Remote and Rural Medicine - GH714

Key features

This module will equip students with the knowledge and skills to operate safely and independently in remote and austere environments. They will gain understanding of how physiological environmental and human factors integrate in decision making in the wilderness.
Key topics covered include: 
  • Preparation: medico-legal considerations, medical kits, mental health, evacuation. 
  • Austere environments: heat illness, hypothermia, tropical medicine. 
  • Practical skills: navigation, ropes and slings, packaging and moving casualties, primary and secondary survey in the field.  
  • Search and rescue simulation. 
  • Expedition specifics: dive medicine, expedition dentistry. 
Module code




FHEQ Level 

Level 7 - masters degree


Blended learning approach with face to face delivery at Plymouth 

Module details

This module is suitable for anyone interested in medicine who would be looking to gain an understanding of working in remote, wilderness, expedition or rural settings.
Learning outcomes
  • Demonstrate a deep and systematic understanding of the theories and concepts (environmental, psychological and pathophysiological) that are at the forefront of remote healthcare.
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and a critical understanding of processes involved in the provision of safe and effective healthcare spanning all sectors in remote and rural settings.
  • Critically analyse, synthesise and interpret a range of evidence in order to make complex decisions in remote and/or unpredictable situations.
  • Demonstrate a critical insight into all aspects involved in the prevention of illness and injury in remote areas.
  • Critically examine the principles and systems associated with specialist preparation for practice as a leader or member of a flexible and adaptive team in remote situations.
Summary of Module Content 
  • Environmental hazards: Extremes of heat and cold, high altitude, jungle and diving.
  • Human factors in remote locations: Team work, leadership in practice, communication. 
  • Contemporary evidence in remote medicine.
  • Illness & injury prevention in remote areas, including personal safety and survival in hostile conditions.
  • Principles and systems of preparation for remote clinical practice.
  • Scenario based teaching in the field.
This module is taught through a mixture of scenarios, practical sessions, lectures and interactive debate. This is supplemented through self-directed learning, supported tutorials and completion of a written assignment. It is run as two three day blocks in the spring/ early summer. The first block is on the university site and includes visits to the Diving Diseases Research Centre and School of Dentistry. The second block is a practical skills based residential on Dartmoor.

Admissions information 

Additional information and documentation required for the application process.
  • Application forms. 
  • Change of name forms.
  • Pre-course information.
  • Downloadable guides.
  • Student card.

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Module dates

6, 7, 8 March and 3, 4, 5  May 2023. 
Occasionally delivery dates might be subject to change - always check with the module lead or Professional Development Unit.
Please be aware that all modules run to minimum numbers.
In the event that there are low numbers, this module may be rescheduled to an alternative date.
Some modules are also subject to maximum numbers.

Entry requirements

You will normally be a healthcare professional with a first degree or a related academic degree. BSc (Hons) at 2:2 or above, or European first cycle equivalent. Clinicians without a degree but with appropriate experience may be eligible to apply. Overseas students require IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent required.


The fees for this module are £1,100.

Module lead

The lead for this module is Dr Lucy Obolensky 
Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

You can contact the Professional Development Unit with any queries

Prospective student enquiries

+44 1752 586951

Current student enquiries

Professional Development Unit, Level 4 Rolle Building, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, United Kingdom.

8.30–17.00 (Friday 16.30)