University of Chester

Programme Specification
Education for Postgraduate Medical Practice MA
2015 - 2016

Master of Arts

Education for Postgraduate Medical Practice

Education for Postgraduate Medical Practice

University of Chester

University of Chester


Postgraduate (Taught)


Classroom / Laboratory,

3 years

6 Years

Annual - September



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences Chester Medical School

GMC, (2012) Recognising and Approving Trainers: the implementation plan. London: GMC.

Academy of Medical Educators [AoME] Framework for the Professional Development of Post
Graduate Medical Supervisors, 2010

Department of Health, Knowledge and Skills Framework (2004)

Department of Health (2004). The NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (NHS KSF) and the Development Review Process (2004)

Higher Education Academy UK Professional Standards Framework (HEA UKPSF) for Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education (2011)

Participants who successfully complete the PG Cert element of the programme may opt into an additional assessment for recognition as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)

Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Clinical Sciences: Postgraduate Programmes Assessment Board

Sunday 1st May 2011

The aims of the programme are to promote a deep understanding of educational issues, principles and values, and through this to enable doctors to become better teachers in the clinical setting by supporting them to:

  • Develop an advanced expertise of teaching and assessing at postgraduate level in medical practice in accordance to professional standards for educational practice (e.g. HEA UKPSF).
  • Gain well-founded expertise in teaching and assessment at postgraduate level in medicine/surgery in the clinical setting, and thus establish better-focused and more rigorous supervision of doctors (whether as educational or clinical supervisors or in other key educational roles).
  • Recognise the crucial role of language in education (talking/listening/reading and writing) and understand how the clinical teacher can utilise these to make the most of every learning opportunity for their juniors.
  • Learn about the design and development of the formal curriculum on paper and become adept at maximising the learning potential inherent in the settings in which they teach.
  • Recognise, make explicit and understand the tacit processes of clinical reasoning and professional judgement in medicine in their own practice, in order to share this and support the exploration by learners in their own practice.
  • Develop their own reflective processes and the ability to produce clinical reflective writing, know how to teach this to others, and how to respond to it, use it educationally and in assessment.
  • Learn to harness multi-professional collaboration for the support of medical education in a Health Care Trust.
  • Develop the ability to research and thus continue to improve their practice as educators.

Knowledge and Understanding:

  • Personal and professional needs.
  • The clinical context and the wider context of higher education - its changing nature.
  • The widening range of applications which can be used to assist in planning, designing, delivering and assessing in the clinical context and the wider context of higher education.
  • Theories underpinning teaching and learning.
  • Principles underpinning assessing and evaluating.

Key Skills:

  • Communication.
  • Application of number.
  • Information literacy and technology.
  • Improving own learning and performance.
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving.
  • Oral and written presentation skills.
  • Competent with IT.


Application of theory to practice. Understanding the complex relationship between practice and theory.

  • Synthesising of ideas.
  • Understanding the problematic nature of education.
  • Understanding the ontological as well as the technical characteristics of good teaching.
  • Critical reflection in and on practice.
  • Abstracting pedagogic theory and practice.
  • Researching and resolving issues.
  • Evidence-based practice.


Practical Skills:

  • Research skills.
  • Information literacy.
  • Teaching skills - defining learning outcomes, differentiating, setting of effective tasks, questioning effectively, explaining efficiently, giving constructive feedback.
  • Assessing in the clinical setting.

Transferable Professional Skills:

  • Working with and learning from colleagues.
  • Critical reflection and development of personal and professional practice.
  • Lifelong learning.


Working with and learning from colleagues.

Teaching skills - defining learning outcomes, differentiating, setting of effective tasks, questioning effectively, explaining efficiently, giving constructive feedback.

The programme will be offered on a modular basis. It is designed to meet the NHS Knowledge & Skills Framework (DH 2004) where applicable to the health and social care sector, and the professional standards for education as published by the HEA UKPSF (students completing all three PGCert modules may opt into assessment for recognition as Fellows of the HEA).

The MA will consist of 7 modules of study . Each module, with the exception of the dissertation which is worth 60 credits, is worth 20 credits at master’s level, amounting to 180 Masters level credits on completion of the programme. Students may exit with a post-graduate certificate following completion of 60 credits and/or a post-graduate diploma with the completion of 120 credit

The educational philosophy of the programme is that those who teach qualified doctors are both members of the medical profession and associate members of the teaching profession. Further, and central to this, is that they carry out these particular duties in the clinical setting.

