PGCert, PGDip and MSc Health Professions Education

We're training the next generation of exceptional health professions educators

Welcome to Hull York Medical School, where we not only deliver exceptional medical education, but also train others to do so too – using the latest pedagogical evidence-based practice.
If you are as passionate as we are about delivering high quality medical education, then your journey starts here.

Who is this programme for?

Our Health Professions Education programmes are designed for professionals from all health backgrounds who are interested in teaching, assessment, course design and educational research.

The programme will equip you with the skills and knowledge to deliver exceptional teaching and learning, and undertake rigorous research – so you can inspire and lead in your area of practice and ultimately improve health outcomes.

We have current and past students from disciplines and specialities including (but not limited to): medicine, dentistry, nursing, general practice, midwifery, radiography, physiotherapy, operating department practitioners, dietetics, physician associates, speech and language therapists and pharmacy as well as other health profession related roles including ward and GP practice managers, technicians, teaching fellows, academics and researchers.

Healthcare professionals and intercalating medicine students who wish to study at a distance or with a mix of onsite face-to-face contact will find our distance and blended programmes ideal. These programmes mean that you can work and study at any time of day and thus have maximum flexibility. We have students from across the UK and worldwide including Australia, Abu Dhabi, Japan and Europe.

About the programme

At Hull York Medical School, we are committed to making a real and lasting difference to people’s lives. We understand that giving you the skills to deliver exceptional health professions education in your practice is fundamental to meeting the health care needs of your communities. The teaching faculty includes academics, practitioners and researchers with vast experience at the cutting edge of health professions education, many of whom are leading internationally in their field.

We offer a Certificate, Diploma and Masters in Health Professions Education – all of which are flexible and designed to fit around your busy work schedule and home life. You can study each programme part-time or you can choose to study the content of all three programmes in our one year full-time Masters.

The MSc programme (180 credits, part-time 3 years) consists of six modules (120 credits) and a research project (60 credits); the Postgraduate Diploma consists of six modules (120 credits, part-time 2 years); and the Postgraduate Certificate consists of three modules (60 credits, part-time 1 year).

You can study distance learning 100% online, or a blend of face-to-face study days and online learning. We offer optional modules so that you can tailor the course to suit your own professional interests.

Accredited by Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy), students can apply for membership as a Fellow (FHEA) on completion of the Certificate, Diploma or Masters – a status recognised by professional bodies as an indicator of teaching scholarship.

In recognition of the excellent standards of teaching, assessment, research and scholarship provided on the programme, our Certificate is also accredited by the Academy of Medical Educators (AoME) – the multi professional body which sets the standards for clinical teachers in the UK. Upon successful completion of the Certificate, students can apply for membership of the Academy (MAcadMEd), signifying that they have met the Academy’s Professional Standards for educators in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science. 


Core modules
Learning and Teaching (Certificate core module)

Programme: Certificate
Assessment: Written assignment (100%)

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the key principles of teaching and learning in the health professions. This module will enable you to confidently prepare, deliver and evaluate teaching sessions in your area of practice. You will be introduced to scholarship in teaching and learning, and promote professional values.

Research Approaches in Health Professions Education (Diploma core module)

Programme: Diploma
 Group wiki project (10%), written assignment (90%)

The module will introduce you to key concepts in quantitative and qualitative research in order to form a research question, plan an appropriate methodological approach and method for data collection and analysis, and write a research proposal. For those on the MSc, the module can be used to develop your dissertation project.

Dissertation (Masters core module)

Programme: Masters
Assessment: Presentation (20%), dissertation (80%)

This module will provide you with the experience of conducting independent research and presenting your findings in written and spoken form. The dissertation is an opportunity for you to study a topic related to health professions education and to your own practice. 


Optional modules
Assessment and Feedback

Assessment: Group wiki project (10%), written assignment (90%) 

You will be provided with the framework to analyse and review your experiences in assessment and feedback. You will learn to engage critically with the literature relating to assessment and feedback and use case studies to explore the relationships between assessment, feedback and learning.

Anatomy Pedagogy

Assessment: Written assignment (100%)

This module will introduce you to a range of subject specific pedagogic approaches and help you to explore the evidence base around their use, in the legal, ethical and social context of working with human tissue. This module offers additional practical workshops, based upon a flipped classroom approach.

Professional and Reflective Practice

Assessment: Written assignment (100%)

This module will provide you with the tools and framework to reflect critically on your practice as a health professions educator and especially in relation to learning, teaching and assessment.

You will learn how to reflect on professional conduct as a critical part of professional practice and familiarise yourself with the behavioural measures of these subjective constructs. You will understand how to make use of learner, peer and self-evaluation feedback to enhance your own teaching and education practice.

