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Many clinical health professionals are involved in teaching and supervising undergraduate and postgraduate students and increased recruitment to the NHS produces even greater demands for teachers. There is a need for greater professionalism and accountability as clinical teachers and this course is designed to meet this need by providing a sound theoretical and practical basis for good teaching practice. It complements the established Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme at Keele by emphasising small group teaching in clinical settings and education for clinical competence.


The Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education is accredited by the Higher Education Academy. The programme is aligned with Standard Descriptor 2 of the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning in higher education and successful completion of the programme entitles participants to recognition as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


The overall aim of the course is to improve the quality and effectiveness of clinical teaching and medical education through:

  • Understanding and fostering a learner-centred approach
  • Relating this to the requirements of professional education for clinical competence
  • Developing practical, generic skills in teaching and assessment, underpinned by an understanding of educational theory
  • Promoting reflective practice in education and clinical practice, using work-based assignments and a portfolio
  • Promoting evidence-based education

The programme’s aims and values embody those of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and successful participants will qualify as Fellows of the HEA with the post-nominal FHEA. The course is also scoped to the GMC document 'Recognising and Approving Trainers'.


The Masters in Medical Education programme consists of a three year programme of study. The structure of this is as detailed below. There are different levels of accreditation to enable flexibility for students who wish to study medical education but may not be in a position to complete the full Masters programme. Students may study the first two modules (30 credits) and receive a transcript to this effect. Students who complete the first four modules (60 credits) will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate and those who complete 8 modules (120 credits) will be awarded the Diploma. Students who wish to complete the full Masters programme will then go on to submit a dissertation (60 credits) therefore giving them the full 180 credits required for the award of the Masters in Medical Education. The taught components of the programme are available part time over the academic year and most students will complete 4 modules per year.  


Year One Modules (comprising the Postgraduate Course in Medical Education and Certificate)

  • Introduction to Medical Education (15 credits)
  • Teaching Methods and Theories of Learning (15 credits)
  • Assessment in Medical Education (15 credits)
  • Educational Supervision and Feedback (15 credits)

Year Two Modules (with the PG Certificate modules, comprising the Postgraduate Diploma)

Modules will aim at developing expertise and a specialist knowledge base in chosen areas of medical education.

Participants can select four from the following 15 credit modules:

  • Developing Professional Skills and Attitudes
  • Introduction to Research in Medical Education
  • Independent Study Module
  • Media Design
  • Curriculum Design and Session Planning
  • Simulation in Medical Education
  • Advanced Assessment module

The course will include a variety of teaching methods including small group teaching, peer observations of teaching practice, completion of a portfolio and personal study. Some course elements will be in distance learning format.

The overall structure will be flexible to allow participants to complete individual course units at different times, using the portfolio as a personal planner and record of achievement.


Module 1 of the Certificate will be assessed by a portfolio of evidence, relating to prior experience, taught courses, reflection and observation of teaching. Remaining modules will be assessed by assignments, generally in written format, and with a choice of subject areas, along with specific project work associated with some modules.

Visit the Medical Education MA/PgDip/PgCert page on the Keele University website for more details!