We are contacting you with the final plans for the M.Ed in Surgical Education for the academic year ahead. This letter summarises plans we have iteratively discussed with you over the past months.  

We understand that you may have some anxieties about continuing your studies in Year 2 of the M.Ed so want to clarify plans for the Academic year ahead. Your programme would normally be delivered in-person on campus. In 2020-21, we plan to deliver it in multi-mode for the Autumn term in the first instance. If you are unable to travel to campus for the Autumn term multi-mode means that you will not be disadvantaged in your learning experience over the course of your programme.  


Institutional guarantees  

All on campus provision will be subject to the requirements of the current Public Health advice from the UK Government, College guidelines on social distancing and any additional health and safety measures. In the event that there is an escalation of the current outbreak or a new outbreak of COVID-19 during your programme then, in line with Public Health Advice from the UK Government, we may be forced to suspend on-campus activity. This may be in connection with either national or local requirements. Since we will already be delivering the taught elements of your programme remotely to some students as part of the multi-mode format, we will continue to be able to deliver these elements to all students remotely.  

The College will deliver your programme to ensure the approved learning outcomes are met and will take steps to make alternative arrangements in any extreme circumstances where this is not possible. The College is also developing community building activities to support the multi-mode experience for students. 


Length of the programme 

We anticipate you will be able to complete the programme within the 2 year timescale previously advertised.  


Additional costs  

To study remotely you will be expected to have access to a computer and to a reliable internet connection, and you will need to cover any associated costs for these. There are no other expected additional costs (beyond those previously advertised) to participate in the programme if you choose to study remotely. 


Autumn term 2020 

  • Module 6 – Developing Educational Supervisors (launching 17 August – 6 weeks) 

Your final taught Diploma level module (Module 6) will be delivered mostly online and you should expect your module outline. We have prepared an interactive and stimulating programme for you where you will explore principles and practices related to fulfilling the role of an educational supervisor, in yourself and in colleagues, in the surgical education context.  As in Module 5 there will be work that each of you will need to do outside of the virtual classroom and in your own time (asynchronous) to prepare for the synchronous interactive sessions with your tutors and external speakers. In this module we have timetabled the synchronous and asynchronous activities at a finer level to help you organise your work effectively, with a synchronous session taking place in the afternoon each week. On average, each week will have six to eight hours of timetabled asynchronous and synchronous activities which you will benefit from complementing with individual work. Importantly, this approach will provide you with opportunities to develop your knowledge and skills, individually and collaboratively. 

There is an opportunity for us to reunite for face to face teaching and student coursework presentations on October 1 and 2 (St Mary’s campus).  Those who are unable to join will have the opportunity to participate remotely.  A minimum number of seven face-to-face attendees will be needed to carry out the teaching in face to face mode and we will be asking you to confirm attendance through a follow up email. 

Once the teaching has been completed you will need to submit your summative assessment on 30 November. 


  • Module 8 - Research Methods and Dissertation Project (launching 14 December) 

The Research Methods and Dissertation phase (Module 8) features taught elements and supervised study.  The taught elements will be delivered via a blended route with some asynchronous materials and activities, followed by face to face study and then a longer phase of independent supervised study.    

Asynchronous sessions with reading and activities will begin in December so that you can start thinking seriously about your research topic, literature review and educational research methods.  These will be followed by a small amount of face to face teaching combined with a proposal design ‘retreat’ where you can work up your project with tutor and peer feedback bringing it close to being ready for an ethics committee application submission.  These sessions will take place on the St Mary’s campus over three days the week (11 – 15 January 2021).   Should you not be able to join us for on campus teaching we will offer these sessions remotely.   

Following the taught element you will be assigned a supervisor and will continue working on your project.  There will be progress points during the supervised study phase.  For example, in February you will be expected to submit your ethics application to an appropriate committee. In mid-June you will present your work in progress to tutors and peers for feedback.  The presentations will occur on campus as a day-long research colloquium.  Should you not be able to join us for on campus teaching we will offer these sessions remotely.      

With the exception of the online asynchronous activities, the master’s phase, follows a similar pattern to what took place pre-Covid.  The longer period of supervised study allows students to conduct research in their local setting with support from an assigned Imperial supervisor.  An alternative to developing a project primarily around your own ideas would be to join an existing educational research area within one of our related research groups.  Given potential uncertainties around conducting educational research with health service staff during the pandemic this option may provide a more manageable approach to your master’s year.   



Module 8 contains a number of formative points (noted above) where you will receive feedback from peers, tutors and your assigned supervisor.  The final dissertation contributes to 100% of your module marks. Though the progress report is pass/fail (0%), it must be completed.   It offers significant value to your study as it promotes effort on the project, spaces out your work and affords you the opportunity to receive feedback from a range of perspectives.   


Social cohesion 

We are pleased that your cohort was able to bond with us and each other during the first six months of the programme and that this has been carried forward into our online working together and is strengthened by the independent and more continuous contact you have with each other outside the programme.  We encourage you to keep this up and to share ideas and practices with each other as you carry out your projects.   In addition to the synchronous academic opportunities noted above, we will endeavour to leave time at the end of these sessions to socialise informally.  


Student Experience 

Your experience at Imperial goes beyond just your academic studies. With the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), Imperial has been working with your Union to ensure that we are able to provide, enhance and facilitate all areas of your student experience under all eventualities.  We identified key pillars of the wider student experience:  academic experience; research culture and environment; amenities and accommodation; student community; wellbeing support; co-curricular activities and extra-curricular activities.   Information on how we will deliver these, along with information on our Library Services, considering current social distancing restrictions, as well as a full lockdown, are set out on our website


How we can answer your questions  

As always, should you have any questions, please contact us and we will be delighted to talk to you and clarify any issues as and when needed.   


Professor Roger Kneebone and Dr Kirsten Dalrymple, Programme Co-Directors 

MEd in Surgical Education