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Medical Education (PgCert)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Part time distance learning

Start date

Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

This Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education is an e-learning course, offering build-up of study credit via a three-stage, progressive course delivered online.


Promoting excellence

Benefit from our longstanding passion and expertise in leading medical education courses that integrate research and scholarship



Course design and delivery emphasising principles and application through interactive discussion and activities in an online environment to meet individual needs and circumstances.


Applied and practical

Course design and assessment tasks linked to your own educational practice, allowing you to apply theory and concepts to your clinical setting.


Sharing good practice

Study alongside healthcare professionals from diverse backgrounds to promote understanding and sharing of good practice.


Accredited course

Accredited by Advance HE, AoME and aligned to GMC Trainer criteria.

This Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education enables healthcare professionals with a special interest in education to professionalise the role of clinician as teacher. 

The Postgraduate Certificate is a one-year, part-time Master’s-level programme, resulting in 60 credits at Level-7. This route is a standalone option for those who may not be in a position to commit to a MSc and three years of study. However, there is an option to use the credits within three years and complete the MSc. 

The course is highly practical and aims to model best practice in learning and teaching, drawing upon a wide range of innovative approaches to learner support and development. For those of you who would like to obtain the HEA Fellowship award, there is an opportunity to opt into this pathway. Further information will be provided when you start the programme.

This programme is for all medical, dental, veterinary and other healthcare professionals who want to expand their understanding of pedagogy and be able to apply educational theory to clinical education to provide high satisfaction in those they teach. The programme will support you to assess and reflect on your own practice and identify where current gaps lie in the delivery of clinical education. You will be given the opportunity to develop innovative educational solutions to address unmet clinical learning needs that will improve outcomes.

By developing a network of experienced clinical teachers our programme aims to encourage a culture for training of healthcare professionals and demonstrate alignment of teaching and learning practice with UK Professional Standards and professional values (AdvanceHE, GMC, Academy of Medical Educators).

The course is accredited by the Academy of Medical Educators (AoME), allowing you to apply for fast-track membership.

An optional 'Fellowship Pathway' is accredited by Advance HE and is available alongside year 1 study enabling you to seek Fellowship (FHEA). A final portfolio should be submitted at the end of the academic year.  

Where you'll study

School of Medicine

We are of the largest medical schools in UK, committed to the pursuit of improved human health through education and research.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2068 7214
  • MarkerUniversity Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XN

Admissions criteria

In order to be considered for an offer for this programme you will need to meet all of the entry requirements. Your application will not be progressed if the information and evidence listed is not provided.

With your online application you will need to provide:

  1. A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts which show you have achieved a 2:2 honours degree in a healthcare-related subject, or an equivalent international degree. If your degree certificate or result is pending, please upload any interim transcripts or provisional certificates.
  2. A copy of your IELTS certificate with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or evidence of an accepted equivalent. Please include the date of your expected test if this qualification is pending. If you have alternative acceptable evidence, such as an undergraduate degree studied in the UK, please supply this in place of an IELTS.
  3. A personal statement which demonstrates your interest/involvement in learning and teaching in healthcare contexts. Please tell us why you wish to follow this programme, what benefits you expect to gain from it, and what skills and experience you possess that make you a suitable applicant. Please supply your statement as a PDF (500 words) and include the following questions as headings:
    1. What experience do you have as a health professional? You should have at least one years' post-graduation general medical experience.
    2. Why do you wish to follow this course?
    3. What post-qualification experience do you have of teaching as a health professional?
    4. What current involvement in teaching within your health profession do you have?

If you do not have a degree in a relevant area, your application may be considered on the basis of your professional experience in a healthcare-related field. You must hold professional registration with a recognised body. Please provide additional evidence to support your application such as signed and dated employer references.

Application Deadline

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications normally close at the end of August but may close sooner if all places are filled.

Selection process

We will review your application and teaching experience and if you meet all of the entry requirements, we will make you an offer.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

This Certificate is a standalone Level 7 qualification and stage one of a MSc programme taught part-time over one year. 

