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Medical Education (MSc) Part-time

Our programme will appeal to those wishing to explore the issues fundamental to effective health professions education in a dynamic, stimulating and supportive setting. This course is now only accepting applications for September 2019 entry.

The Postgraduate Diploma and MSc in Medical Education is committed to promoting excellence in learning and teaching for health professionals. Having established the first Masters in Medical Education in the UK, we continue to lead, providing innovative programmes for all medical, dental and health professionals who aim to professionalise the role of the clinician as teacher.

This part-time course leads to the award of MSc in Medical Education.

It recognises the diverse, complex and challenging contexts of both those new to educator roles and responsibilities and those with considerable years of experience. The overall aim of the course is to develop a community of educators committed to promote improvements in both ‘what’ and ‘how’ we teach future healthcare professionals.

The course is highly practical and aims to model best practice in learning and teaching and draws upon a wide range of innovative approaches to learner support and development.  The course is organised into a series of modules followed by a dissertation component.  Modules usually last two days each followed by a period of independent study.  The first session of each two-day unit is a synthesis of the previous module and the independent study period. This three stage process develops and clarifies understanding of the module topic, gives the opportunity and time to apply new concepts and skills, and concludes by allowing reflection on and sharing of experiences and insights with colleagues. The culmination of the modules is a practical teaching project, a student-led symposium on a contemporary issue in medical education.

A comprehensive menu of face-to-face modules will enable you to contribute to critical dialogues that promote deeper insights into educational theory and principles applied to clinical practice.

The MSc component of the course, follows the successful completion of the modules. This component of the course will allow you to develop skills in designing and conducting and educational project, culminating in the submission of a dissertation. Many of the projects provide the basis for practical innovations in the workplace and can also extend engagement with and contribution to the wider medical education community.

The course is accredited by the Higher Education Academy, conferring Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy upon successful completion of the first year of the programme. The course is also aligned to the Academy of Medical Educators professional standards enabling you to apply for recognition of the Academy of Medical Educators on successful completion of the first year of the programme.

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of this programme include:

• Application of theory, concepts and principles to your clinical educational setting

• Development of future educational leaders

• Course members from multi-professional and multi-disciplinary backgrounds to promote understanding and sharing of good practice

• Higher Education Academy Accreditation

• Academy of Medical Educators Accreditation

• Over 20 years of experience of running medical educational courses in the UK and internationally

• Positioned within the Wales Deanery, we are well placed to support the education and training of clinicians and clinical educators

• Programme design and part time options to meet individual needs and circumstances

• An academic team of dedicated educationalists, all active in professional associations who have a breadth of experience both nationally and  internationally

• A personal tutoring system to help meet needs and aid reflection

• Assessment tasks linked to your own educational practice

• Optional attendance at a short Effective Teaching Skills course.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration2 years
Other ways to study this course

Admissions criteria

The course is suitable for all health professionals who have teaching, assessment, and related educational responsibilities, such as teachers, trainers, educational supervisors, course coordinators, clinical and college tutors.

Applicants should also hold an initial degree from an approved University, or other qualification/proof of educational ability. In your application you will need to demonstrate your interest/involvement in learning and teaching in healthcare contexts.

Decisions will be made on a continuous basis throughout the year. Places are limited, so early application is recommended.

Find out more about English language requirements.



Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

The part time MSc course involves attending a series of Postgraduate Diploma modules and completion of a dissertation.  Modules usually involve attending two-day sessions in Cardiff every six weeks during the two academic years (September to June).  You will therefore spend about 23 days in Cardiff, 11 days during the first academic year and 12 days in the second academic year.  Once you have successfully completed the modules you will undertake an educational project culminating in the submission within 12 months of a dissertation.



The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

Year one

The first academic year you will study Learning & Teaching in Clinical Education, Educational Media & Technologies, Assessing Learning and attend a student-led symposia on a contemporary issue in medical education (Practical Teaching Project).

You will also have an opportunity, if you wish, to attend a short Effective Teaching Course prior to the start of your modules.  

Year two

The second academic year you will attend modules on Evaluating Courses, Research Skills, Contemporary Issues, and underatke the Practical Teaching Project.

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.

How will I be taught?

Teaching on the modules mainly takes place in small groups, which are facilitated by the core teaching team. There is the opportunity for discussions, debates, instructor presentations, tutorials, case studies, role play and peer interactions designed to enhance learning in addition to guided and independent study. Participation, collaboration and practical application are key tenets of the course, and you will be encouraged to try out new approaches to learning and teaching throughout the programme. Activities may include video-recording a teaching session for review, implementing and appraising untried assessment techniques, developing and coding a questionnaire; designing and producing instructional media for a teaching session.

The Master’s component will require the completion of a small scale empirical or literature-based study. You will be allocated a supervisor to support your study following successful completion of the modules.

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a personal tutor (and for the Masters component a supervisor) who will support your progress on the course, monitoring your general progress, discussing relevant issues and providing advice, guidance and support. Peer-led group meetings also allow you to discuss a range of educational issues and engage in a variety of group activities. Personal tutors will comment on your reflective journal, and this exchange is an opportunity for you to engage in a dialogue about your educational roles, responsibilities and experiences in your clinical setting.