The programme is designed to fit the needs of practising medical and surgical consultants, senior registrars and senior healthcare professionals who teach in the clinical setting.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
NM7059 7 Dissertation 60 N/A
NM7600 7 Introduction to Postgraduate Medical Education 20 Comp
NM7601 7 How Doctors think: Teaching and Assessing Clinical Reasoning 20 Comp
NM7602 7 Medical Curricular on Paper and in Action 20 Comp
NM7603 7 Practice Development in Postgraduate Medical Education 20 Comp
NM7604 7 Language and Literature for Teaching and Learning in Clinical Practice 20 Comp
NM7605 7 Teacher as Researcher in Postgraduate Medical Education 20 Comp

60 credits at Level 7 will achieve a Post-graduate Certificate.
120 credits at Level 7 will achieve a Post-graduate Diploma.
Completion of the 60 credit dissertation module, plus the above will achieve a Masters Arts in Education for Postgraduate Medical Practice

Candidates will normally be senior clinicians who have completed their speciality training programme and who teach in the clinical setting.

Those without a medical degree qualification must have a first degree of which the classification will normally be a 2:1 or above. There is no requirement for this degree to be in a health-related subject but the candidate must be working with doctors in the clinical setting.

All candidates who complete an application form and provide a supporting reference will be interviewed. Students will be assessed on an individual basis to determine if they meet the academic criteria and the relevance of their workplace experience.

To be accepted on the programme, all candidates need to agree to be observed in the clinical setting, to confirm that they can commit appropriate time to the course and its demands, and can attend at minimum four and a half of the five teaching days or equivalent for each module

Where candidates can offer equivalent study or experience from elsewhere to meet the requirements of part of the programme, this will be subjected to normal AP(E)L/APL regulations. Participants will normally be asked to undertake a bespoke series of several sessions and/or a written assignment, together with two teaching observations. However, this will depend on the nature of the applicant's prior experience and will be negotiated on an individual basis with the Programme Leader and module leaders.

The General Medical Council (GMC) makes very clear demands on all doctors in respect of teaching and assessment (GMC 2006).

The key paragraphs are as follows:

  • 'Teaching, training, appraising and assessing doctors and students are important for the care of patients now and in the future. You should be willing to contribute to these activities. (para 15)
  • 'If you are involved in teaching you must develop the skills, attitudes and practices of a competent teacher. (para 16)
  • 'You must make sure that all staff for whom you are responsible, including locums and students[,] are properly supervised. (para 17)
  • 'In a ‘standards conscious’ and increasingly litigious world, the definition of ‘competent teacher’ (para 16) is set to become more specific, and doctors will soon need to seek formal educational qualifications that will provide credible evidence of their teaching competence.'
  • 'You must be honest and objective when appraising or assessing the performance of colleagues, including locums and students. Patients will be put at risk if you describe as competent someone who has not reached or maintained a satisfactory standard of practice (para 18).

  • You must provide only honest, justifiable and accurate comments when giving references for, or writing reports about, colleagues. When providing references you must do so promptly and include all information that is relevant to your colleague’s competence, performance or conduct (para 19)

The Higher Education Academy have published the United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework for Teaching and Supporting Learning (2011). The UKPSF framework comprises of three interconnected elements for teaching practice: areas of activity, core knowledge and professional values, each with specified dimensions for practice. The framework specifies 4 descriptors of professional educational practice. The modules that comprise the PG Cert element of this programme (NM7600, NM7601, and NM7602) have been carefully mapped to ensure alignment to the D2 (Fellowship) level of this framework.

Students will experience a variety of teaching and learning methods designed to facilitate the achievement of all learning outcomes at level 7 within a student-centred approach, and to foster personal and professional development.

A variety of teaching and learning strategies will be used to meet the programme learning outcomes. These will include small group work, discussion, seminar presentations, work-based learning, problem-based learning, action learning sets, micro teaching and learning through the practice of teaching. Self-directed, inter-professional learning and peer-learning will be encouraged throughout and, consistent with the philosophy of the programme, peer and self assessment.  

Emphasis, however, will be placed on seminar sessions and workshops. The seminars and workshops will essentially be characterised by staff providing direction, but with much learner autonomy evident in the group work. Learning will be supported further by the use of notes and other material prepared by both teachers and learners.

