Research Degrees in Medical Education

Choice of Doctoral Programme

You have three choices a PhD, an EdD and an MD.

  • The PhD involves a singular piece of research driven by your own academic interests, if done part-time it takes around five years and involves a 100,000 word thesis.
  • The EdD is a professional doctorate, so you will investigate your own working practices; it typically has a taught element and has assessments along the way. Like the PhD it takes five years part time and the final thesis of 100,000 is made up of a portfolio of research.
  • The MD is a specific route for medics; it typically involves a singular study over two years full-time and a thesis of 50-60,000 words. It’s worth getting an institutional perspective on which research degree your organisation values.

For a more detailed account see Gill, D. Griffin, A. Woolf, K. Cave, J. (2009) 12 Tips for Studying Medical Education at Doctoral Level, Medical Teacher vol.31,no.7, 601-604 which includes a range of other issues to consider when deciding to embark on this type of research degree.

Research degrees at UCL Medical School

UCLMS offers PhD supervision which covers a wide range of education interests. Research themes are:

  • Peer assisted learning
  • Fitness to practise of doctors
  • Assessment
  • Communication skills.
  • Professional identity
  • Transitions
  • Work-based learning
  • E-learning
  • Interprofessional education
  • Equality and diversity in medical education
  • Selection

In order to apply you should have a primary medical qualification and Master’s level study, preferably in the field of education or medical education.

Guidance on the application process

The application process involves a short written proposal of about 2000 words addressing the following aspects:

  • The research problem and your research questions
  • Background including a brief literature review
  • Theoretical and methodological perspectives
  • Methods to include: sample, recruitment, data gathering, data analysis
  • The contribution this study will make to new knowledge
  • Timetable and bibliography

This should be sent to Ann Griffin (a.griffin@ucl.ac.uk).

On receipt of your proposal we will match you with an appropriate supervisor and arrange an interview with you.

If you are successful at this stage we will ask you will be asked to formally apply via UCL admissions process and provide two references.

For overseas applicants we will make arrangements for interview by Skype or another alternative.