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Course overview

Interested in teaching the medical and healthcare professionals of tomorrow?  Our Medical Education course is the perfect way to give you the skills and understanding of education to help you support your learners.

At Nottingham you will gain a solid understanding of the core principles and theories which underpin teaching and learning. You'll also learn about curriculum design and structuring teaching environments to enable your learners to be the best they can be when studying with you.

On the course you'll be taught by nationally and internationally renowned clinicians and scholars across a range of compulsory and optional modules including specialist subject areas within medical education. You can tailor the course to your academic interests with everything from technology-enabled learning through to the fundamental science of assessment. 

We practice what we preach, so the course is designed using the same principles you'll learn while studying. By the end, you'll have everything you need to be an educator in healthcare.

Why choose this course?

Advance HE accredited

Complete the core modules and be eligible for Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

AoME accredited

Complete the course and you’ll be able to apply more easily for membership of the Academy of Medical Educators.

Learn from clinicians

Our teaching team is led by practising clinician-educators

Optional modules

Pursue your own interests with a range of optional modules

50 Years

Learn from a medical school which has been teaching medicine in the UK since 1970.

First intake of students to our Medical School arrived October 1970

Course content

You'll study across a number of compulsory modules designed to introduce you to the principles and practice of education in the healthcare professions from teaching, learning, assessment and feedback to designing curricula and structuring the educational environment. For MMedSci students, this culminates in a research project in an area of your choice.

If you choose to study the MMedSci or the PGDip, you'll also have a selection of optional modules to help you tailor your studies to your specific interests. These will introduce you to areas like psychometrics; technology enhanced education;  clinical reasoning; and coaching, mentoring and supervision.

Study takes place over three semesters, autumn, spring, and summer. Typically taught modules are delivered in the autumn and spring semesters with the summer used for the research project, though this is dependent on your mode of study.

MMedSci students will take all of the compulsory modules, including Introduction to Research and Medical Education Research modules, and choose two optional modules for a total of 180 credits.

Students taking the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) cover three compulsory modules and choose three optional modules for a total of 120 credits.

Students taking the Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) cover three compulsory modules for a total of 60 credits.

Modules

Compulsory modules

Principles and Practice of Teaching and Learning 20 credits

This module introduces you to the principles of teaching and learning from education and psychology as applied to a medical or healthcare professions education context.

You will also explore individual values and beliefs about teaching and learning and investigate the way in which the values, beliefs and held assumptions of teachers, together with expectations from learners, influence the delivery of teaching and the learning experience of students in a medical or healthcare context.

The module also equips scholars to deliver theory-driven or evidence-based teaching effectively and critically reflect on the experience in order to demonstrate scholarship in their roles as teachers.

Principles and Practice of Assessment and Feedback 20 credits

As well investigating the various targets of assessment such as knowledge, skills and behaviours in a medical or healthcare professions education context, this module looks at some of the broader assessment considerations from stakeholders, such as patients, the public and the wider profession. This includes some of the areas deserving of particular focus in the 21st century such as clinical reasoning and judgement in uncertain situations as well as professionalism and team-working.

Key considerations involved in designing programmes of assessment are also explored, such as:

  • experts to test expert judgement
  • pass-fail standards and developmental levels 
  • the fundamentals of psychometrics
  • the impact of assessment on learning (including feedback and remediation)
  • the role of feedback and formative assessment in the educational process

The educational theory and evidence base for feedback models will be explored with a specific focus on feedback receipt and learner engagement in order to facilitate a change in future learner behaviour and outcomes.

Principles and Practice of Curriculum Design and the Educational Environment 20 credits

This module introduces you to curriculum design principles and how they influence the educational philosophy and inform the delivery of education. It considers the influence of stakeholders such as the profession, the public and patients on curriculum design including the various drivers for change from a policy perspective and legislation such as the Equalities Act.

You will gain insight into the way in which curriculum design is a process of defining and organising content; teaching and learning strategies; assessment processes; and evaluation processes. The module will explore the ways in which educators can ensure that curriculum design and educational environments are inclusive, as well as how we define culture, diversity and inclusion as they relate to educators.

