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Clinical Education (PGCert/PGDip/MClinEd)

Course Description

Are you a doctor, dentist or other healthcare professional wishing to develop your role as a teacher, trainer, clinical or educational supervisor? This masters programme will help you explore your role as an educational scholar and teacher. Supported by a blended learning approach including face-to-face sessions and interactive materials, you’ll be equipped with the skills to plan and conduct your dissertation, and be primed to confidently transfer your knowledge into your professional role.

Key features

Your learning journey – this masters programme will be delivered on a part-time basis over three years. The programme will include the completion of four modules and a dissertation, totalling 180 credits.

Alternatively, choose to study full time – this is particularly suitable if you are undertaking an intercalated degree from medicine or dentistry. Taught modules will be delivered in the autumn and spring terms. You’ll be supported by a PUPSMD staff member and can attend seminars of the medical education research group CAMERA.

Improve your clinical skills – this programme is designed to develop your knowledge and abilities as a teacher, trainer, educational scholar, leader and manager, and is appropriate if you are a doctor, dentist or a healthcare professional working primarily in a clinical environment.

Benefit from a programme accredited by The Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Four places for intercalating medical and dental students are available on this masters programme and you’ll normally be interviewed prior to acceptance. Interviews will take place in December prior to starting the following academic year.

Equip yourself with the skills to plan and conduct a full masters dissertation.

Be supported by a blended learning approach with face-to-face sessions and interactive materials, electronic learning environments and tutorial support.

If you successfully complete the Certificate stage of this Masters level programme, and if you are are able to provide evidence of meeting the appropriate criteria, you will be eligible to become either an Associate Fellow or Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). The evidence-gathering process may also assist those wishing to apply for accreditation by the Academy of Medical Educators (AoME). Both of these bodies are concerned with upholding professional standards for educators, and recognition of teaching excellence. Their awards are increasingly transferable between UK Higher Education institutions.

Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma

The postgraduate certificate, diploma and masters in Clinical Education are all offered as end point qualifications, and assignments are designed to reflect your educational role within your clinical background. The certificate stage focuses on applying educational theory to clinical educational practice, and exploring contemporary issues in assessment, while the diploma will help you explore a role as an educational scholar and leader.

The postgraduate certificate programme will be delivered on a part-time basis over one year. The programme will include the completion of two modules – clinical educational practice: theory, evidence and application, and assessment in clinical education, totalling 60 credits.

On successful completion of this postgraduate certificate award you may choose to progress onto a second year of study towards a postgraduate diploma. The postgraduate diploma programme will be delivered on a part-time basis over two years. The programme will include the completion of four modules including clinical educational practice: theory, evidence and application, assessment in clinical education and a choice of two further modules, totalling 120 credits.

On successful completion of this postgraduate diploma award you may choose to progress onto a third year of study and complete a dissertation to be awarded a full masters degree.

Course details

In your first year, you’ll complete two modules worth 30 credits each: clinical educational practice: theory, evidence and application, and assessment in clinical education. You’ll understand educational practice in its historical, cultural and theoretical framework and explore the interplay between cultures, contexts and concepts that form the landscape of practice. You’ll also advance your knowledge and understanding of evidence-based approaches in healthcare assessment theory and practice.

In your second year, you’ll complete two more 30 credit modules: scholarship and leadership for innovation and improvement in practice or simulation and enhanced learning, plus project design, development and knowledge transfer. These modules are shared across the suite of programmes, providing opportunities for cross-programme and inter-professional learning and working.

In your final year, you’ll complete a dissertation module worth 60 credits. You’ll showcase your ability to design, conduct and write up a project on a topic associated with the masters programme. You’ll demonstrate self-direction, originality and an ability to act independently in the planning and implementation of project skills at an advanced professional level. You’ll have to successfully accumulate a minimum of 180 credits to be awarded a masters degree.


Make sure you have all your supporting documents. Documents required usually include:

Evidence of qualifications (certificates or transcripts) to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
Evidence of English language ability, if English is not your first language
Two references
Visual evidence for art and design applicants
Two passport photographs
Curriculum Vitae or résumé, if required
Proof of sponsorship, if applicable

Accreditation of prior certificated learning (APCL) and accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) refer to the process by which previous formal certificated learning and informal non-certificated learning can be awarded credit towards modules within the sphere of Higher Education. Credit for prior learning, whether certificated or experiential, may count towards the requirements for the named award. The maximum amount of credit for prior learning (certificated or experiential) claimed towards the award is 120 credits. To qualify for the award of a masters degree, your dissertation must be completed at Plymouth University. If you are seeking credit (whether certificated or experiential), you will normally be required to apply for such credit on receipt of an offer of a place on the programme. Requests for APCL if you are already on a programme will be considered, provided that you submit the request in the session before you would normally begin the module/stage for which you are seeking credit. In the case of requests for APEL, this would be at least six months prior to the beginning of the session before you would normally begin the module(s)/stage against which you are seeking credit.

Plymouth University is committed to providing equality for all irrespective of age, disability, ethnicity (including race, colour and nationality), gender, gender reassignment, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity and will work to ensure that all students, employees and visitors, as well as those who apply or seek to apply to work or study at the University, are treated fairly and are not subjected to discrimination by the University on any of these grounds (University Equality and Diversity Policy, Revised April 2011).

Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry welcomes applications from people with disabilities who will be considered on the same academic grounds as other potential students. Considerations about individual needs arising from disability will be made separately, and we will strive to meet an individual disabled student's needs wherever possible and in consultation with Disability Assist.

Visit the Clinical Education (PGCert/PGDip/MClinEd) page on the Plymouth University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally a recognised first degree or equivalent will be required. Experience acquired through work or other means that enables staff responsible for admissions to be confident of your ability to succeed in the programme may also be considered, in line with QAA guidance. If your first language is not English you will be required to provide evidence of competence in English language.

Course Fees

Part-time (per 60 credits): UK/EU: £2,520, International: N/A, Islands: £5,130

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