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Medical Education (PgDip) 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 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 two-year, part-time course leads to the award of a Postgraduate Diploma 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 that 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 programme 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 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:

  • More than two decades of experience of running medical education courses
  • Comprehensive menu of face-to-face modules
  • Specifically designed for clinicians and healthcare professionals
  • Assessment tasks linked to your own educational practise
  • Practical forums to increase expertise
  • Integration of research and scholarship
  • Application of theory, concepts and principles to your clinical educational setting
  • Course members from diverse backgrounds to promote understanding and sharing of good practice
  • Flexibility to meet individual needs and circumstances
  • Higher Education Academy Accreditation providing a direct route to Fellowship of the academy
  • Academy of Medical Educators Accreditation
  • Support from an academic team of dedicated educationalists, active in professional associations who have a breadth of experience both nationally and internationally
  • Course design and delivery emphasising principles and application through participatory methods
  • A personal tutoring system to help define learning needs and aid reflection
  • Optional attendance at a short Effective Teaching Skills course
  • Positioned within the Wales Deanery, we are well placed to support the education and training of clinicians and clinical educators
  • An established national and international alumni network, many of whom have progressed to higher level roles and responsibilities.

I completed the PG Diploma in Medical Education course in June 2016 and am now equipped with several new skills which I use in my day to day practice as a clinical educator. The course also gave me a valuable insight into methods for evaluating and researching educational programs, which means I can begin to critically appraise my own teaching and that of others. I believe this will improve my practice. I would recommend the course to anyone hoping to build their careers as educators.

Celia, Medical Education (PgDip) 2016

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 Postgraduate Diploma course usually involves attending two-day sessions in Cardiff every six weeks during the academic year (September to June). You will therefore spend about 23 days in Cardiff, 11 days during the first year and 12 days in the second year.

You may exit with a Cardiff University Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education having successfully achieved the required standard, although most students continue on to the Postgraduate Diploma or MSc award. 


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 undertake 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 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.

How will I be supported?

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. 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, 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 practice 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. 

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 a reflective journal. 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.

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.

Over 100 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.

Alumni say...

"I wish to say how much I have enjoyed the Diploma course and used it in my work over the last five years.  My studies gave me the confidence to steer an extensive revision of the UK Public Health Specialist Training Curriculum, which was approved unconditionally by GMC in July 2015.  Secondly, I have used the principles of educational leadership from the course in planning for the implementation, which is underway.  I shall be continuing to apply the approaches I have learnt, both in my role as Assistant Academic Registrar for the UK Faculty of Public Health, and in global public health training through online education.  I would recommend this course of studies to anyone desiring to work in the field of health professional education and evidence based educational practice."  Suzanne Matthew, Consultant in Public Health, UK

"Since commencing the Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Education in 2014 the course has had tremendous impact on my practice both as an educator in formal situations such as lectures and in the clinical workplace.  I have felt empowered to take on roles within the deanery related to career progression and my role as Educational Supervisor is now more informed and evidence based.  During the course I have been the lead for Education within my department and the knowledge I have gained has helped me further develop the teaching programme locally."  Joanna Webb, Consultant Neonatologist, UK

"I completed the PG Diploma in Medical Education course in June 2016 and am now equipped with several new skills which I use in my day to day practice as a clinical educator.  The course also gave me a valuable insight into methods for evaluating and researching educational programmes, which means I can begin to critically appraise my own teaching and that of others; I believe this will improve my practice.  I would recommend the course to anyone hoping to build their careers as educators."  Celia Beynon, Specialist Registrar, Rheumatology, 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)

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