The module also explores how the structure of the environment as well as institutional culture and norms influence the lived experiences of learners in the classroom or clinical workplace; investigate the influence of the learning environment on modifiable learner factors such as motivation and perception of relevance; and consider the way in which the environment of the classroom or clinical workplace can be structured to consolidate previous learning experiences and facilitate the learning strategies of individuals to create an optimum climate for learning.  

Introduction to Research Methods in Medical Education 20 credits

This module prepares and supports students to begin the challenge of undertaking medical education research. The purpose of the module is to provide students with an introduction to the principles and practice of research design, methodology, quantitative and qualitative research methods. Likewise, the module also will also develop the knowledge required to plan data collection and analysis as well as develop the skills required to complete a research proposal and application for ethical approval to undertake research.

Medical Education Research and Dissertation 60 credits

This is a compulsory module for masters candidates on basic research methods in medical and health science education. It is designed to teach participants knowledge of research skills but also to prepare them to complete a piece of educational research as part of a dissertation project. 

The module will build on the knowledge and skills developed in the MEDS4023 module and further refine the understanding of scholars about quantitative and qualitative research methods, basic statistical techniques and qualitative data analysis. Research design principles and dissertation structure will be described and discussed so scholars are prepared to submit their work in a timely and effective manner. At the start of this module participants should be in a position to undertake research guided by a research proposal and protocol designed in collaboration with their supervisor. If appropriate ethical approval must be sought.

The dissertation is a supervised research or literature based investigation using appropriate research or investigatory methodology into an aspect of clinical education. It leads to the production of a 20,000-word dissertation. Participants will produce a draft dissertation for appraisal by their supervisor prior to formal submission.

Optional modules

Technology Enhanced Education 20 credits

This module explores the role and relationship of digital learning resources and simulation-based learning technologies in the education of healthcare professionals. The module draws on insights from the broader literature in business, computer-science, education and psychology and sociology applied to a medical or healthcare professions education context. The module equips scholars with the capability to design and develop digital learning resources or simulation-based learning technologies for developing the knowledge, skills, values and desirable behaviours of learners in their educational context.

Coaching, Mentoring, Supervision 20 credits

This module develops the knowledge and understanding for scholars in this domain of medical education given the lack of conceptual clarity around coaching, mentoring and supervision across the various healthcare professions education literature and the lack of consistency in experience of learners receiving coaching, mentoring or supervision in practice.

You will develop the practical tools and techniques for asking skilled questions and demonstrate active listening during their conversations with learners so individuals receiving help are appropriately supported or challenged as appropriate.

Principles and Practice of Applying Psychometrics in Assessment 20 credits

Students will have the opportunity to learn about the post examination analysis of assessment items and OSCEs and its interpretation - an essential component of the examination cycle that provides valuable feedback for improving the quality of the curriculum and standards of teaching and assessment. The underpinning principles of Classical Test Theory (including Generalizability theory), Item Response Theory will be discussed and students will have the opportunity apply their learning to a variety of in-class practical exercises and in private study. In addition, students learn SPSS and Excel in order to run psychometric properties of assessment items.  It is intended to be an introductory course for students who have a very limited background in statistics and mathematics.

Teaching Clinical Reasoning using Case-Based Learning in Educational and Clinical Environments 20 credits

This module investigates approaches such problem-based learning (PBL) and case-based learning (CBL) for developing clinical diagnostic decision-making skills among novices in a medical or healthcare professions education context. The module draws on insights from the broader literature in clinical reasoning, decision-making, education and psychology and sociology applied to a medical or healthcare professions education context. The module equips scholars with the knowledge and skills to design effective problem-solving and decision-making skills among learners using a range of educational activities and across a variety of healthcare contexts.

Learning in Complex and Uncertain Environments 20 credits

This module examines the challenges for healthcare professions educators of delivering teaching or educational activities in clinical or workplace-based environments. The module draws on insights from the broader literature in education, leadership, management, psychology and sociology applied to a medical or healthcare professions education context. The module equips scholars with the knowledge and skills for designing or facilitating the learning of individuals in challenging or changing circumstances given the inherent uncertainty or complexity associated with healthcare delivery.

