed journal.

Students are supported throughout the programme through asynchronous discussions with e-tutors who are all leading clinicians in their field. Students also have access to a large learning resource, including subscriptions to key online books and journals. A written examination (MCQ) is held in the second year, following completion of core modules.

The ChM provides advanced training for surgeons preparing for the intercollegiate fellowship examination and those approaching consultancy.

A medical degree (MBChB or equivalent) recognised by the General Medical Council. You should also have acquired MRCS (or equivalent assessment milestone) and be an Advanced Trainee in General Surgery (UK ST 5/6 or equivalent).

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

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

  • PTE(A): 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

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson Test of English and Trinity ISE must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.*

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

Find out more about our language requirements:

The University of Edinburgh offers a small number of scholarships to outstanding candidates. These are very competitive. Data on the success rate for scholarship applications can be seen on our website:

UK government postgraduate loans

UK nationals, those with settled status, and some EU nationals not resident in the UK, could be eligible for a postgraduate loan towards fees - and in some cases living costs. Full guidance and information can be found on our Scholarships & Student Funding website:

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.

*Online Commonwealth Scholarships

Find out more about scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • ChM Programme Administration
  • University of Edinburgh, ESSQ Office Room G10/G11
  • Simon Laurie House, 196 Canongate
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2019 30 August 2019

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

You must submit a reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • ChM Programme Administration
  • University of Edinburgh, ESSQ Office Room G10/G11
  • Simon Laurie House, 196 Canongate
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