UCL Medical School


Our Research

RDME is one of the UK’s top medical education research departments.

The Research Department of Medical Education strives to make evidence-based contributions to the evidence and science underpinning clinical and professional practice; widening participation, postgraduate education; health & wellbeing; policy & impact; and legitimising medical education research through high quality publications and dissemination activities.

Our research focuses on selection, postgraduate assessment, revalidation, and differential attainment & inequalities using a broad range of mixed approaches and theories.

Assessment in Medical Education

The aim of assessment in medical education is to investigate and develop processes that support positive learning behaviours and preparedness for practice and generate a clear link between research and teaching. Our work on assessment in medical education has a number of vibrant and diverse strands including:

  • Selection
  • Fitness to practice
  • Revalidation
Professionalism and Regulation
  • Transitions in clinical education
  • Professional identity and expertise
  • Communication skills
  • Equality and diversity (including differential attainment)
Work-based Learning
  • Transitions in clinical education
  • Professional identity and expertise
  • Communication skills

We strive to ensure our research makes an impact on: medical education in both undergraduate and postgraduate education in clinical and higher educational institutes; in shaping policy in local and global contexts, in legitimising medical education research as a valued activity, and critically generating high quality publications.

 The RDME research team have successfully formulated key relationships and strategic partnerships with stakeholders and strategists by delivering unparalleled research for, and in collaboration with, key medical education organisations and other allied health professional associations.  

These professional networks include the following, with associated research projects:

General Medical Council
  • Fairness of decisions to refer doctors to The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service Interim Orders Panels
  • Understanding stakeholder perspectives on the GMC’s quality assurance of medical education and training
  • Fair training pathways for all: understanding experiences of progression
Professional Standards Authority
  • Developing a methodology to assess the consistency of fitness to practise outcomes
Health Education England
  • An evaluation of the impact of changes to the General Practice educational programme within local Vocational Training Schemes
  • The London General Practitioner (GP) Trainer Course: a critical evaluation
  • Academic support for the Assessment and Appraisal workstream of HEE’s ARCP review
  • Evaluating the Programme for Integrated Child Health
NHS England
  • Independent Verification Visits: The Evaluation of NHS England’s Strategy to Quality Assure Designated Bodies
The Nuffield Foundation
  • Trust, professionalism and regulation: a critical comparison of Medicine and Law (Nuffield Foundation Reactive Grants Programme)

We can offer expertise in both qualitative methodologies: 

  • narrative analysis,
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis,
  • linguistics,
  • critical realist approaches,
  • thematic & textual analysis, and ethnography

and quantitative methodologies:

  • psychometrics including item response theory and generalisability theory,
  • meta-analysis,
  • multi-level modelling,
  • and social network analysis

Some of our Research projects: