The MSc in Clinical Education programme is designed to develop knowledge, skills and professional values in teaching and learning associated with clinical education.

This programme is studied by blended learning - a mixture of on campus and online.

The programme provides an exploration and analysis of underlying educational theory with its practical application to the design, delivery and evaluation of teaching, assessment and educational leadership and management in the context of the clinical environment.

The programme enables the student to tailor their learning to the role of a clinical educator further developing particular interests with optional modules (e.g., simulation in clinical education) and/or with a Masters research project.

The Diploma modules are designed to build on the knowledge and skills acquired during the Certificate stage, and to prepare and empower students for a role as an educational manager, leader and scholar through the development and application of advanced skills.

Completion of the Diploma will allow entry to Masters level where students will design, conduct and submit a report on an education research project.

Participants primarily enrol for Postgraduate Certificate (1st Year) then choose to continue through to Postgraduate Diploma (2nd Year) and MSc (3rd year) subject to personal developmental goals.

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
Blended Learning
Degree Qualification
3 Years
Study Mode
Part Time
Start Month

What You'll Study

The information below applies to the 3 year part time blended learning MSc programme which runs in September.

Year 1


Postgraduate Certificate Clinical Education (60 credits)

Completion of the following four courses will lead to the award of the Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Education.

Compulsory Courses

Core Values of Clinical Educators (ME5025) - Credits: 15

The Core Values of a Clinical Educator course is designed to promote reflection and develop further knowledge, skills and practice emulating the core professional values of an educator in teaching and learning in clinical education. Students will explore and reflect upon topics including promoting safe, quality care whilst providing education, professional identity and integrity, respect and a commitment to scholarship and reflection in medical education.

Teaching, using a variety of methods such as seminars and small group work, will provide an overview of topics and a foundation for students to engage further with independent study and reflection.

View detailed information about this course

Planning and Design of Clinical Education (ME5026) - Credits: 15

The Planning and Design of Clinical Education course is designed to enhance a critical understanding and develop skills for the principles supporting learning and teaching in clinical education. Topics covered include underpinning theories, evidence base and external influences upon learning. Students’ will identify organisational factors, learning needs; define outcomes and understand the purpose and methods for evaluation. Students’ will critically apply and construct the principles of planning and design contextualised to their place of work.

Teaching, using a variety of methods such as seminars and small group work, will provide an overview of topics and a foundation for students to engage further with independent study and reflection.

View detailed information about this course

Teaching and Facilitating Learning in Clinical Education (ME5503) - Credits: 15

This course explores delivery of teaching and facilitation of leaning in clinical education. Students’ will develop knowledge and skills of a systematic approach to teaching and how to maintain an effective learning environment. Underpinning principles and innovations will be explored for a variety of teaching methods including small and large group and lecture based teaching, work based, bedside teaching and the use of patients and simulation for clinical education. This course will also develop a critical understanding of receiving and providing effective feedback for learning. Students’ will receive feedback and develop educational practice through the method of peer observation and self-reflection.

View detailed information about this course

Principles of Assessment in Clinical Education (ME5504) - Credits: 15

This course is designed to provide students with knowledge and skills for assessment of learning in clinical education. Elements explored include the principles of evidence-based approaches to assessment, methods for assessment, the development and content of assessment and ensuring quality

View detailed information about this course

Year 2


Postgraduate Diploma Clinical Education (120 credits)

Building on the skills acquired during the Certificate stage completion of the ‘Leadership Skills in Clinical Education’ course, ‘Research Skills in Clinical Education’ and one of the other optional courses will enable achievement of the Postgraduate Diploma Clinical Education.

Compulsory Courses

Leadership in Clinical Education

This course will provide exposure to the wider social and political context of healthcare education and support students to contribute to curriculum development and informed educational debate and discussion. Assessment will be in the form of a reflective account and submission of a proposal for change/research project.

Fundamentals of Research Design (15 Credit Course)

Students will join an online course to develop clinical educational research skills including knowledge for quantitative and qualitative research design process and methods for data collection. Assessment will be in the form of online MCQ’s and development of a research proposal.

Fundamentals of Data Management and Analysis (15 Credit Course)

Students will attend face to face sessions to develop clinical educational research skills for data management, analysis and interpretation. Assessment will be in the form of a mini research project and submission of a report.

Optional Courses

Students will be able to tailor their learning through the choice of an optional course. Options include:

  • Teaching and Learning with Simulation
  • Teaching and Learning with Technology
  • Clinical Learning and Personal Development in Primary Care
  • Professionalism in Clinical Education
  • Self Selected Study Course - If none of the above options are of interest we may be able to support the study of another topic. Please contact the Programme Coordinator to discuss this option.

Students will be expected to evaluate personal experience of teaching and learning, critically analyse underpinning theory and evidence and formulate a plan for development. Please indicate on your personal statement which of the optional courses you would like to undertake.

Year 3


MSc Clinical Education (180 credits)

Completion of the Diploma will allow entry to the final stage of the MSc Clinical Education programme with the achievement of the ‘Research project in Clinical Education’.

