Postgraduate study

Clinical Ophthalmology (Online Learning) ChM (Clinical Ophthalmology)

Awards: ChM (Clinical Ophthalmology)

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

Online learning

Funding opportunities

I would certainly recommend this programme, especially to someone like myself who has been in practice for many years. It really opens you up to new developments taking place in the field of Clinical Ophthalmology.

Dr Lloyd Reynolds ChM Clinical Ophthalmology graduate
Dr Lloyd Reynolds               ChM Clinical Ophthalmology graduate

This new two year part-time Masters programme, taught entirely online, is jointly offered by the University of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and leads to the degree of Master of Surgery (ChM). It has been developed with the support of NHS Education for Scotland (NES).

The ChM is designed to support advanced ophthalmology trainees in the UK and internationally through a curriculum which recognises their subspecialist ophthalmic interests in preparation for exit examination and hospital-based practice.

Our programmes are aligned with the curricula of both the FRCSEd and FRCOphth examinations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, making these degrees very attractive to domestic and international students.

The ChM provides advanced training for medical and surgical ophthalmologists preparing for the fellowship examinations of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) in the UK and Ireland and those approaching consultancy. On completion of this programme students will be able to:

  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge of their chosen surgical subspecialty, and be able to apply this knowledge to the systematic assessment and management of medical and surgical patients in the elective, urgent and emergency clinical setting
  • recognise the leadership contribution and responsibilities of the ophthalmologist in the multidisciplinary management of complex medical and surgical disease
  • critically reflect upon day-to-day medical and surgical practice in the context of recent advances, and engage in critical dialogue with peers and experts in other specialties
  • apply the general principles of clinical study design, ethics, and statistics to critically evaluate the scientific literature in medical and surgical research, and make informed judgements on new and emerging issues in medicine and surgery
  • exercise a high level of autonomy and initiative in professional activities at a level of independent medical and surgical practice

  • Watch our introductory film to learn more about how this online degree can help you hone your clinical skills

The programme is taught entirely online. Students are supported by asynchronous discussion with e-tutors - all leading clinicians in their field - and have access to a large learning resource, including subscriptions to key online books and journals. Students will be expected to lead e-seminars and e-journal clubs.

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 programme is headed up by Professor Baljean Dhillon.

The programme runs on a semester basis over 2 years and involves approximately 10-15 hours of study each week in a flexible, modular manner.

The programme is delivered using a purpose-built learning environment that supports a variety of learning styles, and allows students flexibility in their study patterns.

Core, compulsory modules in each area of clinical ophthalmology are aligned to the curricula of the FRCSEd and FRCOphth. These are taught and assessed using a clinical problem-based approach, supported by systems-based review of the course material. Knowledge and understanding will be assessed with a formal MCQ exam designed to replicate the trainees' upcoming exit exams.

Academic modules (core and specialist) allow the student to explore research and teaching methodology, as well as develop skills which ensure an ability to analyse published evidence and explore interactive and written clinical communication skills. Students are required to complete an e-dissertation involving an academic critique in an appropriate subspecialty area of work, such as that resulting from a publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Year 1

  • Ophthalmology 1
  • Core Ophthalmology
  • Applied Basic Sciences, Examination and Surgical Strategies
  • Clinical Decision Making, Therapeutics, Avoiding and Managing Complications
  • Diagnostics and Technologies in Clinical Practice
  • Acute Ophthalmology, Trauma and Advanced Surgical Techniques

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.

  • Ophthalmology 2
  • Core Academic Activity (Reflective ePortfolio)
  • Examination (MCQ and EMI)
  • Specialist Academic Activity (Research Project)

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
ChM (Clinical Ophthalmology)Clinical OphthalmologyUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20

The programme will offer an alternative to clinical / laboratory research training for those students who do not wish to take time out of training. It will develop the trainee's academic portfolio and facilitate medical/surgical research projects essential to a research active career.

The ChM programme is designed to follow the FRCSEd and FRCOphth curricula and prepare the advanced trainee for their exit professional examinations.

The award of ChM will highlight the trainee's commitment to continuing professional development and will ensure a competitive edge when applying for consultant positions.

A medical degree (MBChB or equivalent) recognised by the General Medical Council. You should also be based in a supervised training programme.

UK applicants should have completed initial specialist training (ST 1/2) or core training (CT 1/2) and early intermediate training (ST 3), and will normally be starting their intermediate training (ST 4).

Applicants from outside the UK, and applicants who are not in a recognised training programme, must demonstrate that the course is directly relevant to their ophthalmic surgery training.

You should have completed a minimum of 24 months of core training in the surgical specialties and 18 months of specialty training in ophthalmology before enrolling.

We will also consider your application if you are an established, independently practising ophthalmologist.

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 (at least 6.0 in each module)

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

  • PTE Academic: 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

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, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, 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.

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
ChM (Clinical Ophthalmology)Clinical Ophthalmology2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
ChM (Clinical Ophthalmology)Clinical OphthalmologyUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees

Featured funding

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:

  • 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
14 September 2020 28 August 2020

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

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