Key Facts

Course Title: Medical Science (Surgery)
Course type: MMedSci, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
Mode of Study:Part Time
Contact Details:Rachel Parkin - 01782 734936
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Subject Area: Medicine


This award has been designed to facilitate the learning of the generic skills and knowledge essential to successful higher clinical practice. With an emphasis on surgery, it fulfils all aspects of mandatory surgical training and it also covers areas such as an understanding of medical education, ability to appraise research and assess clinical effectiveness, and management and leadership skills in the healthcare setting. Each module consists of a mixture of different types of delivery, with some online learning and some face-to-face blocks of teaching, utilising a mixture of seminars, group work and short lectures.

There are a number of core modules and then a wide range of modules that are optional. We have designed the award to be as flexible as possible, including enabling students to study some modules from other Keele awards. This award has been mapped against the revised Good Medical Practice from the General Medical Council.

Aims of the Course

Entry Requirements

You will need to be a doctor in active surgical training to apply for this award. Certain individual modules are open to other professionals with appropriate experience. 

Course Content

Each module is given a credit rating within the national Masters framework. These may be transferable from or to other institutions where the learning outcomes are comparable.

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Science: 60 credits 

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Science: 120 credits

  • Masters in Medical Science: total 180 credits

(The Masters Degree must be completed within five years of registration, the Diploma within four years and the Certificate within three years. It will be possible to complete a Masters Degree in Medical Science in two years.)

It is not necessary to carry out a piece of original research to complete the award. The final 60 credits can be for a practice-based project, a teaching project such as robust evaluation of a programme you might be running, or it may be possible to accumulate credits from independent studies or a reflective portfolio. Individual programmes will be constructed for you at this stage through negotiation with the award leader.

Course Modules

  • Basic Skills in Surgical Practice (15 credits) CORE - Based on the Basic Surgical Skills course, this module will extend students beyond acquisition of essential knowledge and skills to also develop the scholarly skills of reflection and critical thinking essential for independent clinical practice. Students will be able to demonstrate that they have reflected on and developed their own surgical technique and practice, that they understand what constitutes an appropriate surgical environment and know the ethical basis of consent issues for surgery.

  • Core Skills in the Care of Critically Ill Surgical Patients (15 credits) CORE - Based on the Care of the Critically Ill Surgical Patient course, the aim of the module is to demonstrate understanding and application of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for the safe, effective and evidence-based care of critically ill surgical patients.

  • Laparoscopic Skills in Surgical Practice (15 credits) CORE - Based on the Core Skills in Laparoscopic Surgery course, this module allows surgical trainees to extend their knowledge and skills beyond that usually needed for professional competence. The supervised academic study allows a far deeper understanding of the topic. Students will be able to display greater knowledge to future employers by using the knowledge gained through the assessments and extended reading and study required to pass the module. The field of laparoscopic surgery as a minimal invasive technique has increased dramatically in the last 5 years and will play an ever larger part in a skilled surgeon’s repertoire. A greater proficiency in this field of surgery is vital for career development. This module will not only allow a student to get to the level of higher scholarly knowledge but develop skills to maintain and extend this higher skills set and knowledge.

    N.B. Any student that has already completed either the Basic Surgical Skills, Care of the Critically Ill Surgical Patient or Core Skills in Laparoscopic Surgery courses elsewhere can submit the required assessment in order to obtain the Master’s level credits.

  • Applied Surgical Anatomy (15 credits) CORE - The aim of this module is to acquire a thorough knowledge of anatomy as applied to surgical diagnoses and procedures, as a foundation for understanding and developing the scientific and evidence base of current practice. A firm grounding in anatomy is a prerequisite for safe and effective surgical practice. This module will augment existing structured training programmes for surgical trainees by offering academic support for professional training. The module will extend students beyond acquisition of essential knowledge and skills to also develop the scholarly skills of reflection and critical thinking essential for independent clinical practice.

  • Option Modules

    Contemporary Challenges in Healthcare Ethics and Law

    Statistics and Epidemiology

    Research Methods

    Communication Skills for Health Professionals in Clinical Practice

    Medical Education

    Health Informatics

    Health Service Management

    Clinical Effectiveness

    Reflective Practice


The award of an MMedSci (Surgery) follows successful completion of the taught modules which make up the Diploma in Medical Science and submission of a further 60 credits worth of learning. This latter may be a research dissertation on a subject related to the individual’s speciality, in which case candidates will also be expected to have completed the Research Methods and usually the Statistics and Epidemiology modules. A practice-based project is another possibility, such as evaluation of changes implemented in a clinical setting, educational projects, or exploration of ethical dilemmas in policy and/or practice. It is expected to be a significant piece of work, and we encourage all students to consider aiming for publication of their findings. All candidates will be expected to have a local clinical supervisor for their project and educational supervision will continue to be provided by the award team. Previous experience has shown us that this is an extremely popular component of the Degree. Candidates have often published or presented their dissertation at Regional and National meetings.

Teaching and Assessment

Each module consists of a mixture of different types of delivery, with some on line learning and face to face teaching, utilising a mixture of seminars, group work or short lectures.

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this postgraduate programme.