Post-graduate Courses in the UK (Master’s)
Hi everyone! I am Uma, an IMG from India and currently working as a Clinical Fellow in Medicine at North Bristol Trust. This time I am writing about the postgraduate courses for doctors working in the UK, I hope you guys find it helpful.
Introduction to post-graduate courses
You guys might know this already however I would like to clarify that postgraduate courses like Master’s and PhD are different from postgraduate training also known as speciality training in the UK. Specialty training is an organized training pathway specific to each specialty and involves regular checking of competencies. A Master’s degree is not mandatory in speciality training. However, many prefer to take some time out from the training programme called OOP- ‘Out of Programme’ to do a course and then finish their training. An academic clinical fellowship is another option which offers 25% research and 75% clinical training for 3 years.
A Master’s degree can be of many types, some of the examples are Master of Science/ Clinical Masters (MSc), Doctor of Medicine (MD), Diplomas, Research Master’s (MRes) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil).
Why should you do a master’s?
Firstly, it makes you more knowledgeable and well-updated in your field and can improve your clinical skills too.
Secondly, if you are looking for alternative aspects of medicine apart from clinical practice, for example leadership or management or research, it paves a good pathway for these branches too.
Thirdly, it enhances your portfolio and shows your commitment to the specialty which is very helpful, especially in the interviews for speciality training.
What are the challenges?
Funding is one of the main problems. Most of the courses are quite expensive. If you can fund them, then that’s brilliant. If not, there are a few options, sometimes, the university offering the course may have some scholarship programmes. There are also some independent organisations which offer scholarships like the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP), Erasmus Mundus, Chevening, and Bill and Melinda Gates funding. However, they have specific criteria for eligibility and require relevant documents.
Master’s can overall lengthen your training time.
The academic clinical fellowship posts are very few and highly competitive.
Where can I find these courses?
As most of the courses are pretty time-consuming, so make sure you’ve researched well before applying for it. It can be quite stressful if you’re planning to do it with clinical work. These courses are offered by various independent organisations. I would advise you to go to the respective websites and get details. However, some of the reliable websites that integrate information in one place are postgrad.com and findamaster.com.
I hope I've given a brief overview of postgraduate courses. Please make sure you have researched thoroughly before applying for any master’s course. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I wish you all good luck in your future endeavours.
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