University of Dundee

Masters in Medical Education

This case study is from a completely online postgraduate programme for healthcare professionals who may be based anywhere in the world. Key to creating a sense of belonging on this programme has been creating clear student cohorts so that students move through a module together, and the use of small group exercises to allow the sharing of personal experiences and stories that are key to establishing a relationship of trust between students and staff.

Contributor: Dr Susie Schofield

1. About this programme

This is a postgraduate programme aimed at Health professionals, usually working full-time as clinical educators. Most students are studying part time. 

The cohort is approximately 70% UK-based students with others accessing the programme from overseas. We currently have a small cohort of on-campus (all international) and 1000 off-campus students (UK and overseas) 

The programme has three exit points – Certificate (three 20 credit modules), Diploma (Cert plus three more 20 credit modules), Masters (Diploma plus 60 credit dissertation), and students can work through all three consecutively, or graduate at e.g. Certificate or Diploma then return some time later to the next stage. Each stage is designed to be completed in one year, but students have up to two years for each, allowing them to take planned breaks between modules.  

There are core modules at each stage: Certificate (L &T, Principles of Assessment), Diploma (Leadership or Curriculum Planning plus Medical Education Research if student intends to progress to Masters level). In addition to the core modules there is a menu of optional modules, including specialties (e.g. surgical education) for specialty Certificate pathways. There is an overall module plan which is followed by all 20-credit modules, including the layout of the modules to help orientation.