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Master's Programme in Medical Education

In September 2009, Karolinska Institutet started the first Nordic Master's Programme in Medical Education, corresponding to the equivalent of two years' full time studies. From 2013 the programme is only delivered as a Master one year, 60 credits. The master’s programme corresponds to one year full time studies. The programme runs halftime which means that the whole programme will last for two years and qualifies for:

Degree of Master of Medical Science (One Year) with a Major in Medical Education

The programme is administered in the form of online distance studies but include a limited number of in-person sessions on the KI Solna campus, Stockholm Sweden.

The programme welcomes healthcare professionals and/or teachers, leaders and educational developers who work within a medical faculty and who want to develop their educational expertise. Medical education is an interdisciplinary field of knowledge which is based on explanatory bases and perspectives from both care sciences and behavioural sciences, particularly pedagogy but also psychology, sociology and social anthropology.

Outline of the programme


Within the Master’s Programme students study learning processes, conditions for learning and professional development within medical and health care. Students develop knowledge about the conditions, strategies and methods for encouraging, influencing and driving learning processes forward for students, academics, professional practitioners and patients. Studies within medical education cover individual and system levels, both within academia and within health and medical care.

Please find the syllabus for the whole programme here.

During the programme, participants study learning and leadership connected to both the workplace and the university. The programme prepares participants to design and lead evidence-based learning opportunities and programs, followed by the development of effective forms of assessment. The curriculum is designed to make use of the participants’ own work practice to develop relevant material to be shared with course participants, and it culminates in a final master applied project-work.

The programme enables students to work at developing a scientific attitude towards individual practice, including investigations, change work and publishing results, which can be summarised as scholarship of medical education. The growing understanding of the conditions for learning within medical and health care can be used to improve conditions for professional development and to make good use of resources, with contributes to the overall objectives of quality care and improved human health.

Educational Values

The educational values of the programme are that the learners construct their knowledge and understanding in collaboration with others. The teachers are acting as facilitators in the learning process and the learners are expected to be self-directed and to collaborate with peers in the course. It requires that each participant is active and responsible as a learner, not only for the own learning, but also for supporting the learning of others. The course participants are coming from different professions within health care education and from different countries. Mutual respect for different perspectives is crucial. The teaching and learning activities and assignments will be scheduled over a certain period of time and the participants don’t need to do them synchronically. Studying on-line means flexibility in time and space, own responsibility and great discipline and require that the participants are used to computers and have Internet access.

Studying medical education can be used to improve the quality of learning, supervision and practice within care, particularly in terms of integration between disciplines, theory and practice, patient interaction, cooperation with management, attitudes, ethics and a scientific approach.

Evaluation of the programme

The programme was evaluated by theSwedish Higher Education Authority 2014. The programme was assessed as being of High Quality.

This is the forth time the Master’s programme in Medical Education starts and the evaluation of the former participants showed that they were very satisfied overall with the programme. It has contributed to their learning which in its turn has been applicable in their own practice. However, their advice to future students is to be prepared that the studies will take a lot of effort and time. Some student voices:

“The possibility to study at distance using a platform for interacting with teachers and fellow-students enables us to combine studies with work and to get instant feed-back on how theory works in practice”
“I'm excited about the programme! It was a very demanding year concerning my work and all learning activities. I can use a lot in my practice from the programme."

The next admission to the programme

Master's Programme in Medical Education 60 credits 2015

The current Master’s programme starts in September 2015. The next admission to the programme will be fall 2016. The programme corresponds to the equivalent of one year full time studies spread out at a half-time pace over the course of two years. The main part of the programme is within a web-based instructional setting that provides flexibility of time. A few days per semester there are meetings on campus and then all course participants and teachers will meet in Stockholm. The face-to-face meetings on campus take place at the Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Etichs,LIME, Karolinska Institutet, Solna Campus, Stockholm. The programme is based on online learning and we use the learning platform PingPong to communicate. Using internet we now want you to develop an interaction between your educational practice, the content of the courses and the peers and teachers in the master’s programme.

