Research course

Medical Education

University of Glasgow · College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences

Entry requirements

  1. A medical, dental or nursing degree from an institution recognised by the University Court, or a recognised degree from another appropriate health profession.
  2. Normally you should also have completed a PG Diploma or masters’ degree in medical or health professions education, and/or have proven substantial experience of working in a medical/health professions education content.
  3. Applications will also be considered from individuals with other primary degree qualifications (such as a BSc in a biomedical science), from individuals who also meet point 2 above.

Months of entry


Course content

The field of Medical Education is concerned with how we educate medical practitioners across the continuum of their undergraduate curriculum and their postgraduate medical training.

Medical Education encompasses a great variety of topics, such as:

  • selection into medicine and widening participation
  • how medical students and graduates learn relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes
  • how we can best teach and assess them
  • design of medical curricula
  • social and cultural influences on medical education
  • professional identity formation in medical practitioners

Those who do this PhD will have a medical background, but may equally be a graduate in another healthcare discipline. They may even have a background in biomedical sciences, psychology, linguistics or education. Ideally, they will also have completed a masters in medical or health professions education, since this gives a good introduction to relevant research methodologies.

This PhD is offered by the School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing, from which most supervisors are drawn.

Research project examples:

  • Teaching in the ward round
  • Experiences of international medical graduates
  • Clinical reasoning ‘in the wild’

Areas of staff expertise / interest include:

  • Social theories of learning
  • Cultural-Historical Activity Theory
  • Motivation
  • Critical thinking
  • Clinical reasoning
  • Curriculum design
  • Problem-based/inquiry-based learning
  • Teaching in General Practice (Family Medicine)
  • Assessment

Typically, our doctoral students are medical or healthcare practitioners who come with ideas about what they wish to research, related to their own professional context.

We would encourage interested parties to contact us and have a conversation about broad areas of interest, to see whether we are able to offer supervision.

Information for international students

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • 6.5 with no sub-test under 6.0.
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    60 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details