Medical Education (PgDip)
- Duration: 2 years
- Mode: Part time
Why study this course
Our programme will appeal to those wishing to explore the issues fundamental to effective health professions education in a dynamic, stimulating and supportive setting.
Work towards your MSc
Completion of the PgDip will mean you are eligible to apply for our MSc in Medical Education.
Accredited by Academy of Medical Educators. Aligned to GMC trainer criteria and Accredited by the UK Advance HE/Higher Education Academy Fellowship for 2020/21.
Immersive teaching days
Sequenced modules with immersive teaching days promote development and support educational leadership roles and responsibilities
The Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Education programme is committed to promoting excellence in learning and teaching for health professionals. It is for all medical, dental and other 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.
This course 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. A comprehensive series 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. This allows ample time to reflect on your own practice and to share experience and new insights with colleagues.
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 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.
You will also need to provide a personal statement that is relevant to your application. 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?
2. Why do you wish to follow this course?
3. What experience do you have of teaching as a health professional?
4. What current involvement in teaching within your health profession do you have?
English Language Requirements
IELTS with at least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in all other subskills or equivalent.
There is no set application deadline but we allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend that you apply as early as possible.
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.
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
- freedom of movement
- contact with people related to Cardiff University.
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.
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.
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.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.
The first academic year you will study Learning and Teaching in Clinical Education, Educational Media and Technologies, Assessing Learning and attend a student-led symposia on a contemporary issue in medical education (Practical Teaching Project).
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.
Learning and assessment
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 and peer interactions designed to enhance learning in addition to guided and independent study. Participation, collaboration and practical application are key features of the course, and you will be encouraged to try out new approaches to learning and teaching.
Synthesising your knowledge and applying theory to practice within your own clinical teaching setting will be a central requirements of both formal assessments and formative work. Opportunities to develop your team working and collaboration skills will be available through tasks, activities and general engagement in debate and exploration with tutors and peers.
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed in a variety of ways both to inform learning (formative) and to assess learning (summative) and 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, reflecting on your experience of participating in peer review of teaching, designing a research proposal for an educational project in your clinical teaching context.
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. There are a variety of practical tasks and activities to allow you to explore and discuss a range of educational issues and engage in a variety of group activities with tutors and peers. 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.
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.
Students from the UK
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Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
EU, EEA and Swiss nationals starting in 2020/21 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course.
If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, unless you qualify for UK fee status, tuition fees for 2021/22 will be in line with the fees charged for international students. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.
Students from the rest of the world (international)
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More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.
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.
We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
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 Alumni say…
"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.
"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." Suzanna Mathew, 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 an 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 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 Beynon, Specialist Registrar, Rheumatology, UK
"My time in Cardiff was fun and educationally stimulating! Encorporation of learning theory into the course was engaging and inspired ideas for my own practice. I thrived in an environment of such diverse experience but of shared goals and mutual educational interests. What I learned at Cardiff will develop and inspire my future practice as a teacher and a clinician."
Natalie Edwards, Foundation Doctor, UK