Underperformance and Performance Enhancement 20 credits

This module provides an in-depth examination of the fundamental issues present in area of underperformance within a healthcare professions education context. The module draws on insights from the broader literature in education, psychology and sociology to make sense of learner and teacher experiences of underperformance. The module equips scholars to develop their diagnostic skills for making sense of the learner in difficulty but also design remediation for enhancing the performance of individuals on a given task or at assessment

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Wednesday 14 October 2020.

Compulsory modules

Principles and Practice of Teaching and Learning 20 credits

This module introduces you to the principles of teaching and learning from education and psychology as applied to a medical or healthcare professions education context.

You will also explore individual values and beliefs about teaching and learning and investigate the way in which the values, beliefs and held assumptions of teachers, together with expectations from learners, influence the delivery of teaching and the learning experience of students in a medical or healthcare context.

The module also equips scholars to deliver theory-driven or evidence-based teaching effectively and critically reflect on the experience in order to demonstrate scholarship in their roles as teachers.

Principles and Practice of Assessment and Feedback 20 credits

As well investigating the various targets of assessment such as knowledge, skills and behaviours in a medical or healthcare professions education context, this module looks at some of the broader assessment considerations from stakeholders, such as patients, the public and the wider profession. This includes some of the areas deserving of particular focus in the 21st century such as clinical reasoning and judgement in uncertain situations as well as professionalism and team-working.

Key considerations involved in designing programmes of assessment are also explored, such as:

  • experts to test expert judgement
  • pass-fail standards and developmental levels 
  • the fundamentals of psychometrics
  • the impact of assessment on learning (including feedback and remediation)
  • the role of feedback and formative assessment in the educational process

The educational theory and evidence base for feedback models will be explored with a specific focus on feedback receipt and learner engagement in order to facilitate a change in future learner behaviour and outcomes.

Principles and Practice of Curriculum Design and the Educational Environment 20 credits

This module introduces you to curriculum design principles and how they influence the educational philosophy and inform the delivery of education. It considers the influence of stakeholders such as the profession, the public and patients on curriculum design including the various drivers for change from a policy perspective and legislation such as the Equalities Act.

You will gain insight into the way in which curriculum design is a process of defining and organising content; teaching and learning strategies; assessment processes; and evaluation processes. The module will explore the ways in which educators can ensure that curriculum design and educational environments are inclusive, as well as how we define culture, diversity and inclusion as they relate to educators.

The module also explores how the structure of the environment as well as institutional culture and norms influence the lived experiences of learners in the classroom or clinical workplace; investigate the influence of the learning environment on modifiable learner factors such as motivation and perception of relevance; and consider the way in which the environment of the classroom or clinical workplace can be structured to consolidate previous learning experiences and facilitate the learning strategies of individuals to create an optimum climate for learning.  

Optional modules

Technology Enhanced Education 20 credits

This module explores the role and relationship of digital learning resources and simulation-based learning technologies in the education of healthcare professionals. The module draws on insights from the broader literature in business, computer-science, education and psychology and sociology applied to a medical or healthcare professions education context. The module equips scholars with the capability to design and develop digital learning resources or simulation-based learning technologies for developing the knowledge, skills, values and desirable behaviours of learners in their educational context.

Coaching, Mentoring, Supervision 20 credits

This module develops the knowledge and understanding for scholars in this domain of medical education given the lack of conceptual clarity around coaching, mentoring and supervision across the various healthcare professions education literature and the lack of consistency in experience of learners receiving coaching, mentoring or supervision in practice.

You will develop the practical tools and techniques for asking skilled questions and demonstrate active listening during their conversations with learners so individuals receiving help are appropriately supported or challenged as appropriate.

Principles and Practice of Applying Psychometrics in Assessment 20 credits

Students will have the opportunity to learn about the post examination analysis of assessment items and OSCEs and its interpretation - an essential component of the examination cycle that provides valuable feedback for improving the quality of the curriculum and standards of teaching and assessment. The underpinning principles of Classical Test Theory (including Generalizability theory), Item Response Theory will be discussed and students will have the opportunity apply their learning to a variety of in-class practical exercises and in private study. In addition, students learn SPSS and Excel in order to run psychometric properties of assessment items.  It is intended to be an introductory course for students who have a very limited background in statistics and mathematics.

