Peninsula Medical School

PgCert Clinical Education

Are you a doctor, dentist or other healthcare professional wishing to develop your role as a teacher, trainer, clinical or educational supervisor? This one year, online part-time programme will support your professional development as an educator, building on your existing knowledge and skills in teaching, learning and assessment. On successful completion of this award you may choose to progress onto the masters programme which is now also available online.

Clinical education is well established at the University of Plymouth’s Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. Supported by experienced tutors via webinars, individual and group tutorials and interactive online materials, you will be primed to confidently transfer your knowledge into your current or future teaching role. The PgCert Clinical Education is also available as a face-to-face programme delivered in Plymouth.

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First choice for health

Delivered by professional experts, our programmes are tailored to you and your career. Together, we address today's most challenging healthcare issues, through research-informed teaching and active, real-world learning.


Key features

  • This PgCert programme will be delivered on a part-time basis over one year. The programme will include the completion of three 20 credit modules - principles of learning and teaching in clinical education, assessment, feedback and evaluation principles and practices and current issues in clinical education, totalling together 60 credits.
  • Improve your clinical skills – this programme is designed to develop your knowledge and abilities as a teacher, trainer, educational scholar, leader and manager, and is appropriate if you are a doctor, dentist, vet or other healthcare professional working primarily in a clinical environment.
  • We are members of the Academy of Medical Educators and on completion of the postgraduate certificate and by meeting their qualifying criteria, you can apply for membership through the shortened route.
  • The distance learning pathway maps to the UK Professional Standards Framework and if you wish to gain accreditation you will be able to apply to Advance HE (formerly The Higher Education Academy) directly. Tutors will be able to advise you how to do this. There is a cost associated with gaining professional recognition.
  • Be supported online with a range of learning resources, webinars and individual and group tutorials.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • You will complete three modules worth 20 credits each. You’ll advance your knowledge, understanding and experience of teaching, learning and assessment in clinical education and collaborate with colleagues from a wide range of healthcare professions.

    • CDL711 Principles of Learning and Teaching in Clinical Education
    • CDL712 Assessment, Feedback and Evaluation Principles and Practices
    • CDL713 Contemporary Issues in Clinical Education

    Core modules
    • CDL711 Principles of Learning and Teaching in Clinical Education

      This module will develop your knowledge and skills as a clinical educator, exploring theories of learning as well as practical aspects of session planning, strategies for interactive learning and reflective practice. A key aspect of the module will be the opportunity to practise and reflect on teaching skills, and to gain feedback from learners and peers.

    • CDL712 Assessment, Feedback and Evaluation Principles and Practices

      In this module we explore principles and practices of assessment, feedback and evaluation currently employed in clinical contexts. Drawing on your own experiences and supported with research evidence, you will evaluate a range of approaches. You will also actively participate in peer assessment and feedback activities.

    • CDL713 Current Issues in Clinical Education

      This module will explore current issues, drivers and challenges in undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing clinical education, and will draw widely on contemporary educational research and scholarship. You will be encouraged to reflect on your role as a clinical educator, and to investigate the impact of culture and policy on your practice.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MClinEd PgCert Clinical Education programme specification 19 20 6504

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

Normally a recognised first degree or equivalent will be required. Experience acquired through work or other means that enables staff responsible for admissions to be confident of your ability to succeed in the programme may also be considered, in line with QAA guidance. It is essential that within your professional role you have opportunities to teach in order to be able to complete some of the assignments.

If your first language is not English you will be required to provide evidence of competence in English language:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7 or above with no less than 7.0 in each category (speaking, listening, reading, & writing) will be required. Students with a first degree from the UK may still be required to take IELTS.

    Accreditation of prior certificated learning (APCL) and accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) refer to the process by which previous formal certificated learning and informal non-certificated learning can be awarded credit towards modules within the sphere of Higher Education. Credit for prior learning, whether certificated or experiential, may count towards the requirements for the named award. The maximum amount of credit for prior learning (certificated or experiential) claimed towards the award is 120 credits.  To qualify for the award of a masters degree, your dissertation must be completed at Plymouth University. If you are seeking credit (whether certificated or experiential), you will normally be required to apply for such credit on receipt of an offer of a place on the programme. Requests for APCL if you are already on a programme will be considered, provided that you submit the request in the session before you would normally begin the module/stage for which you are seeking credit. In the case of requests for APEL, this would be at least six months prior to the beginning of the session before you would normally begin the module(s)/stage against which you are seeking credit.

    Plymouth University is committed to providing equality for all irrespective of age, disability, ethnicity (including race, colour and nationality), gender, gender reassignment, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity and will work to ensure that all students, employees and visitors, as well as those who apply or seek to apply to work or study at the University, are treated fairly and are not subjected to discrimination by the University on any of these grounds (University Equality and Diversity Policy, Revised April 2011).

