Taught course

Family Medicine (Online Distance Learning)

University of Edinburgh · College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Entry requirements

Applications are welcome from medical graduates working in India or other low income countries with a commitment to continue working in poorly resourced areas. If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English. IELTS Academic module: 6.5 (with at least 6.0 in each section) 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) CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

Months of entry


Course content

The Director General of the World Health Organisation calls Family Medicine Doctors "our rising stars of the future" reflecting WHO’s renewed commitment to build family medicine as a primary speciality across all regions. This degree in Family Medicine takes forward WHO’s new vision of primary health care.

The degree is awarded by the University of Edinburgh and taught in partnership with the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India, and expert clinical members of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA).

The programme will equip students with the skills to become expert family medicine doctors, doctors who resolve more and refer less, whose presence will improve the quality of patient care by providing continuity and an understanding of the family and community context.

Programme description

This programme provides high quality postgraduate medical education in Family Medicine through a distance learning medium to an international audience from India and other partner countries whose health systems are beginning to identify Family Medicine as a clinical speciality.

The programme will give doctors a comprehensive understanding of the principles, processes, and practices of Family Medicine, and the essential medical knowledge and management skills for the most common presenting health issues.

It is based on the competencies identified by the World Association of Family Medicine, the key components being:

  • an understanding of health promotion, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care within a District hospital/health centre/Community setting
  • skills in leadership and management of primary health care teams
  • an understanding of continuity and contextualisation of care of the individual, the family and the community

Programme structure

This blended distance learning programme is delivered with the support of our partner Institution CMC Vellore, India.

Alongside a series of modules delivered online, the programme requires a total of 60 days (30 days each year) in residency at a rural hospital.

There are seven compulsory courses and a dissertation. Courses cover:

  • Family Medicine
  • Reflective Practice and Principles of General Practice
  • Evidence Based Medicine for Rural Family Medicine in Rural Settings

Fees and funding

The University, CMC Vellore and ICMDA recognise that rural communities need doctors from their own communities who have a heart and a vision for working locally to improve health outcomes. The University is therefore offering Family Medicine applicants the opportunity to apply for a Rural Community Investment Scholarship. Please note that you must have applied for the programme before applying for a scholarship:


Qualification and course duration


distance learning
24 months

Course contact details

Programme Administrator
+44 (0)131 650 6525