Teaching Clinical Reasoning using Case-Based Learning in Educational and Clinical Environments 20 credits

This module investigates approaches such problem-based learning (PBL) and case-based learning (CBL) for developing clinical diagnostic decision-making skills among novices in a medical or healthcare professions education context. The module draws on insights from the broader literature in clinical reasoning, decision-making, education and psychology and sociology applied to a medical or healthcare professions education context. The module equips scholars with the knowledge and skills to design effective problem-solving and decision-making skills among learners using a range of educational activities and across a variety of healthcare contexts.

Introduction to Research Methods in Medical Education 20 credits

This module prepares and supports students to begin the challenge of undertaking medical education research. The purpose of the module is to provide students with an introduction to the principles and practice of research design, methodology, quantitative and qualitative research methods. Likewise, the module also will also develop the knowledge required to plan data collection and analysis as well as develop the skills required to complete a research proposal and application for ethical approval to undertake research.

Learning in Complex and Uncertain Environments 20 credits

This module examines the challenges for healthcare professions educators of delivering teaching or educational activities in clinical or workplace-based environments. The module draws on insights from the broader literature in education, leadership, management, psychology and sociology applied to a medical or healthcare professions education context. The module equips scholars with the knowledge and skills for designing or facilitating the learning of individuals in challenging or changing circumstances given the inherent uncertainty or complexity associated with healthcare delivery.

Underperformance and Performance Enhancement 20 credits

This module provides an in-depth examination of the fundamental issues present in area of underperformance within a healthcare professions education context. The module draws on insights from the broader literature in education, psychology and sociology to make sense of learner and teacher experiences of underperformance. The module equips scholars to develop their diagnostic skills for making sense of the learner in difficulty but also design remediation for enhancing the performance of individuals on a given task or at assessment

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Wednesday 14 October 2020.
Principles and Practice of Teaching and Learning 20 credits

This module introduces you to the principles of teaching and learning from education and psychology as applied to a medical or healthcare professions education context.

You will also explore individual values and beliefs about teaching and learning and investigate the way in which the values, beliefs and held assumptions of teachers, together with expectations from learners, influence the delivery of teaching and the learning experience of students in a medical or healthcare context.

The module also equips scholars to deliver theory-driven or evidence-based teaching effectively and critically reflect on the experience in order to demonstrate scholarship in their roles as teachers.

Principles and Practice of Assessment and Feedback 20 credits

As well investigating the various targets of assessment such as knowledge, skills and behaviours in a medical or healthcare professions education context, this module looks at some of the broader assessment considerations from stakeholders, such as patients, the public and the wider profession. This includes some of the areas deserving of particular focus in the 21st century such as clinical reasoning and judgement in uncertain situations as well as professionalism and team-working.

Key considerations involved in designing programmes of assessment are also explored, such as:

  • experts to test expert judgement
  • pass-fail standards and developmental levels 
  • the fundamentals of psychometrics
  • the impact of assessment on learning (including feedback and remediation)
  • the role of feedback and formative assessment in the educational process

The educational theory and evidence base for feedback models will be explored with a specific focus on feedback receipt and learner engagement in order to facilitate a change in future learner behaviour and outcomes.

Principles and Practice of Curriculum Design and the Educational Environment 20 credits

This module introduces you to curriculum design principles and how they influence the educational philosophy and inform the delivery of education. It considers the influence of stakeholders such as the profession, the public and patients on curriculum design including the various drivers for change from a policy perspective and legislation such as the Equalities Act.

You will gain insight into the way in which curriculum design is a process of defining and organising content; teaching and learning strategies; assessment processes; and evaluation processes. The module will explore the ways in which educators can ensure that curriculum design and educational environments are inclusive, as well as how we define culture, diversity and inclusion as they relate to educators.

The module also explores how the structure of the environment as well as institutional culture and norms influence the lived experiences of learners in the classroom or clinical workplace; investigate the influence of the learning environment on modifiable learner factors such as motivation and perception of relevance; and consider the way in which the environment of the classroom or clinical workplace can be structured to consolidate previous learning experiences and facilitate the learning strategies of individuals to create an optimum climate for learning.  

