Research Department for Medical Education

RDME logo

RDME is the research arm of UCL medical school. Drawing together experienced doctors, nurses, psychologists and educationalists, we ensure that the work of the medical school is based on strong pedagogical research foundations.

We help medical educators adopt evidence-based best educational practice by disseminating our research findings. We use this knowledge and experience to continually develop our undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes and work to aid development in other institutions through our education consultancy division.

Research and Scholarship

UCL Medical School has a significant and vigorous educational research profile. Academics and research staff from a variety of backgrounds (education, social science, psychology, philosophy and medical ethics, as well as clinical specialties) contribute to our cross-disciplinary and wide-ranging educational research activities.

Educational research is fundamental to improving doctors’ professional practice, from medical school, to postgraduate training, to continuing professional development. At UCL Medical School, our undergraduate and postgraduate teaching is informed by our research, and our research is informed by our teaching. We are also dedicated to contributing to the wider education community by sharing our research findings and involving key stakeholders in our educational research. Our research outputs and reputation are growing in both national and international importance, particularly in the key area of assessment.

Our areas of expertise:
  • Assessment
  • Communication skills
  • E-learning
  • Equality and diversity in medical education
  • Fitness to practise of doctors
  • Peer-assisted learning
  • Professional identity and expertise
  • Selection
  • Student support
  • Transitions in clinical education
  • Work-based learning
Expertise in research methodologies

The multi-disciplinary nature of UCL Medical School’s academic and research staff is reflected in the diversity of the research methodologies employed to conduct original research and to develop and evaluate innovative teaching. These include both qualitative and quantitative methods. Expertise in qualitative methodologies include: narrative analysis; interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA); thematic and textual analysis. Expertise in quantitative methods include meta-analysis, multi-level modelling, path modelling and psychometrics (including item response theory and generalisability theory). 


UCL Medical School staff publish a wide range of individual and collaborative research:


The Medical School has strong collaborative links with many other academic departments and institutions. Within UCL these include the Centre for Health Informatics and Multi-professional Education (CHIME), the Eastman Dental Institute and UCL Research Department of Primary Care and Population Health. A new cross-SLMS organisation, the Senior Educators Research Collaboration, has been formed with the key goal of bringing clinical education to the foreground of research in life and medical sciences. UCL Medical School actively works with other UK medical schools and in particular Imperial College School of Medicine and Bart’s and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry (Queen Mary, University of London). The Medical School has strong research links with the Institute of Education, Manchester University, Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME), the London Deanery and the Royal Veterinary College London.

Making an impact

Ensuring that UCL Medical School's research makes a difference is a key part of our ethos and research strategy. Our work on selection, postgraduate clinical assessment, widening participation, and equality has garnered acclaim outside of academia as well as internally. Members of UCL Medical School are committed to engaging the public in our work.

Crucial to our mission is our desire to develop and mentor a research community. We have two PhD impact studentships, an NIHR fellow and supervise MD and MSc students in their own original research. We run a national network for education fellows to support novice clinical education researchers entering the field. We contribute to national and international events which encourage the development and dissemination of educational research.


UCL Medical School research has been funded by the Arthritis Research UK, the British Academy, Cancer Research UK, the Department of Health, ESCILTA, the General Medical Council, London Deanery, The Royal College of Physicians, and UCL Development Grants.