Overview of the programme

The programme will focus on the development of scholarship in teaching and learning especially within medical education SoME. In short the concept SoME is about gaining and applying a scientific attitude to educational practice - in our case learning and teaching in the field of medical education. An important feature of SoME is to inquire into and appraise learning and teaching practice. An important feature is also to base your teaching on current knowledge and best practice and also to contribute to change and development to improve practice. Another important feature of SoME is to you share your experiences and investigations of your practice with others. The concept of SoME will be introduced more in the very first course in the programme which is actually called Scholarship of medical education and you will work in many different ways with the meaning of SoME during the programme.

Please take a look at the graphical illustration of the programme below. The programme starts with a course taking a broad perspective on medical education from a micro level, the individual learner and teacher, to a macro level, the context of medical education, the organisation and leadership. The participants will be introduced to an inquiring approach to teaching and learning, a scholarship approach. The following two courses will focus on the learner and the next two combine the learning view and the teacher as a facilitator designing for learning and interprofessional education. The last course before the degree project will close the circle by deepening the perspective on medical education from a leadership perspective also on a macro level. In the degree project finalising the one year programme the participants choose an area where they want to deepen their knowledge, i.e., leadership, educational development or teaching within a specific subject or context.

We will work with the following four themes throughout the master’s programme.

  • Learning processes within medical care and health care from a system perspective
  • Learning processes from an individual perspective
  • Developing a meta perspective of learning
  • Managing development

The themes will be present more or less in all courses. But you will also find that we will stress different themes in different courses. Please find more information about the themes in the syllabus in each course.

Courses and course syllabus

The programme contains the following courses.

All the courses except the degree project correspond to 7,5HEC. The degree project corresponds to 15 HEC. In the figure below the whole programme is outlined with dates for the courses and the planned on-campus days

Scholarship of Medical Education

The aim of the course is for the participants to develop a reflective approach and an understanding for how the process of scholarship as a model can be a way to support one's own development. Participants will gain a better understanding of the scholarship of medical education.

Course syllabus: 3ME000

Learning Processes

The course aims to improve the participants' orientation in the field of medical education and its pedagogy. Participants will develop their ability to analyse individuals' learning from the perspective of the learner, based on personal experience, theories of education, and based on research in medical and higher education.

Course syllabus: 3ME001

Integration of Theory and Practice

The course aims to deepen the participants' knowledge of how individuals process information, construct understanding and develop skills, attitudes and values when developing professional competence.

Course syllabus: 3ME002

Design and Assessment of Learning

The course aim to develop the participants' understanding for how to design activities that facilitate meaningful learning. The course takes the teacher's/educator's perspective as a point of departure. Design for learning is a central theme and the course will touch upon course design as well as other activities in different contexts. Course participants should also develop the ability to analyse learning from a design perspective and continue to develop a scholarly approach to their own practie. The course builds on the knowledge and skills that participants have acquired during previous courses in the programme.

Course syllabus: 3ME003

Interprofessional Learning

The aim of the course is that participants should develop their understanding of and ability to design courses/activites to facilitate interprofessional learning for students and/or members of different health care professions.

Course syllabus: 3ME004

Leading Change and Learning

The aim of the course is to help the participants develop the skills and understanding that are required to create a learning organisation when leading change and development work and learning in their workplace. The course builds on preceding courses in the programme with the opportunity for participant creativity in the application of his or her educational skills in practice.

Course syllabus: 3ME005

Degree Project in Medical Education

The aim of the degree project is for participants to develop the ability to independently implement a project with a systematic and scientific approach that clearly demonstrates scholarship in medical teaching and learning. The participants should - in accordance with the scholarship model (see supplement) - carry out, document and spread knowledge of a project that connects to their own practice and also one of the four possible main themes of the programme: academic leadership, educational development work, professional development or subject didactics within medicine or health care.

Course syllabus: 3ME006