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Wednesday 14 October 2020.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Presentation
  • Small group learning
  • Webinars
  • Self-study
  • Tutorials
  • Observation
  • Simulated educational encounters
  • Guided reading
  • Writing retreat
  • Peer learning
  • Journal club

How you will be assessed

  • Assignments
  • Learning resource development
  • Peer evaluations
  • Personal reflections
  • Presentations
  • Online exams
  • Dissertation

Your work will be assessed during or at the end of each module through a variety of means.

To complete a module and gain its credits you will need to make sure you attend your timetabled sessions and get over the 50% pass mark.

In order to achieve the MMedSci, you will need a total of 180 credits.

In order to achieve the PGDip, you will need a total of 120 credits.

In order to achieve the PGCert, you will need a total of 60 credits.

Contact time and study hours

We encourage our full time students to think of the course like they would a full-time job and spend around 37 hours on it per week including teaching time. Part time students should consider it similar to a part-time job.

You are expected to work roughly 10 hours for each credit on the course including teaching and independent study, so a 20 credit module should take around 200 hours to complete or around a total of 25 eight-hour days.

Full Time

Full time students learn over a period of two semesters and a summer period totalling around 12 months.

Teaching is usually delivered on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during the semesters. You'll have around 37 days of teaching over the year with an average of 6 hours of contact time each week, however time and days of teaching will depend on the optional modules you choose.

Non-teaching days are intended for private study and research.

Part Time

Part time students can experience the same course content over a period of 24 or 36 months.

Teaching is usually delivered on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during the semesters. Students typically attend teaching 9 to 16 days per year with about 3 hours per week.

We try wherever possible to be flexible to help you manage your timetable.

You're expected to devote around two days per week to the course including attending teaching, private study, and research.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 or Pass in Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine and other health related subjects (as appropriate)

Applying

If you have any questions about applying to the course or studying at the University of Nottingham, please use our enquiry form

You can also contact the course director, Dr Rakesh Patel, if you have any questions about the course content.

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

UK students

To be confirmed in 2020 *

International students

To be confirmed in 2020 *

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses such as travel and accommodation.

You should be able to access the books and resources you need for the course through our libraries, however you may wish to purchase your own copies or get specific books which may cost up to £80 each.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

The University also offers masters scholarships for international and EU students. Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about funding postgraduate study.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

Graduate destinations

Many of our graduates go on to develop careers in education. 

Examples include:

  • Head of School of Medicine, University of Nottingham
  • Dean of Medical Education, University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies at Nottingham University Hospitals
  • GP Trainers
  • Clinical Associate Professor
  • Undergraduate course leads
  • Director of Postgraduate Medical Education
  • Teaching Fellows

Career progression

90.3% of postgraduates from the School of Medicine secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £38,889.*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Advance HE

Upon completing our compulsory modules you'll be granted provisional professional recognition by Advance HE meaning you will be eligible for a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

Membership allows you to identify your expertise with the use of post-nominal letters FHEA and demonstrates your commitment to teaching, learning, and the student experience. This recognition is increasingly sought by employers, and valued worldwide by education institutions.

Academy of Medical Educators

Our course has been accredited by the Academy of Medical Educators, providing an independent validation of its quality.

Successfully completing our AoME accredited course means you’ll be able to apply for Membership of the Academy of Medical Educators without needing to go through the full application and assessment process.

Membership of the Academy allows you to use the post-nominal letters MAcadMEd, and signifies that you have been judged to meet the Academy’s Professional Standards for Medical Educators at an appropriate level. This demonstrates your skills and expertise in medical education to colleagues and employers.

We’ll help you complete your application and prepare you for applications to any other organisations which wish to receive recognition from.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" All our teachers come from different backgrounds and areas of expertise. Some have expertise in the medical humanities; others in technology-enhanced learning; or coaching, supervision and remediation; or the science of learning; or clinical thinking and decision-making. We support our international students in particular, and are constantly responding to feedback and exploring new ways to evolve our course. "
Dr Rakesh Patel, Course Director

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Wednesday 14 October 2020. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.