Teaching Clinical Reasoning

Assessment: Group wiki project (10%), written assignment (90%)

This module will provide you with the tools and framework to reconsider the ideologies, theories and concepts underpinning current clinical teaching to develop a more explicit approach to the teaching of clinical reasoning in health professions education.

You will learn how to critically examine key discourses and ideologies shaping clinical reasoning teaching and learning, and develop innovative, approaches to teaching based on best practice and current evidence. 

Contemporary Issues in Health Professions Education

Assessment: Written assignment (100%)

The module aims to challenge you to reconsider the ideologies and assumptions underpinning current models of curriculum, course and assessment design in science and health professions education.

You will learn how to examine critically the key discourses and ideologies shaping curricula, and explore the emergence and the effects of ‘standards’ (as a notion of ‘quality’) in defining science and health professions curricula. 

Leadership in Health Professions Education

Assessment: Group wiki project (10%), written assignment (90%)

The module aims to help you become better equipped to be involved with shaping your institutional and personal leadership approaches. It will support you to become confident in the critical analysis of ideas relating to leadership theory and models in the context of health professional education.

You will become proficient in advancing change through a critical appreciation of the context and culture relating to change management – both personally and in your institution. This module will equip you to explore an area of interest in terms of leadership relevant to your own educational context.

Implementation Science for Advanced and Chronic Care

Assessment: Implementation brief and strategy proposal, related to your clinical or research interests

The Implementation Science for Advanced and Chronic Care is a standalone module offered at Hull York Medical School. Students on the Health Professions in Education programme will study alongside the cohort of students undertaking the Implementation Science module.

The module will enable you to develop critical skills in implementation science so that you can lead change in key advanced and chronic care issues such as shared decision-making, advance care planning, and medication management.

You will have the opportunity to learn from experts in advanced and chronic care through lectures, small group work, and online activities.

You will be introduced to different approaches to implementing evidence in advanced and chronic care, and will learn how to critically apply implementation theories and frameworks.

Complementary threads of stakeholder engagement and evaluative research methods run through the module, enabling you to develop the skill-set of a well-rounded implementation scientist.

The content of this module is mapped to the Medical Research Council’s Complex Interventions Framework, so your learning will align with the priorities of service delivery and major research funders.

Flexible learning options

Choose from a range of programme pathways to suit your previous experience, work commitments and personal goals. 

Study routes

We offer three study routes:

Learning the theory behind clinical reasoning has not only changed the way I teach and assess students, but it has also fundamentally changed my practice. Clinical reasoning is what makes our job fascinating – the old adage of being a medical detective – and this module has reawakened my joy in this.

Dr Debbie Rose GP and Medicine clinical placements supervisor

How are the programmes taught?

Our programmes are delivered primarily through distance learning, with optional face-to-face opportunities. You will experience:

Weekly online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) activities

The VLE is where you will complete tasks set for each week, and provides you with easy access to online resources. You can catch up with tasks the following week if you are away.

Online communications with your peers and the Programme Team

Your peers hold a wealth of knowledge and experience, and we recognise that peer contribution is especially important in learning. You will discuss and collaborate on activities and part of the summative mark on selected modules will be awarded for online engagement.

Face-to-face study days

Our optional face-to-face study days (one per module) involve interactive workshops to explore ideas with your peers. They are a brilliant opportunity to share good practice and network with colleagues from a range of healthcare professions.

Meetings with your Programme Tutor

You have the option to meet with your Programme Tutor online or via phone meetings for any guidance or support, depending on your preference and convenience.


Certificate and Diploma

The modules are assessed using a range of approaches, please see each module for details. The assessments include written assignments and contribution to online activities. You will also map your learning to the UK Professional Standards Framework through a reflective journal.


Your assessment consists of a literature review, or a major research project (dissertation) covering a subject of interest to you. The Masters programme has a 100% record of publishable work.

Supporting your studies

Studying Health Professions Education is a challenging and rewarding experience, and as a leading provider we are committed to supporting you through your studies to achieve your personal and career goals.

Published dissertations

Students studying the MSc in Health Professions Education are very much part of our research community, and experience much of their learning through research and inquiry. This leads to our students producing high quality research for their dissertation, which we encourage and support them to publish in academic journals.

A selection of their publications include:

Coleman A and Finn GM. Post Qualification Dental Training. Part 1: Perceptions of different dental foundation & dental core training pathways. British Dental Journal. (2019) 227; 915–921.

Hollingsworth, C.E., Wesley, C., Huckridge, J., Finn, G.M. and Griksaitis, M.J., 2018. Impact of child death on paediatric trainees. Archives of disease in childhood, 103(1), pp.14-18.