This stage lasts for 12 months and consists of three 20 credit modules, totalling 60 credits, at Level 7. You will have the option of choosing topics within some of the modules that are aligned to your learning and clinical needs. 

Students who achieve the stand-alone PGCert in Medical Education will be able to credit the three 20 credit modules and apply to proceed to the full MSc course, which will be a further two years of study (Year 2 will be at Diploma level and is worth 60 credits; if they are successful at this level, they can proceed to Year 3, which is a 20,000-word dissertation worth 60 credits). 

Each module can also be studied on a stand-alone CPD basis to allow greater flexibility of learning tailored to individual learning requirements.   

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2024/25 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

The course is organised into a series of modules that involve interactive activities delivered within an online environment. These activities are conducted within groups, each one being facilitated by an online tutor. This affords an opportunity for you to explore the module topic through discussion and clarification, and it also gives you the opportunity and time to apply new learning through the online discussions, tasks, blogs and assignments. There is ample time to reflect on your own practice and share experiences and new insights with colleagues. You are encouraged to engage in critical dialogue that promotes deeper insight into educational theory and principles which apply to clinical education. 

You will complete high quality level 7 evidence-based practice assessments, which are directly relevant to your clinical educational practice, and you will be encouraged and supported to gain knowledge within the field of medical education. 

This course will be delivered entirely through online distance learning, and you can, therefore, access it from anywhere within the international healthcare professional community. This also allows for a degree of flexibility of study to suit your individual needs. Support will be provided wherever possible to meet those needs. 

The course is delivered via Cardiff University’s virtual learning environment, Learning Central. The course uses a wide range of online approaches to learner support and development. Learning and teaching methods encompass a range of strategies and techniques to promote co-operative, purposeful learning. The teaching takes place online in group settings, which are facilitated by online tutors. There are a variety of tasks in each module, all of which provide an opportunity for discussion, debate, exploration and peer interaction and are designed to enhance learning, as well as encourage guided and independent study. 

Online tutors play a key role in the delivery of teaching for each module. Practical application is a key feature of the course, and you will be encouraged to try out new approaches to teaching and learning throughout the programme. Synthesising your knowledge and applying theory to practice within your own clinical teaching setting will be a central requirement of both formal assessment and formative work. Opportunities to develop your teamwork and collaboration skills will be available through your tasks and activities within discussion boards, webinars, and general engagement in debates with tutors and peer groups. Teaching will be delivered by a multi-professional teaching team from within the Cardiff University School of Medicine’s Centre for Medical Education (C4ME). You also will receive regular constructive feedback throughout the course to stimulate your enthusiasm and provide support, thus ensuring that you will have the opportunity to achieve the learning outcomes. The use of multiple approaches for you to learn will build a community of practice and enhance your collaboration with your peers and the faculty. 

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed in a variety of ways, both to inform learning (formative) and to assess learning (summative). All assignment tasks are linked to your educational practice. For example, typical assignments may relate to developing a lesson plan underpinned by learning theory, creating a standalone media resource, critiquing assessment methods, or writing a series of reflections on your role as an educator during the peer review module. The assessments have been chosen to ensure that the learning outcomes are appropriately tested and that the teaching methods leading up to these assessments are suitable. The formative assessments are wide ranging to allow you to focus on areas that best suit your learning needs and clinical role. The summative assignments aim to ensure these areas are appropriate for your learning needs, area of practice, and areas of interest, making them very educationally focused. 

How will I be supported?

A team of academic, administrative, learning technology and library staff is available throughout the year to support you. You will receive written feedback on all your assignments. In addition, there are many opportunities throughout the course to receive peer and tutor feedback. You will be allocated a personal tutor who will support your progress on the course, monitoring your general progress, discussing relevant issues, and providing advice, guidance and support. They will contact you at various points during the course. There are a variety of tasks and activities in each module, and you will discuss a range of educational issues through engagement in these with online tutors and peers. Personal tutors will comment on your reflective blog if you wish, and this exchange is an opportunity for you to engage in a dialogue about your educational roles, responsibilities and experiences in your clinical setting. This will also be done through your personal development maps and educational discussion in the discussion fora.  

