Postgraduate taught 

Primary Health Care MSc/PgDip/PgCert: Online distance learning

What our students say

What our students say

The following are comments from students who studied the MSc in Primary Care on-campus so although online learning will involve a different experience the overarching aims and learning outcomes of the programme remain the same and involve the same members of academic staff.

Why did you undertake the degree?

  • To increase my understanding of primary care, multidisciplinary working and research.
  • At the time of starting, I was new to primary care, having worked in acute for over 20 years. The course helped me gain confidence and theoretical knowledge for my post.
  • For interest, and to broaden my horizons on the job front.

How well did it meet your expectations?

  • The degree gave me theoretical information but, more importantly, it provided the opportunity to discuss real live issues with colleagues from a range of backgrounds - fantastic!
  • Enjoyed the opportunity to listen, reflect, learn and be inspired.
  • Each course achieved its aims and objectives. The department was supportive in every way and my research supervisor was exceptional.

How relevant did you find it to your professional/educational needs?

  • The range and depth of subjects has equipped me with skills and ideas to develop within my own practice.
  • Having this degree has helped reinforce my CV and has been noted in interviews.
  • Enjoyed the emphasis on applying theory/research findings to the workplace. The research project in particular allows students to explore their own interests in more detail.
  • It addressed broader themes than I would otherwise have the opportunity to study in such depth.

In what ways do you consider that your employer has benefited from your undertaking this degree?

  • Improved application of theory to practice, especially in population health and inequalities.
  • Skills gained have been utilised in carrying out job as prescribing advisor and in teaching of students and GPs.
  • I can offer more "academic" solutions/contributions to organisational challenges.
  • Having masters-level education is gold standard in the NHS! I think this should be mandatory for primary care staff involved in strategic decision-making!

In what ways has this degree changed the way you approach your practice?

  • I now approach patient care, and encourage staff to do so, from a much broader perspective.
  • I now take a more considered approach to problem solving. I more readily seek evidence to support practice because I can rapidly search for and appraise available evidence.
  • Much more likely to look at latest research around the relevant area of work, and feel confident about processing various strands of evidence and from various disciplines.
  • Improved consideration of inequalities and addressing widening gap when reviewing and redesigning services.
  • Gained a broader perspective. Helped with communication with colleagues and patients. Completing the research project has improved my skills in report writing.
  • Able to consider the true holistic needs of patients and families, and the wider requirements from a social and healthcare perspective.
  • It has put ethical issues to the forefront of all thoughts.

What did you like best about this degree?

  • Access to brilliant thinkers and the opportunity not just to be taught, but to engage with them and discuss issues in a non-threatening environment.
  • Networking and time out from work to reflect.
  • Different teaching methods held my interest and standards of teaching very high.
  • The reading, the learning, the sharing...all of it!

What about the organisation/administration of the programme?

  • Most impressed by the support and warmth of the "team".
  • Well organised with excellent online support making participation for part-time students as accessible as possible.
  • I have nothing but praise for the organisation, helpfulness and patience of the staff.

In what ways may this degree help to further your career?

  • Promotion on the back of master’s work.
  • It has given me the confidence to pursue further career opportunities.
  • May consider a PhD.
  • Has clarified my passions, and put me on a steady and defined course for career progression.

What was your overall experience/impression of this degree?

  • The knowledge of the academic staff was exceptional and overall the culture within the department was open, friendly, and approachable.
  • A well-balanced programme with a good choice of course and taste of doing some original research.
  • Excellent - without doubt the most exciting and challenging course I have ever undertaken.

Have you recommended/would you recommend this degree to colleagues?

  • Yes, and frequently do!
  • All the time!
  • I would recommend this degree to anyone who has a true interest in primary care and personal development.

Computer requirements for studying online

Broadband internet connection

  • 3 mbps or higher

Internet Browsers

Our online learning platform Moodle is compatible with any standards compliant web browser. This includes:


  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Edge
  • Internet Explorer


  • MobileSafari
  • Google Chrome

For the best experience and optimum security, we recommend that you keep your browser up to date. 

Javascript needs to be enabled within your browser

Please note: legacy browsers with known compatibility issues with Moodle 3.3 are:

  • Internet Explorer 10 and below
  • Safari 7 and below

Computer specifications

  • Processor: 2GHz
  • Operating system (minimum):
    • Microsoft Windows Vista service pack 1
    • Windows 7
    • Mac OS X v10.4.11+
  • Memory: 3GB of RAM or more
  • Hard disk: 300GB
  • Sound card and microphone
  • Speakers or headphones
  • Monitor and video card with 1024x768 display or higher

Mobile device specifications

  • iOS: latest (Apple Safari & Google Chrome)
  • Android: 4.4+ with latest Google Chrome

Other software

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Media player e.g. Windows Media Player or VLC
  • Word processing software (that outputs to the following file types for marking online: .doc, .docx, .html, .txt, .rft, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .pps, .hwp)
  • Anti-virus software

Advised hardware / software

  • Microsoft Office 2010
  • Headset (ideally with a USB connector)
  • Webcam