Division of Medical Education MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

The Research Department for Medical Education (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.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
3 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September.
Applications accepted
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, plus Master's-level study in either education or medical education. A primary medical qualification is required for a clinically-orientated doctorate.

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

UCL Medical School has a significant and vigorous educational research profile. Academics and research staff from a variety of backgrounds (education, psychology, health and social sciences, as well as clinical specialties) contribute to our cross-disciplinary and wide-ranging educational research activities.
Educational research is fundamental to improving medical and health-related professional practice, from medical school to postgraduate training, and 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.

Who this course is for

What this course will give you

UCL Medical School is home to an internationally renowned group of medical education researchers, who have vast experience in a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies.Studying at UCL Medical School will provide you with first-class education and supervision and support your development as a medical education researcher.In addition to the professional development programme offered by UCL Doctoral School, students have access to a series of online research methods modules focusing on medical education.  Supervision meetings take place in person and/or online.  

The foundation of your career

A PhD in Medical Education prepares graduates for a substantive career as an educational researcher. Whilst many clinical practitioners will continue to practise in healthcare, this award carries with it the opportunity to develop an academic role either in undergraduate or postgraduate education. The research qualifications have helped our graduates obtain high-quality posts either as NHS consultants or academics in university settings, with complementary roles in medical education with local/national and international influence.


Many former students and clinical practitioners have continued to practise in healthcare whilst playing a significant role in local education. One former (non-clinical) PhD student remained in the department and has pursued a successful research career. UCL Medical School graduates have gone on to senior positions in other medical schools and in the postgraduate sector.


UCL Medical School offers numerous activities that provide students with the opportunity to network with medical educationalists across the UK and internationally who share examples of good practice and their own research findings. Academics and research students are also encouraged to attend local, national and international medical education conferences, such as the annual Association of Medical Education in Europe Conference. Researchers are often involved in the teaching of taught undergraduate and graduate programmes at UCL.

Teaching and learning

The following optional research methods modules are delivered via the University's online learning platform:

Approaches to educational research

Research and the theoretical field

Research methods

Qualitative data analysis

Writing and presenting educational research & Information and literature searching

Quantitative data analysis

Research areas and structure

  • Assessment in medical education
  • Clinical communication
  • E-learning in medical education
  • Equality and diversity in medical education
  • Fitness to practise of doctors
  • Interprofessional education
  • Peer-assisted learning
  • Professional identity
  • Selection in medicine
  • Medical revalidation
  • Transitions in medical careers
  • Work-based learning.

Research environment

The Research Department for Medical Education (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.  

Ensuring our research makes a difference is a key part of our ethos and research strategy. Our work on selection, postgraduate clinical assessment, widening participation, revalidation, and differential attainment and equality, has had significant impact outside of academia, and our impact case studies were highly rated in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. Our award-winning public engagement projects ensure our work is informed by, and useful to patients and the public.

We help medical educators adopt evidence-based best educational practice, and use our knowledge and experience to continually develop our undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes, and work to aid development in other institutions through the Medical School Educational Consultancy.

RDME is one of the UK’s top medical education research departments. We were the only department to submit under Medical Education in the Research Excellence Framework 2014. Our academic and research staff are from a variety of backgrounds (education, social science, psychology, philosophy and medical ethics, as well as clinical specialties) and contribute to our interdisciplinary educational research activities. Our research outputs and reputation are of national and international importance, particularly in the key area of assessment.

Upon accepting your place on the programme, you will initially register for an MPhil in Medical Education. You will be eligible to upgrade to PhD student status at between 9-18 months (if you are a full-time student) or 15-24 months (if you are a part-time student). Upgrade decisions are based on an evaluation of an upgrade report, which you will draft with the support of your primary and subsidiary supervisors, and assessment by viva voce examination. You will be provided with research training by the UCL Doctoral School, and will have the opportunity to play a full part in the life of the Research Department of Medical Education (RDME), the research arm of UCL Medical School.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Where you'll study

Student in a lecture theatre

The Medical School is based in Bloomsbury in the heart of London. Working closely with several major teaching hospitals, we provide a world-class medical education. Core medical education is provided at UCL and three clinical campuses. The Bloomsbury campus has clinical facilities at University College Hospital (UCH), the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, the Heart Hospital, and the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital. The Royal Free campus in Hampstead is the site of the Royal Free Hospital. The Whittington campus in Archway is the site of the newly refurbished Whittington Hospital, with a new Undergraduate Education Centre.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £5,690 £2,845
Tuition fees (2022/23) £27,480 £13,750

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the UCL Scholarships and Funding website.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Next steps

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

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