UCL Graduate degrees


Medical Education MPhil/PhD

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.


Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019

Tuition fees (2020/21)

£5,365 (FT)
£2,685 (PT)
£25,900 (FT)
£12,960 (PT)

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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.

English language requirements

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

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

International students

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.

Select your country:


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 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.

Research areas

  • Assessment
  • Communication skills
  • E-learning
  • Equality and diversity in medical education
  • Fitness to practise of doctors
  • Interprofessional education
  • Peer-assisted learning
  • Professional identity
  • Selection
  • Medical revalidation
  • Transitions
  • Work-based learning.
More information can be found on the department website: Medical Education MPhil/PhD

About this degree

For students who are registered on the distance learning mode of study, the following 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

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.


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


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


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 was successful in securing a senior lectureship in medical education and now plays an important part in the curriculum design of the undergraduate MBBS programme. UCL Medical School graduates have gone on to senior positions in other medical schools and in the postgraduate sector


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.


Each year UCL Medical School hosts a medical education conference in which research students are encouraged to run workshops and take the opportunity to network with medical educationalists from the UK and internationally who come to 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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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.

We have recently introduced a distance learning mode of study for MPhil/PhD students. Students undertake a series of online research methods modules, and supervision meetings also take place online. Please note, we typically require students to attend the upgrade viva and final viva examinations in person. 

Department: UCL Medical School

What our students and staff say

Student review

"The UCL Doctoral School provides a large selection of high-quality courses to support the graduate student. My PhD supervisors have been particularly supportive in providing me with networking opportunities and I have met some very interesting people."

Dr Emily Unwin

Division of Medical Education MPhil

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Application deadlines

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.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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Page last modified on 28 May 2020