The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) calls family doctors "our rising stars of the future". This reflects WHO’s renewed commitment to building family medicine as a speciality across all regions. Strengthening family medicine has been recognized as a key component of achieving Universal Health Coverage as part of the Sustainable Development Goals to which every country committed at the last United Nations General Assembly. This degree aims to build on this momentum for strengthening primary care by developing competent family physicians who are empowered to become leaders and advocates for the future of the profession.
The University of Edinburgh provides high quality postgraduate medical education through an online distance learning format. Students are from a variety of countries across the world, each bringing their unique experiences to create a vibrant global learning community. The programme will give doctors the essential medical knowledge and management skills for the common presenting health issues and explore management within the context of the principles, processes, and practices of family medicine. The programme will equip students with the skills to become expert family physicians whose approach will provide continuous, coordinated, comprehensive and cost-effective care build around an understanding of the patient in the context of the family and the community.
This blended distance learning programme is delivered via the Moodle platform. Students have access to comprehensive learning materials as well as the University of Edinburgh’s library resources. Online tutorials are delivered regularly by experts in the field.
Students can study to Masters, Diploma, or Certificate level.
Year One (Certificate)
All students take the following compulsory courses:
- Foundations of Family Medicine (20 credits)
- Applied Principles of Family Medicine (20 credits)
- Professionalism in Family Practice (20 credits)
Year Two (Diploma)
All students take the following compulsory courses:
- Family Medicine Approach to Child and Maternal Health (20 credits)
- Family Medicine Approach to NCDs (20 credits)
- Family Medicine Approach to Complex Needs (20 Credits)
Year Three (Masters)
All students take the compulsory written reflective element of 10,000-15,000 words.
Online teaching is complemented by a two week period of face-to-face teaching in both the certificate and diploma year. This builds on the online content and provides practical clinical training. This is currently delivered in four sites across the world: India, Nigeria, Uganda and Egypt. Attendance provides a unique opportunity to travel and view the practice of Family Medicine in other countries whilst meeting and learning from fellow students.
In addition, those students completing the Master's programme have the opportunity to participate in an optional 30 days clinical internship after attaining the MFM qualification.
The programme is aimed to provide doctors with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to become effective Family Physicians. It is relevant to doctors of all backgrounds and experience from early career doctors to those established in other specialities.
The programme provides a high-quality Masters level qualification in Family Medicine and builds on the skills already gained by the student in their post-graduate clinical training. It is not a recognised vocational training course and cannot be used for direct entry to clinical practice as a Family Physician.
A medical degree (MBChB) or its international equivalent) is required.
We may also consider applicants who are in a profession allied to medicine or have relevant work experience in a clinical context. Please contact the programme team to check before you apply.
English language requirements
All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:
- an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration
- IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
- TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)
- PTE(A): total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)
- CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)
- Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components
Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.
Scholarships and funding
The University of Edinburgh offers a small number of scholarships to outstanding candidates. These are very competitive.
UK government postgraduate loans
UK nationals, those with settled status, and some EU nationals not resident in the UK could be eligible for a postgraduate loan towards fees - and in some cases living costs.
About the School
Together we form a unique grouping in the UK where vets, medics and biomedical scientists work together and study the common causes of disease that affect our populations.