Health-Professions Education / Health Professions Education (with Research) MSc/MSc (with Research)/PgDip/PgCert

Together, these online distance learning programmes offer maximum flexibility to busy health professionals who want to learn about theoretical and practical aspects of learning, teaching and assessment, and apply them in the context of their professional practice. The programmes share a common first year curriculum, with 1 x 20-credit course per semester. Thereafter, students may focus to a greater or lesser extent on various topics in health professions education, selecting from a menu of optional 10-credit courses. The MSc HPE programme is designed for those who primarily identify themselves as practitioners and who want to apply educational theory and an evidence base to their specific health professions education context. The MSc HPE (with Research) programme is appropriate for those with a particular interest in learning about the design, conduct and governance of education research.

Key facts

  • MSc : delivered online by distance learning: 36 months part-time
  • MSc (with Research) : delivered online by distance learning: 36 months part-time
  • PgDip delivered online by distance learning: 24 months part-time
  • PgCert delivered online by distance learning: 12 months part-time
  • Contact:          

Why this programme

  • The programme is delivered primarily by staff in the School of Medicine at the University of Glasgow, including staff with key roles in the undergraduate Medical School, the Dental School and the School of Nursing & Healthcare.
  • We are well-placed to offer the benefit of our collective experience in undergraduate health professions education.
  • Our close links with the National Health Service (NHS) Education Scotland, the postgraduate deanery, the Royal Colleges, and our respective regulatory bodies, make us well-placed to help you learn about education in the postgraduate environment. 

Programme structure

Available as a part-time, online distance learning (ODL) programme. Media may include Moodle, Big-Blue-Button, Google Hangouts, and Articulate Storyline

For the MSc HPE and the MSc HPE (with Research), each 180-credit programme is delivered over 3 years:

Year 1

3 x compulsory, 20-credit courses; 1 per semester

Year 2

6 x 10-credit courses, 2 per semester

  • Choose from a menu of options; the table below gives indicative content;
  • Note that some courses are compulsory for students following the programme 'with Research'.

Year 3

1 x 60-credit project-based course assessed by a dissertation of 10,000 words, excluding appendices.

The project work and write-up are spread across 3 semesters.

On the MSc HPE programme, the dissertation will require a systematic review, synthesis and critique of the literature, to produce a policy document, a set of practitioner guidelines, or a new theoretical model.

On the MSc HPE (with Research), the dissertation will be a standard report of empirical research, incorporating a critical literature review, methodology, analysis and interpretation of findings, and conclusions drawn.

  • Applicants will not need to commit to a specific programme until the beginning of Year 2. Indeed, all applicants will initially be registered on the MSc HPE programme, with the option to switch to the ‘with Research’ variant.
  • Summative assessment varies amongst courses, but includes coursework; quality contributions to online activities; a blog; online presentations; and the dissertation.
  • We will additionally offer an optional, non-assessed residential activity, which current or prospective students may attend. This will help establish a cohort identity and will provide a showcase for masters’ students to present their work. 
  • Selected 10- or 20- credit courses are available as stand-alone, credit bearing options.

 ‌HPE Prog Structure Table

Studying online

Glasgow is renowned for providing an excellent student experience in a friendly, supportive and engaging educational environment, and online distance learning at the University allows you to benefit from this outstanding educational experience and achieve a high quality degree from a world class University without having to relocate to our campus in Glasgow.

As an online student at the University of Glasgow you will become part of a global community of learners.  You will connect with your fellow students and tutors through our virtual learning environment where you will have access to a multitude of learning resources including; recorded lectures, live seminars, videos, interactive quizzes, journal articles, electronic books and other web resources. 

Community building and collaborative learning is a key focus of our online delivery, and you will be encouraged and supported to interact with your fellow classmates and tutors in a number of ways for example, through the discussions areas on our virtual learning environment, by skype, during live seminars and in our virtual campus on Second Life. 

Great emphasis is placed on making sure you feel well supported in your learning and that you have good interactions with everyone on the programme.  All you need to participate in our online programmes is a computer and internet access.  You do not have to have experience of studying online as you will be guided through how to access and use all of our online resources.

Computer Requirements for your online studies

Entry requirements

for entry in 2015

Applicants should normally possess a medical, dental, or nursing degree from an institution recognised by the University Court; or a recognised degree from another appropriate health profession. Applications will also be considered from individuals with other relevant degree qualifications (such as a BSc in a biomedical science), who are, or aspire to be, employed in the education of health professionals. Applicants should ideally work in a health professions environment, and for applicants to the MSc HPE (with Research), they must have access to a health professions environment where, subject to ethical approval, they may conduct empirical research.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

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

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2016-17

MSc (with Research)

Distance learning

Home/EU/International: £10000 (total fee, incremental payment schedule available)


Distance learning

Home/EU/International: £10000 (total fee, incremental payment schedule available)


Distance learning

Home/EU/International: £3333 (total fee, incremental payment schedule available)


Distance learning

Home/EU/International: £6666 (total fee, incremental payment schedule available)

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Funding opportunities

Career prospects

The PGCert in Health Professions Education will appeal to practising health professions educators who wish to enhance their knowledge and skills in learning, teaching and assessment; and to individuals who aspire to be health professions educators.

The PGDiploma and the parallel MSc programmes are appropriate for healthcare professionals who are ambitious for an influential role in the management and delivery of education in either undergraduate or postgraduate phases.

The MSc HPE programme is particularly relevant for individuals who primarily identify themselves as practitioners and wish to apply their learning in their professional context; whereas the MSc HPE (with Research) will be of interest to those who want to pursue education research.

The stand-alone 10- or 20-credit courses will give experienced practitioners the opportunity to refresh and update their knowledge in certain aspects of health professions education; and will allow individuals to try our postgraduate provision before committing to a certificate, diploma or masters.

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Online Distance Learning

Please note that applications for programmes delivered via Online Distance Learning will be accepted until the commencement of the programmes in September 2016.

Apply now