Students will be exposed to a variety of assessment methods designed to ensure that the content, outcomes and level of the modules are measured in a fair and transparent manner. Examples include assignments and reflective accounts. Knowledge and intellectual skills will be assessed normally through coursework, and students will be asked to demonstrate thinking and cognitive ability through written assignments and reflective accounts, along with their compliance to the HEA UKPSF (note: students can opt not to seek accreditation with the HEA and therefore not to complete this element of assessment). All aspects of the assessment strategy will be used to evaluate transferable/key skills and, where relevant, mapped against national benchmarks.

Assessment methods for each module are:

Assessment strategy 


Method of assessment
NM7600 - Introduction to Postgraduate Medical Education

Portfolio (all learning outcomes, 100% weighting, 5000 words equivalent): 


This will consist of 2 components -


Component A: A reflective summary of the practical insights gained from observed teaching in the clinical setting. (2000 words)


Component B: A portfolio will evidence synthesis of key insights gained about teaching, learning and assessment in postgraduate medicine/surgery.  (3000 words)

 Reassessment:Retrieval of failed component.
NM7601 - How doctors think; teaching and assessing clinical reasoning and professional judgement 


 Portfolio (addressing all learning outcomes, 100% weighting, 5000 word equivalent).  This will consist of:

A formal exploration of the teaching processes, both of participants themselves and those offered to the learner, which comments critically on their clinical reflective writing.  (5000 words equivalent, all learning outcomes.)

 Re-assessment:Retrieval of failed element.
NM7602 - Medical curricular on paper and in action



Portfolio (all learning outcomes, 100% weighting, 5000 word equivalent)


This will consist of 3 components:


Component A: Documentation of the development of a teaching session for a junior doctor. (1000 words equivalent)


Component B: A critique of the educational design of the session and of the teaching session itself, based upon an oral recording of the session which is submitted with the portfolio. (3000 words equivalent)


Component C:  Summative assessment of practice teaching in the clinical setting (1000 words equivalent).  Recorded as a PASS/FAIL

 Re-assessment: Resubmission of portfolio
Practice Development in Postgraduate Medical Education

Assignment (all learning outcomes, 100% weighting, 5000 words)


A critical account of the practical and theoretical insights gained by participating in a practice development project in medical education, based within the moral mode of practice, within a medical health care provider setting



Retrieval of failed component.
Language and Literature for learning and teaching in clinical settings Assignment (all learning outcomes, 100% weighting, 5000 words).   Evaluate a small educational enterprise* by focusing on all the issues it raises at both design and execution stage about language and literature in education. (*The enterprise should involve working with one learner, to enable her/him to understand that qualities of character and personality are as important for their practice as professional knowledge and skills.)  


Retrieval of failed component
Teacher as researcher in Postgraduate Medical Education Assignment – 5000 words. All learning outcomes. A research proposal for the rigorous investigation of an aspect of the learners own educational practice within Postgraduate Medicine expressed as a case study or a piece of insider action research. OR A research proposal for the rigorous investigation of specific issue(s) that affect the learners educational practice on the ground, expressed as a case study or a piece of insider action research


Retrieval of failed component
NM7059 - Dissertation  

Dissertation.  Length: 15,000 words (all learning outcomes, 100% weighing)

 Reassessment:Retrieval of failed component

The programme aims to enable participants to become proactive, autonomous, lifelong learners who are resilient, resourceful, reflective and reciprocal.

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

The teaching will be delivered by subject experts from the Countess of Chester Foundation NHS Trust with support from University of Chester.

Students undertaking the programme will receive support and guidance through a number of service and support mechanisms both within the Faculty and the wider University:

  1. Academic support and assessment guidance from the module leader.
  2. Support throughout from the programme leader.
  3. Pastoral support from the personal academic tutor
  4. The Student Support  Support and Guidance department, available to all University of Chester students.
  5. The programme handbook, available on the intranet.
  6. Module handbooks that give more specific details of each module than contained in the module descriptor e.g. specific breakdown of content including sessions and an updated illustrative reading list to ensure that recommended reading remains relevant and current.
  7. Module descriptors, timetables and associated learning materials, e.g. learning packs, accessible via IBIS (the University intranet).
  8. Guidance on APL/AP(E)L available through the AP(E)L team.

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