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Welcome from the Programme Director

Welcome to the PGCert Healthcare Education Programme. We are delighted that you will be joining us in the 2023-2024 academic year, and we very much look forward to seeing you in September. Please navigate around the site carefully to access key information. We will be sending further information via email in due course.

- Dr Helen Bilton, PGCert Healthcare Education Programme Director.


Programme Contacts:

Study Support day

This is a compulsory session and will involve learning about: outline of the programme, expectations and systems, writing for social sciences, and information skills you didn’t think you needed. This will set you up to study at Masters level. You will also then be familiar with the campus and building you will be taught in throughout the year, collect campus cards, get to know each other and be ready to start the first module. This study support day will be as follows: 

  • Date: Thursday 28 September 2023
  • Time: 9:00 - 17:00
  • Venue: Whiteknights Campus, Earley Gate, Agriculture (Building 59 on map), Room 1L06

    There is nothing for you to prepare for this day other than ensuring you have applied and enrolled.

Parking at the University is extremely limited and we advise against driving to and parking on campus where possible. We appreciate this can be difficult for those of you who are working. Find out more about parking and alternative ways to reach us. 


Tasks to complete before the start of the programme

Tasks to complete before the first module, EDM186,starts on Tuesday 3 October 2023, at 9:00-17:00 in 1L06, Agriculture, Whiteknights Campus. 

  • Watch this simulation and consider the players involved, what character traits do they need to ensure success for this patient and to get the most from this educational scenario?  What character traits does the educator need to ensure success for those involved in the simulation? Please make notes as you will be expected to share your thoughts on the first taught day
  • Watch this simulation debrief - what strikes you as surprising from what those involved say? Do write your thoughts down ready to share on the first taught day

Please bear in mind that this programme will be quite different in terms of style and content from much of the learning you may have encountered before and may take a while to get used to. This is because the practice of medicine draws upon disciplines in the physical sciences (e.g. biology, anatomy, chemistry). By contrast, education is a practice which draws upon disciplines from the social sciences (e.g. psychology, sociology, history). This difference has given rise to differences in learning intentions, teaching style and forms of assessment:


Physical sciences


Social sciences


Based on factual data


Based on observations or what people have said


Measurements of physical phenomena (e.g. blood pressure)


Measurements of viewpoints (e.g. how many people thought this?)


The best way of doing something can be proven clinically


The ‘best way’ of doing something will depend upon the political and cultural situation


You can show your understanding by being tested on factual retention of information


You can show your understanding by providing an argument which shows awareness of the relevant issues.


Teaching is about imparting information in a way that helps students retain as much of it as easily as possible.


Teaching is about sharing and deepening cultural, ethical and political viewpoints so that students have a sophisticated grasp of the issues.


In professional preparation, the focus is on training to carry out tasks efficiently and knowledgeably


In professional preparation, the focus is on education to practice in a reflective and inclusive way


Writing brief and factual bullet points is best (I.e. a report)


Writing a well-supported discussion is best (I.e. a critical argument)


80% means you got 8 out of 10 questions factually right


80% means that you provided an argument that was persuasive and convincing.


The benefit of this course is that I can now do this specific procedure which I could not do before. I went and did it the next day


The benefit of this course is that my understanding of the holistic aims and processes of education has deepened. This is likely to affect my practice in a pervasive but more gradual way

With these differences in mind, we will therefore be asking you to be prepared to:

  • Work in groups during the sessions, discussing key ideas and listening to viewpoints which might differ from your own
  • End each day with spontaneous scribbled ideas, key questions and conceptual diagrams rather than ‘lecture notes’

  • Have patience with the pedagogical approach and ‘trust the process’