The Centre for Medical Education offers three online distance learning courses in Medical Education: Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and MastersStudents on these courses are supported by an online distance induction programme. This promotes familiarity with the tools, processes and facilities available to students during their academic journey with us.


Method of study

There are pathways through the programme:
  • by online learning
  • by face-to-face teaching
  • a combination of face-to-face and online learning

Student-learning across the programme will include working with online materials, interaction with peer learners, reflection on practice, tutor contact and personal study. Most participants study by distance learning although between 10 and 30 participants attend the Centre for Medical Education premises in Dundee each year for face-to-face teaching. We are creating more opportunities for blended learning, so that online learners can learn with our face-to-face learners and vice versa. Participants wishing to combine the face-to-face approach with distance learning study (up to two modules per academic year as a blended approach), can attend the timetabled intensive one-week session for a module. On-site workshops are also provided in those institutions where there is sufficient participant demand.


There are six main themes within the medical education programme of courses:

  1. Teaching and learning
  2. Assessment
  3. Curriculum development
  4. Leadership
  5. Clinical teaching
  6. Research

There are modules within each theme, some of which are designated core for specified levels of the programme. The remainder contribute to a wide menu of options from which participants select those most appropriate to their needs.

Who should enrol?

  • Healthcare professionals who wish to gain a prestigious University qualification in Medical Education mapped to the frameworks of the Higher Education Academy and Academy of Medical Educators.
  • All our participants receive a good balance between theory and practice that allows them to perform effectively in their fields.
  • Face-to-face and online distance learners have access to an extensive seminar programme run by the College of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing.
  • We arrange visits for our face-to-face students to Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe. Students are also able to attend seminars at the College of Life Sciences, a world-leading research centre.
  • Our courses are aimed at those new to teaching and training and those who wish to gain further skills and knowledge in the area of medical education.
  • Graduates of the University of Dundee Medical Education programmes are world leaders in medical education.

Special features of the course

The medical education programme has a number of special features that together contribute to its unique flavour.
  • Outcome-based approach: The outcome-based approach provides a useful framework for the courses. It emphasises the technical aspects of the teachers’ responsibilities at the same time as the scholarship and professionalism of teaching. It identifies what the teacher should be able to do and also highlights that the teachers should reflect on and take responsibility for their professional development.
  • Design of course materials: Reflection is encouraged through the design of the course materials, with activities to encourage interaction with the material, self-assessment exercises and peer-to-peer and peer-to-tutor interaction. Readings and references at the end of each module encourage further learning about specific topics. The module assignments are designed to ensure participants reflect on the relevance of the underlying educational concepts and principles to their own situation.
  • Linking theory with practice: The task-based learning strategy employed in the programme encourages on-the-job learning as a health professions educator. The design of the module assignments encourages linking theory with the individual participant’s teaching practice.
  • Emphases: The different emphases on the three levels of the programme, with the Certificate focusing on teachers as practitioners, the Diploma focusing on teachers as leaders, and the Masters focusing on teachers as researchers, allows participants to select a course that is appropriate to their individual needs as educators.
  • Transferable skills: The programme has been designed with an emphasis on providing participants with a range of transferable skills specific to the different emphases on teachers as practitioners, leaders and researchers. These include skills in academic writing, information literacy, independent research, reflective practice, critical thinking, among others.
  • Flexibility: The majority of participants study by distance learning with no need ever to visit Dundee, which makes for a convenient method of study. The potential for blended delivery of the courses with a combination of distance learning, face-to- face teaching and easy availability of tutor support provides flexible learning designed to fit in with the busy schedule of the health professions educator. The programme also offers flexible start and end dates for the vast majority of the modules.