You will receive written feedback on all your assignments and dissertation, in addition there are many opportunities throughout the course to receive peer and tutor feedback.

At the start of the course you will complete a practise assignment, designed to help you appreciate the nature of the course requirements and inform your learning/development. In addition you will receive formative feedback via learning contract activity, reflective journal entries, teaching observations, tutorials and peer review.

Module synthesis sessions will also often entail giving a brief report or presentation to colleagues about the relevance of a module to your own context; discuss specific educational challenges to inform improvements and educational change. 

During the dissertation component you will have an opportunity to receive feedback on the project design and draft dissertation chapters.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed in a variety of ways both to inform learning (formative) and to assess learning (summative).

Methods include assignments, practical projects and reflective journal and for the Master’s component a dissertation. All assignment tasks are linked to your educational practise. For example typical assignments may relate to designing and producing some instructional media for a specific teaching need you identify, critically reviewing an assessment method you use or designing a proposal for an educational project in your clinical teaching context.

Satisfactory standard in the modules is required for progress on to the MSc. The MSc component will require the completion of a small scale empirical or literature based study, culminating in the submission of a 20,000 word dissertation.

What skills will I practise and develop?

 The overall aims of the course are to help you:

  • Critically appraise both your own and others’ practice as clinical educators and educational leaders to enhance learning and teaching relationships with colleagues/trainees
  • Synthesise concepts in order to further enhance knowledge and understanding to initiate educational developments responsive to clinical education needs and challenges
  • Develop an ability to engage with research, scholarship and practice and deal with complexities, contradictions and gaps in the current evidence base.

More specifically the course aims to:

  • Develop and formally recognise experience, skills and leadership in clinical education
  • Provide an understanding of educational theories, methods and practice across the clinical professions that inform current educational practice
  • Promote critical self-awareness and reflection on educational practice to inform educational change
  • Develop educational skills as a clinical educator and educational leader
  • Illustrate your understanding of concepts by designing, planning and delivering learner-centred sessions employing a range of educational strategies/principles
  • Achieve an understanding of how to create effective change in healthcare education.
  • Provide skills to design, develop and critically analyse educational media and technologies in order to enhance the learning-teaching process
  • Promote a critical evaluation of the purpose, design, application and interpretation of a range of assessment methods available to clinical educators
  • Develop the educational skills required to provide constructive feedback to learners
  • Develop the knowledge and skills needed to be an educational evaluator in clinical contexts
  • Develop the skills required to design, implement and evaluate an educational event with coherence, integration and relevance
  • Provide an understanding of the philosophical orientations of educational research and a range of research methodologies to enable the selection and utilisation of appropriate strategies to design and conduct educational research.

The Master’s degree, while encompassing all of the above, aims to:

  • Innovate in clinical education through the design, implementation and evaluation of a small scale educational research project (empirical or literature-based).

Over 300 clinicians and other 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 Diploma and MSc Alumni say...


"A few months after completing the MSc, I was appointed as lead for the Cardiff University Diploma in Practical Dermatology (DPD). The DPD is an online distance learning course taken by 300 GPs each year with an annual budget of £1million. I now lead a coordinating team including 4 administrators and a learning technologist, as well as more than 80 external tutors. The comprehensive content of the Cardiff University Medical Education MSc, including modules covering assessment and course evaluation are proving useful on a daily basis". John Ingram, Dermatology Consultant, UK


"Since returning to Thailand where I am a general practitioner and a lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine at the Prince of Songkla University (PSU), I am delighted with the extent to which I have already been able to use the knowledge, skills and experiences gained at Cardiff in order to improve medical education here. I have set up the Thai Medical Education Interest Group to enable social networking among the medical community. I have also been collaborating with the Medical Education Unit at my medical school to develop the PSU Medical Education Resources website to provide easy access to reliable up to date medical education information. I am really proud of this initiative which has undoubtedly been underpinned by my learning gained through the MSc at Cardiff". Krishna Suvarnabhumi, Prince Songkia University, Thailand


"The successful completion of the MSc in Medical Education led to a personal promotion to that of a senior lecturer and through my endeavours at improving pain management through education, I won Welsh Woman of the Year". Anne Taylor, Nurse, UK


"All I have learned on the course I am using, for example feedback is an integrated part of what we do in workplace assessments for trainees...really every aspect of the course has been very relevant to me". Sabreen Akhtar Core Medical Trainee, UK


"The Cardiff Course has given me an insight into educational matters which I have used in both teaching and tutoring roles in the NHS. It has made me a better teacher, trainer and educational manager. The course has opened up a new discipline within medicine". Christopher Jennings Consultant ENT Surgeon, UK


"I believe that the course will be career-altering if not life-changing. I have now been invited on to the education and training committee of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand (BSSH). We are currently developing a curriculum for hand surgery to use in collaboration with e-learning for health programmes. This is an exciting project, which a year ago I would never have dreamed of being able to be involved with". Jill Webb, Consultant Hand and Plastic Surgeon, UK

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

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

EU students entering in 2019/20 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

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