    Plymouth Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry welcomes applications from people with disabilities who will be considered on the same academic grounds as other potential students. Considerations about individual needs arising from disability will be made separately, and we will strive to meet an individual disabled student's needs wherever possible and in consultation with Disability Services.

    British Association of Oral Surgeons (BAOS)

    We are delighted to announce that the Peninsula School of Medicine at the University of Plymouth is now collaborating with the British Association of Oral Surgeons (BAOS) to provide a natural progression route onto the PgCert Clinical Education. This exciting development enables students who have completed the BAOS Teaching and Learning Course to apply to progress onto the Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) stage of the programme with a reduced pattern of attendance and the completion of assessed coursework in order to obtain 30 M-level credits towards the Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits).

    We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

    Fees, costs and funding

    EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

    New Student 2019 2020
    Home/EU N/A To be confirmed
    International N/A To be confirmed
    Part time (Home/EU) £3,150 To be confirmed
    Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 60 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

    Find out about funding your postgraduate studies with this helpful list of sources.

    How to apply

    Make sure you meet the entry requirements for this programme.

    Before you apply

    Make sure you have all your supporting documents. Documents required usually include:
    • Evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
    • Evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
    • Personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in this course and outlining the nature of previous and current teaching experience. You can write this into the online application form, or send it as a separate attachment.
    • Two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course 
    • Two passport photographs
    • Curriculum Vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
    • Proof of sponsorship, if applicable

    When to apply

    Applications for postgraduate programmes of study can usually be made throughout the year. When applying for a taught postgraduate programme, please check for any submission deadlines with the Medicine and Dentistry Admissions team (contact details below). For full-time programmes, you may be invited for interview.

    Check the closing date and apply as early as possible as our programmes are popular.

    Submitting an application

    Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).

    Once you have registered and logged in, please enter the ‘course code’ which can be found above into the search bar to begin your application.

    Additional guidance information can also be downloaded on how to fill in the postgraduate application form.

    Admissions policy

    More information and advice for applicants can be referenced in our online admissions policy for taught programmes. Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

    What happens after I apply?

    For more information contact the Medicine and Dentistry Admissions team.

    If you would like to speak to one of our course information advisors, please contact us:

    University of Plymouth

    Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry and Human Sciences
    The John Bull Building
    Research Way
    Plymouth Science Park
    PL6 8BU

    Tel: +44 (0)1752 437333
    Fax: +44 (0)1752 517842

    You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information, to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) or you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

    The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Information team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. The Doctoral College is also available to answer any queries on our postgraduate research degrees.

    If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by the University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website.

    Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office.

    Aled Picton – MClinEd Clinical Education graduate

    Studying the MClinEd programme provided an excellent grounding in the principles of teaching and learning. I learned how to reflect on and appraise teaching practice. I also learned valuable research and academic writing skills.

    Aled now works at the University of Birmingham Medical School as a Central Education Fellow.

    Learn more about Aled Picton

    Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2019

    • @ Provided an excellent grounding in the theories and contemporary research into clinical education
    • @ Thought provoking discussions; enthusiastic and dedicated tutors
    • @ The teaching staff and their teaching techniques were excellent. They were second to none in their abilities to teach and get the best out of a mixed class
    • @ So far the course has exceeded my expectations. The teaching is engaging and interactive... there is an excellent balance between the face-to-face sessions, homework and work on the digital learning environment

    An inspiring mentor in clinical education

    The postgraduate programme at Plymouth opened my mind to the wider perspective of teaching in higher education. It has helped me develop my confidence and provided me with strategies for small group teaching.

    Discover how Anitha’s experience studying Clinical Education at Plymouth has motivated her to reach new levels in teaching.

    Read Anitha's story

    Career opportunities

    This programme will provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills for multiple roles within the clinical educational environment. 

    Maximise your impact by educating others and build your confidence as a learner and as a teacher. Graduate with formal recognition of your teaching skills to build a portfolio career that may include engaging in education scholarship and research, and leading change through education development.

    You will gain the necessary evidence to apply for membership of The Academy of Medical Educators which will support appraisal and GMC recognition. Additionally, recognition by The Higher Education Academy for Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) supports you with contracts in Higher Education.


    • Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Postgraduate Education
      Programme Lead Clinical Education (Distance Learning)
    • Lecturer in Postgraduate Education
      Programme Lead Clinical Education, Senior Fellow Advance-HE
    • Associate Professor of Digital Health & Education and Head of Digital Education
      Associate Head of School Medicine (PGT) Director of Technology Enhanced Learning
    • Lecturer in Clinical Education
    • Lecturer in Postgraduate Education