Taught course

Clinical Ophthalmology (Online Distance Learning)

University of Edinburgh · Clinical and Surgical Sciences

Entry requirements

Prospective entrants must hold a basic medical qualification recognised by the General Medical Council and be based within a supervised training programme at the time of commencing the course. UK trainee applicants will be expected to have completed initial specialist training (ST1-2) or core training (CT1-2) and early intermediate training (ST3), and will normally be commencing their intermediate training (ST4). Candidates from outside the UK or those not within a recognised training programme will be required to demonstrate that the course is directly relevant to their ophthalmic surgery training. Applicants should have completed a minimum of 24 months of core training in the surgical specialties and 18 months of specialty training in ophthalmology before enrolling for the ChM. Applications from established, independently practising ophthalmologists will also be considered. English language requirements If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English. IELTS minimum score IELTS Academic module: 6.5 (with at least 6.0 in each section) Other accepted tests and scores TOEFL-iBT: 92 (with at least 20 in all sections) PTE: 61 (with no score lower than 56 in each of the 'Communicative Skills' sections - 'Enabling Skills' section scores are not considered) CPE: Grade B; CAE: Grade A

Months of entry


Course content

This new two year part-time Masters programme, taught entirely online, is jointly offered by the University of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and leads to the degree of Master of Surgery (ChM). It has been developed with the support of NHS Education for Scotland (NES).

The ChM is designed to support advanced ophthalmology trainees in the UK and internationally through a curriculum which recognises their subspecialist ophthalmic interests in preparation for exit examination and hospital-based practice. Our programmes are aligned with the curricula of both the FRCSEd and FRCOphth examinations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, making these degrees very attractive to domestic and international students.

The programme runs on a semester basis over 2-4 years and involves approximately 10 hours of study each week in a flexible, modular manner.

The programme is delivered using a purpose-built learning environment that supports a variety of learning styles, and allows students flexibility in their study patterns.

Core, compulsory modules in each area of clinical ophthalmology are aligned to the curricula of the FRCSEd and FRCOphth. These are taught and assessed using a clinical problem-based approach, supported by systems-based review of the course material. Knowledge and understanding will be assessed with a formal MCQ exam designed to replicate the trainees' upcoming exit exams.

Academic modules (core and specialist) allow the student to explore research and teaching methodology, as well as develop skills which ensure an ability to analyse published evidence and explore interactive and written clinical communication skills. Students are required to complete an e-dissertation involving an academic critique in an appropriate subspecialty area of work, such as that resulting from a publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
48 months

Course contact details

ChM Programme Administration
+44 (0)131 527 3496