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Course content

This course is flexible in that it offers two entry routes, choices for modular study and appropriate academic targets.

Those who have already completed either the BSMS Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education (or equivalent, if APL requested) or the BSMS Postgraduate Certificate in Simulation Studies, may enter at Postgraduate Diploma Level. These participants would then successfully complete a further three 20-credit optional modules to achieve a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Education (120 M level credits). Normally these modules would be completed part-time within one academic year.

Participants wishing to progress to Masters level must include Module MDM 10 ‘Research Methods & Critical Appraisal’ in their choice of three.

A 12,000-word dissertation (as well as an academic poster for publication) in the academic field of clinical education completes the Master of Science degree (180 M level credits). This would normally be completed in a further year, but some students with busy NHS jobs find it can take up to two years to complete.

Key areas of study

The overall aim of the course is to promote knowledge of and research into learning, teaching and communication in a clinical context, together with facilitating a reflective awareness of participants’ related educational skills and their ongoing development.

  • Professional identity as a teacher
  • Pedagogical practice in medical education
  • Advanced communication skills and strategies in medical education
  • Technology-enhanced learning
  • Simulation studies
  • Leadership and facilitation
  • Evidence-based clinical academic practice
  • Clinical education research and methodology 

Course structure

The format of assessment throughout the course is varied: some modules are assessed by more traditional 3,000 word written assignments, centred on a topic relevant to the student’s own practice or in-depth analyses of specific case studies or significant educational events. Others feature the development of specific educational tools (e.g. on–line learning or simulation-based assessment), focussing on more practical aspects of clinical education.

Students will also develop a personal educational portfolio of about 5,000 words using an appropriate national professional standards framework i.e. Health Education Academy (HEA) or Academy of Medical Educators (AoME).The Dissertation module involves a personal research project and is assessed by a 12,000 word thesis plus academic poster for publication in an appropriate academic journal.

Career opportunities

This course provides health professionals with a firm base to underpin their role as medical educators.

Formal credentialing in medical and clinical education is currently being considered seriously at national level in the UK and elsewhere, and the ‘Teaching Excellence Framework’ (May 2016) for higher education institutions in the UK also means that careers in medical or clinical education are likely to be enhanced via the acquisition of formal qualifications in clinical teaching.

This course provides an ideal vehicle for participants to pursue an appropriate level of study for their educational commitments and in this national context, should help them in career development.

Any clinician wishing to take a professional approach to their postgraduate studies in medical or clinical education would be strongly recommended to consider this new course.


Visit the Clinical Education - MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the Brighton & Sussex Medical School website for more details!

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