Formative feedback will be communicated through electronic and written means in a timely manner. Summative feedback on assessment will be delivered within the timeframe set by the University. 

Students are expected to actively take part in the online schedule of activities offered by the course, which will also help them meet other students online.  The course content is housed on Learning Central, a platform that is designed to deliver a great student experience online. Engagement on the learning platform is enhanced by a number of asynchronous discussion boards and synchronous webinars.

Fellowship support is available via personal tutors, online webinars, discussion forums and reflective blogs.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will achieve by the end of your programme at Cardiff University and identify the knowledge and skills that you will develop. They will also help you to understand what is expected of you. 

On successful completion of the Programme, you will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding:

KU 1 critically review learning and teaching approaches in clinical educational settings and professional practice.

KU 2 critically evaluate education, theories and models to inform assessment choices, peer review and the use of media to design inclusive learning environments relevant to meet and support diverse learning needs and in line with professional standards for engagement and effective learning  

KU 3 synthesise the evidence to design inclusive learning environments with coherence, integration and relevance to meet and support diverse learning needs and in line with professional standards for engagement and effective learning.

KU 4 reflect on and demonstrate alignment of learning and teaching practice with UK professional standards and professional values (Advance HE UKPSF, Academy of Medical Educators, and GMC).

Intellectual Skills:

IS 1 use a range of educational strategies, tools, models and frameworks, critically reviewing their strengths and weaknesses to inform educational practice.

IS 2 promote critical self-awareness and reflection on educational practice to inform educational development.

IS 3 foster creativity, innovation and ethical practice in educational developments within clinical education. 

Professional Practical Skills:

PS 1 navigate digital environments, familiarisation with Learning Central, study skills and library resources, Grade Centre, and Turnitin.

PS 2 synthesise concepts in order to further develop personal and professional practice.

PS 3 demonstrate effective communication skills in a postgraduate student arena.

Transferable/Key Skills:

KS 1 utilise search strategies to identify and evaluate best practice in medical education.

KS 2 plan, organise and manage coursework effectively, demonstrating independence, initiative and originality.

KS 3 communicate accurately, clearly and concisely in a variety of styles, using a range of media to a wide variety of audiences.

Tuition fees for 2024 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £4,475 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2024/25 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £5,900 £2,500

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

You will need to be able to access the internet on a regular basis in order to engage with your programme.

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.


Postgraduate loans

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2024 or later, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan to support your study at Cardiff University.

Career prospects

Health professionals have joined the course from around the world. Many graduates use the insights gained on the course to introduce innovations to their day to day teaching, whilst others go on to higher level roles and responsibilities to lead and promote excellence in learning and teaching at national and international levels.

Postgraduate Certificate Alumni say:

“I have always been interested in medical education and recently developed this interest further by undertaking work as a tutor for medical students.  Embarking on the Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education seemed a natural progression. Since starting the course I feel that my teaching skills have improved significantly. The course has introduced me to educational theories that have deepened my understanding of what makes an effective teacher and of which teaching techniques offer the best results. The support offered through this online programme is excellent and provides constructive learning through remote access. Completing this programme has benefited me as a teacher, and has thereby enhanced the learning experience of my students.” 
Llinos Roberts, GP Partner and Trainer

As a clinician I have always enjoyed teaching and the opportunity to complete a Welsh Deanery supported PCCE via distance learning with Cardiff University was the perfect way to cement my practice and allow me to develop as an educator. The PGCE is both stimulating and challenging. It covers all areas from educational theory through to assessment methods in 4 modules." 
Lewys Richmond, ST6 Anaesthetic Trainee

“It is easy to follow and the online participation is very useful and stimulating. The work is broken up into modules and within the modules there are tasks that you are guided through. The online discussion with others is very helpful and reassuring. It helps to be able to actively discuss the work and the concepts being taught.” 
Sian Elin Griffiths, GP Partner and Trainer

“I have found the course a real eye opener and very interesting, it will definitely change the way I approach my role as a clinical tutor.” 
Una Man, Dentist

Next steps


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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.