Gajebasia S, Redman M, Pearce J, Johnson M, Finn GM. How can training in care of the dying be improved? The Clinical Teacher. (2019).16: 610–614.

Laughey W, Sangvik Grandal N and Finn GM. Medical communication: the view of simulated patients. Medical Education. (2018). 52 (6), 664-676.

Boland, J. W., Brown, M. E., Duenas, A., Finn, G. M., & Gibbins, J. (2020). How effective is undergraduate palliative care teaching for medical students? A systematic literature review. BMJ open, 10(9), e036458.


Teaching experience and the associated skills and knowledge you will develop on this programme are increasingly in demand by employers.

Many of our graduates from the Certificate go on to study the Diploma and Masters programmes, and forge exciting careers as educators, leaders, researchers, practitioners and clinicians. We hope their stories will inspire you to take this next step on your career path. The programme is also an excellent stepping stone for pursuing a PhD in the field.

Entry requirements

Part-time Certificate

Applicants to the Certificate must hold a relevant undergraduate degree or its equivalent and have access to an appropriate level of teaching activity (we recommend around 18 hours which should ideally consist of a few separate events) during the year of the programme.

Part-time Diploma or Masters

Applicants who have completed the certificate and/ or diploma modules elsewhere and wish to progress to the Diploma or MSc may apply for transfer of credit. Applicants without an existing qualification can, in exceptional circumstances, apply for credit for experiential learning.

Full-time Masters

Applicants to the full-time MSc must hold a relevant undergraduate degree or its equivalent. Students must have access to an appropriate level of teaching activity (we recommend around 18 hours which should ideally consist of a few separate events) during the year of the programme.

Intercalating students

Students considering intercalating on the full-time MSc in Health Professions Education must have satisfactorily completed a minimum of three years on their undergraduate degree. Intercalating students will be offered peer teaching opportunities to help them meet the programme outcomes. We welcome intercalating students from other institutions.

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate evidence of proficiency in English Language with one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5, with no less than 6.0 in each component
  • PTE Academic: 61, with no less than 55 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 176, with no less than 169 in each component
  • TOEFL: 87, with a minimum of 21 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: Level 3 with Merit in all components
  • Duolingo: 110, minimum 100 in all other components

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Fees for 2021/2022 are:

Home, International and EU students fees (2020/2021)

The fee per stage is £3,380 (stage 1 - Certificate; stage 2 - Diploma; and stage 3 - Masters).

Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation. 

Reduced tuition fees

We are delighted to support the professional development of the Hull York Medical School community. We offer reduced fees, which are are outlined below:

50% reduction in tuition fees

This is applicable to contracted or seconded members of Hull York Medical School staff with substantive teaching and leadership role in the delivery of our curricula (for example Problem Based Learning Tutors, Associate Directors of Clinical Studies, or Directors of Clinical Studies).

20% reduction in tuition fees

This is applicable to employees of our NHS partner organisations including our community of honorary clinical tutors in the NHS, and our MB BS Medicine alumni. Please see our partners web page for details of our partners.

The fees for part time study are for the current year only, fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.

The Certificate in Health Professions Education is recognised by the Yorkshire and Humber Deanery as an approved route for GPs who are interested in becoming a GP trainer. Funding is available for this programme through the Yorkshire and Humber Deanery, subject to availability. For those considering becoming a GP trainer, visit the Yorkshire and Humber Deanery website for further information about funding for the programme and the application process. Students on our programme often find funding from local healthcare organisations and training educator providers.

University of York Graduate Discount

The University of York is pleased to offer a 10% fees discount for its graduates who study our MSc programme. The University of York assess whether you are eligible for the discount as part of your application to study. Please visit the University of York website for details.

University of Hull Graduate Studentship

The University of Hull is pleased to offer graduates progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate taught masters study a £1,000 studentship towards the cost of your tuition fees. If you wish to study the MSc in Health Professions Education, visit the University of Hull website for details.

Health Education England funding

Health Education England provide funding for the tuition fees for those who take academic posts in the Yorkshire and Humber Foundation School, East Yorkshire region.

Hull University Teaching Hospitals Trust provide clinical teaching fellow positions where each fellow will get the opportunity to complete a part-funded Postgraduate Certificate in Health Professions Education qualification.

Government Master's Loan

If you're starting a Masters you may be entitled to a government-backed loan.

Only students taking the one year full-time MSc will be eligible for government funding.

Visit the Government website for details.

Other sources of funding

Our parent universities also have details of further funding opportunities. Please see the University of Hull and the University of York websites for details.