Compulsory Courses

MSc Research Project

In the research project, students will design, conduct and submit a report on an education research project under the guidance and support of an identified supervisor. Students will have a thorough grounding in all the main aspects of clinical education i.e. delivery as well as the organisation and leadership of clinical education.

Summative assessment will include both a 12,500 word thesis, (75% of the overall grade) and an oral defence of the thesis (25%).

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Teaching and learning methods will take a blended immersive approach offering interactive seminars, large and small group work, with the use of online materials and methods. Video Conferencing is an option that can be facilitated to engage with those students based in remote and rural locations.

Teaching and learning methods will place an emphasis on reflection. Not only will reflection be encouraged for the taught material but also the process by which it is taught. Students will be required and supported to reflect on their own experiences as learners and teachers. This will include methods such as peer observation and feedback on teaching.

Periods of self-directed and preparatory reading before face-to face sessions will be required. This will be enhanced and facilitated through the programmes virtual learning environment, for which full training will be provided.

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

A combination of written assignment examinations and course work, as prescribed for each course. The Masters thesis/dissertation will be assessed and there will be an oral examination of completion of the programme.

Why Study Clinical Education?

  • The programme enables doctors, dentists, physician associates, veterinary surgeons, clinical academics , biomedical science graduates and other healthcare professionals working in a clinical education context to develop knowledge, skills and professional values as a teacher, trainer and educational scholar
  • Students are supported to generate new ideas in relation to their area of practice and associated teaching and learning requirements
  • The programme provides direct support for the professional development requirements for the role of an educator
  • The programme is undertaken through part-time study, to accommodate the parallel duties of clinical and academic staff
  • Face-to-face teaching is delivered at the Foresterhill Health Campus.  There will also be opportunities for videoconferencing to enable collaborative learning for all sessions. If required face to face teaching can also be delivered in Highland if the demand is sufficient.

Entry Requirements


Applicants will usually possess an honours level degree, usually in a healthcare (e.g. MBChB, nursing or BDS) or healthcare related area (e.g. psychology) and currently be involved in teaching practice to be eligible.

English Language Requirements

All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.

Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the College of Life Sciences and Medicine Postgraduate Standard level of English proficiency.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme.

an up-to-date CV/Resumé
Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK / International students £500
Modular fee programmes Fee is charged on a course basis per 15 credits. University of Aberdeen staff will be considered for a tuition fee waiver to the value of £500 per course. NHS staff who hold University of Aberdeen Honorary status will be considered for a 20% fee discount per course.

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The following options are available to support your studies.

  • ACT (Additional Cost of Teaching) Funding: Limited funding towards the costs of PgCert Clinical Education Programme fees may be available from the Scottish Government ACT fund for a career grade staff (e.g. Consultant, staff grade) applicant. Applications subject to panel review to be made by July 31st. Please contact the Programme Coordinator on for further information and application form.
  • Alumni Discount Scheme - a 20% discount for postgraduate tuition fees to all alumni who have an undergraduate degree from University of Aberdeen.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


By studying an MSc in Clinical Education at the University of Aberdeen you will have a solid grounding to enhance your role and career for teaching and learning in clinical and related education. You will develop expert knowledge and understanding of education that will enable you to help enhance and advance clinical educational practice.

Graduates of this programme have applied their knowledge and skills to their role as an educator in their existing clinical and academic post. However, many have gone on to develop as educators in a variety of roles such as Lecturers in Medical Education, Clinical Supervisors, and Simulation Faculty.

Many have also gone on to undertake lead roles in academic programmes, clinical post graduate training and conduct healthcare education research in areas as diverse as selection and assessment psychometrics.

Some of the career opportunities include:

  • Further study (PhD)
  • Clinical academic jobs in university settings, e.g. lecturer, researcher
  • Clinical educational roles including those requiring recognition and approval by the General Medical Council such as educational supervisors, and lead roles such as directors of medical education or training programme director.

An MSc in Clinical Education from the University of Aberdeen will demonstrate to employers that you have the experience of applying the knowledge, skills and attitudes to the role of an educator in the context of clinical education.

The contacts that you make within the University and the Foresterhill Health Campus enhance the credibility of your degree and help establish your reputation as a contributor to essential research projects.

Our Experts

The programme will be delivered by an experienced, multidisciplinary team of internationally renowned educators, researchers and NHS staff, including:

  • Professor Rona Patey, Director of the Institute of Education for Medical and Dental Sciences
  • Professor Alan Denison, Deputy Director of the Institute of Education for Medical and Dental Sciences
  • Professor Jennifer Cleland, John Simpson Chair of Medical Education Research
  • Professor John L Duncan, Director of Undergraduate Teaching (Inverness)

Programme Coordinator
Mrs Lorraine Hawick

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.


Face-to-face teaching will take place at the Foresterhill campus with the opportunity for videoconferencing.

Foresterhill Health Campus

Foresterhill Health Campus

The Foresterhill Health Campus is one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe which includes the Medical School, large teaching hospital, the Institute of Medical Sciences and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.

Contact Us

College of Life Sciences and Medicine Graduate School
University of Aberdeen
Polwarth Building
AB25 2ZD