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Course content

This two-year, part-time masters programme is offered jointly by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh, and is taught entirely online. Both institutions have combined well previously to deliver an award-winning Master’s programme to support early surgical training, and continue to serve as a powerful brand in surgery.

You will be taught by experienced tutors – all leading clinicians in their field – and you will have access to well-defined and managed learning resources and educational material, including an unparalleled online library facility.

Illustrative cases will cover technical skills and procedures as well as core knowledge and clinical skills.

Online learning

Our online learning technology is fully interactive, award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.

Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.

Programme structure

Based on the UK Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum, this programme allows you to select advanced modules that match your declared subspecialty, and supports your study towards the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) examinations.

Year 1

Compulsory modules will cover the basic elements of subspecialties, for instance, emergency surgery and critical care including the assessment and the pre-/peri-/post-operative care of the surgical patient.

These modules will be taught and assessed using a clinical problem-based approach, supported by systems-based review of the course material.

Year 2

Academic modules will explore research and teaching methodology, whilst enabling students to develop the ability to analyse published evidence and enhance their interactive and written clinical communication skills. Students will also have the opportunity to complete an academic research project in Year 2 e.g. Original research or a Systematic Review in a relevant area of work. Following completion of the programme, students are encouraged to seek publication of their study in a peer-reviewed journal.

Students are supported throughout the programme through asynchronous discussions with e-tutors who are all leading clinicians in their field. Students also have access to a large learning resource, including subscriptions to key online books and journals. A written examination (MCQ) is held in the second year, following completion of core modules.

Career opportunities

The ChM provides advanced training for surgeons preparing for the intercollegiate fellowship examination and those approaching consultancy.


Visit the General Surgery (Online Distance Learning) (ChM) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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