Taught course

Primary Care

University of Glasgow · School of Medicine

Entry requirements

You should have a degree in a healthcare discipline or equivalent qualification although in exceptional circumstances other qualifications or experience may be considered. Applications are welcome from qualified personnel in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing and allied health professionals as well as managers and those working or with an interest in primary care. You are required to provide two references, a full degree transcript, a CV (resume) and a personal statement stating why you wish to study this programme at the University of Glasgow and how you intend to apply the personal skills developed on the programme in your professional life. Further information regarding academic entry requirements: student.recruitment@glasgow.ac.uk

Months of entry


Course content

International healthcare faces major challenges from the increasing demands of ageing populations and the rise in non-communicable diseases. Strong and effective primary care is part of the solution, this MSc in Primary Care will equip you with the knowledge and skills required to make a difference to primary healthcare in the 21st century.

Why Glasgow?

  • Taught by outstanding, high profile primary care researchers and practitioners in the UK, you can follow a flexible curriculum - studying full-time or part-time, and work towards the full MSc degree or a postgraduate diploma or certificate.
  • Students come from a wide range of primary care disciplines, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, podiatrists, managers and those working in health policy.
  • We have exciting scholarship opportunites available, find out more
  • Research interests are focussed on health inequalities, multimorbidity, chronic disease, treatment burden and migrant health. Find out more on the General Practice and Primary Care website
  • It is delivered within the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, one of the foremost research institutes in the UK focused on improving population health and wellbeing and reducing inequalities in health.
  • Research projects are tailored to suit students' interests and expertise.
  • We have attracted successful students from the UK and a wide range of other countries including China, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Japan, Pakistan and Oman.
  • The University of Glasgow has an outstanding global reputation for teaching and research; and it provides excellent resources and support for its students.
  • Glasgow prides itself on its reputation as a friendly city and extends a warm welcome to our international students. We aim to make the student experience enriching and enjoyable.

Programme Structure

The MSc programme is modular in structure, including taught sessions, small group teaching and workshops. The degree programme comprises:

  • Three compulsory courses
  • Three optional courses
  • Research project.

The taught courses are delivered in 11-week blocks, running from September to November and January to March. The research project runs across the academic year. Full-time students usually find that the majority of their research project work is conducted from April to August.

The selection of optional courses and the research project can be tailored to meet students’ own interests and career needs.

The postgraduate diploma and certificate require six (120 credits) and three (60 credits) successfully completed courses, respectively.

Each course represents 20 masters-level credits.

Core courses

  • Primary care principles and systems

This course will enable you to develop a knowledge and understanding of the principles, values and organisation of primary care globally, and to contribute to current debates about the changing face of primary care.

  • Epidemiology, evidence and statistics for primary care

This course will equip you with the epidemiological and statistical skills to appraise and interpret literature appropriate to primary care development, policy and research.

  • Research methods

This course will provide you with the building blocks required to develop and conduct your own research project.

Optional courses

Having the freedom to choose three optional courses gives you the opportunity to tailor your programme of study to your own special interests

  • Access, equity and health

This course will give you the opportunity to consider and develop ways of approaching wider social justice issues within primary care, such as equity and access, relating to socioeconomic deprivation, ethnicity, migration and gender.

  • Cardiovascular disease management in primary care

This course is pertinent to those involved in the management of patients or health policy in this area; covering epidemiology, risk assessment, management and challenges in cardiovascular disease in primary care.

  • Effective leadership and management in healthcare

This course will equip you with the knowledge and skills required to critically assess and apply the principles of leadership and management in the pursuit of clinical effectiveness.

  • International primary care

This course involves interpreting the importance of local and international factors in the development of equitable primary care. The challenges of developing primary care in different contexts and cultures will be critically evaluated.

  • Management of long-term conditions

This course is concentrated on the management and challenges facing primary healthcare in the ever growing face of non-communicable disease.

  • Primary care mental health

This course will give you the opportunity to develop your understanding of the key challenges in different mental health conditions commonly seen in primary care. You will critically appraise the evidence for approaches to treatment, configuration/delivery of services and policy responses to mental health problems encountered in primary care.

You can also look to other postgraduate taught programmes within the Institute of Health and Wellbeing or the MSc in Advanced Practice in Health Care

Research Project

The research project, worth 60 masters-level credits, is a substantial piece of work, culminating in a 15-20,000 word dissertation. Completing the project will introduce you to the process of designing, conducting, analysing and reporting a research study. Successful completion of the project is essential to the awarding of the degree.

Students have undertaken a wide range of projects. Recent titles include:

  • A service evaluation of the impact of a bilingual pharmacist led medication review service for South Asian diabetic individuals in a general practice (an evaluation)
  • Professional and carer perspectives of the challenges of supporting adults with learning disabilities manage diabetes, and the potential value of an educational tool (a qualitative study)
  • The relationships between potentially serious drug-drug interactions, polypharmacy and multimorbidity (a quantitative study)
  • Consultation length in the context of interpersonal effectiveness (a quantitative study)
  • An exploratory study of the views and experiences of primary healthcare professionals working in weight management services in Lanarkshire (a qualitative study)
  • A systematic review of physical activity levels of children in urban and rural areas
  • A systematic review of the impact of a repeat prescription system in Japan

Career Prospects

Our graduates emerge with the capacity to take a lead role in primary care development, whether in Scotland, the UK or internationally. In addition to further PhD study, many have gone on to achieve rapid promotion once they have graduated, including leading primary care teams, secondment to positions within government and sitting on editorial boards of academic journals.

Information for international students

IELTS: overall score 6.5; no sub-test less than 6.0; ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20. CAE: 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169 CPE: 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169. PTE Academic: 60; no sub-test less than 59

Fees and funding

UK students
International students


Qualification and course duration


part time
24-60 months
full time
12 months


part time
24-36 months
full time
12 months


part time
24 months

Course contact details

Ms Christine Fitzpatrick