MSc in Health Professions Education

About the programme

The postgraduate certificate, diploma and MSc in Health Professions Education are designed especially for health professionals who are interested in education, assessment, course design and educational research.

The courses cover a variety of topics of interest to anyone working within health professions education including: medicine, dentistry, nursing, midwifery, radiography, physiotherapy, pharmacy or other health professions including ward managers.

The programmes are flexible, designed to fit in around busy work schedules and home life. Taught by subject experts, you will have access to a wealth of online resources, and also have the option of face-to-face study days where you can meet the tutors and your fellow students. The Certificate, Diploma and MSc in Health Professions Education are available part-time or you can choose to study the content of all three programmes in our one year full-time MSc.

Accredited by the Higher Education Academy, you will be able to apply for membership upon completion of the Certificate.

You will be registered at the University of York, but you will have access to facilities and support at both our parent universities – Hull and York. All of our degrees are awarded by both the University of Hull and University of York.

If you're thinking about studying with us, please also look at our research unit for further details of what we do.

Choose from a range of programme pathways to suit your previous experience, work commitments and personal goals:

  • 3 year, part-time Certificate, Diploma and MSc
  • 2 year, part-time Certificate, Diploma and MSc
  • 1 year, part-time Certificate and Diploma
  • 1 year, part-time Diploma and MSc
  • 1 year, part-time MSc
  • 1 year, full-time MSc

Certificate (part-time)

The Postgraduate Certificate will enable students to develop an understanding of the principle issues of learning, teaching, assessment and professional practice as they relate to clinical education. Students will engage in a range of activities utilising educational theory and reflective practice. The Postgraduate Certificate in Health Professions Education is accredited by the Higher Education Academy. This enables students to apply for Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy upon successful completion of the certificate.

Diploma (part-time)

The Postgraduate Diploma will support students to deliver high quality health professions education by reflecting upon and sharing insights into their clinical and teaching practice. Students will understand and apply educational theories and evidence from the literature, consider leadership within an educational context and develop an understanding of approaches to educational research. Diploma modules are designed to provide students with knowledge and skills upon which they can continue to build their own academic studies or career.

MSc (part-time)

Students will develop the knowledge and skills required to undertake and deliver a high quality research project in health professions education. The research will be relevant to the students’ own discipline and research interests.

MSc (full-time)

Students wishing to study the content of the part-time Certificate, Diploma and MSc in one year may wish to apply for the full-time MSc.

The course has improved my understanding of the way curriculum, exams and assessments are designed and implemented and, as a result, I have gained a lot more from my work-based assessments.

Mr Sandip Nandhra Core Surgical Trainee




Any of our modules can also be studied as an independent CPD course, please contact us for further information.


Teaching Clinical Reasoning

This module provides theoretical and conceptual awareness of the development of clinical reasoning as a key professional skill. It takes students from the underpinning educational theory and the context of teaching through to factors influencing curriculum reform and design and assessment of clinical reasoning skills. Contemporary issues and novel approaches to teaching are addressed.

Anatomy Pedagogy

This module prepares students to teach anatomy by introducing different pedagogic approaches, assessment methods that are unique to anatomy and concepts relating to legislation, storage and preparation of cadaveric material. Interactive teaching methods such as body painting, virtual technologies and the use of imaging will be explored.

Learning and Teaching

In this module you will be introduced to the basic principles in learning and teaching within a health profession / clinical environment. You will enhance your skills as an effective clinical teacher with a good grounding in educational theory and you will learn basic teaching skills such as writing outcomes.

Assessment and Feedback

You will be provided with the framework to analyse and review your experiences in assessment and feedback. You will learn to engage critically with the literature relating to assessment and feedback and use case studies to explore the relationships between assessment, feedback and learning.

Professional Practice

During this module you will develop the tools and framework to reflect critically on your practice as a health professions educator and especially in relation to learning, teaching and assessment. You will reflect on professional conduct as a critical part of professional practice and familiarise yourself with behavioural measures of these subjective constructs. Learner, peer, and self-evaluation feedback will be used to enhance your own teaching and education practice.

Contemporary Issues

This module will challenge you to reconsider the ideologies and assumptions underpinning current models of curriculum, course and assessment design in Health Professions Education. You will be engaged in critically examining the key discourses and ideologies shaping medical and health professions curricula. This includes the exploration and the effects of ‘standards’ (as a notion of ‘quality’) in defining medical and health professions curricula.

Research Approaches

In this module you will be introduced to key concepts in quantitative and qualitative research in order to form a research question, plan an appropriate methodological approach and method for data collection and analysis, and write a research proposal. The module will give you the foundational knowledge to interrogate published literature and to take a reflective stance towards your own research.


You will be provided with an opportunity to critically examine contemporary leadership and management processes in health professional education. You will become better equipped to be involved with shaping your institutional and personal leadership approaches, and to be confident in the critical analysis of ideas relating to leadership theory and models in the context of health professions education. You will learn to be proficient in advancing change through a critical appreciation of the context and culture relating to change management – both personally and in your institution. There will be an opportunity to explore an area of interest in terms of leadership relevant to your educational context.


The MSc will involve a major research project; you will gain knowledge and skills to deliver high quality research in health professions education. This can be literature or research based.


Certificate and Diploma

Modules are assessed using a range of approaches which include: written assignments, contribution to online activities and peer observation. Students will also map their learning to the UK Professional Standards Framework (UK PSF) through a learning journal.


Assessment includes a literature review, or a major research project (dissertation).

Entry requirements

Part-time Certificate

Applicants to the Certificate must hold a relevant undergraduate degree or its equivalent and have access to an appropriate level of teaching activity (we recommend around 18 hours which should ideally consist of a few separate events) during the year of the programme.

Part-time Diploma or MSc

Applicants who have completed the certificate and/ or diploma modules elsewhere and wish to progress to the Diploma or MSc may apply for transfer of credit. Applicants without an existing qualification can, in exceptional circumstances, apply for credit for experiential learning.

Full-time MSc

Applicants to the full-time MSc must hold a relevant undergraduate degree or its equivalent. Students must have access to an appropriate level of teaching activity (we recommend around 18 hours which should ideally consist of a few separate events) during the year of the programme.

Intercalating students

Students considering intercalating on the full-time MSc in Health Professions Education must have satisfactorily completed a minimum of three years on their undergraduate degree. Intercalating students will be offered peer teaching opportunities to help them meet the programme outcomes. We welcome intercalating students from other institutions.

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate evidence of proficiency in English language as follows: IELTS: 7.0 (in the ‘Academic’ test, with minimum score of 5.5 in all four language competences: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing).


Standard home / EU students fees

  • Certificate: £3,030
  • Diploma: £3,030
  • MSc: £3,030

Overseas students fees

  • Certificate: £5,030
  • Diploma: £5,030
  • MSc: £5,030