Rural Medicine / Urgent Care* MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Rural Medicine / Urgent Care* MSc/PGDip/PGCert

School of Medicine


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    The course can be studied full-time over 1 year or part-time.

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Mixed Mode, Full-time and Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


  • Status:

    Subject to approval

Why study this programme?

Many of our courses will start in January and September and online/virtual delivery may be available. Please speak to our team to find out more on

Whether you practise medicine in a rural setting or have remote access to additional or secondary medical services in an urban setting, this programme will give GPs and other healthcare professionals the confidence and skills to deal with urgent and pre-hospital care which are paramount.

People who train with us need to be able to deal with whatever they encounter. From the better known primary care conditions, through to life-saving interventions in hostile environments, every step should enhance the care and the outcome. Most importantly they need to understand that we need to enhance care in the remote setting not delay it. It is all very good being able to diagnose sepsis in the community but unless you can treat it, all you’ve done is delay the care and increase the mortality.

These programmes offer you the chance to explore advances in the use of technology and digital health which may allow access to the skills of another provider in a different location when required.

Teaching takes place at the National Centre for Remote and Rural Medicine (NCRRM) at our West Cumbrian Campus near Whitehaven.

Whether you choose to study our short courses leading to Postgraduate Certificate or progress to Master’s degree, the programmes give you the opportunity to make a difference to patient care in remote and rural areas.

*Urgent Care PGDip/PGCert only

As an introduction to the postgraduate programme, students could take the short course Urgent Medical Care Certificate. This CPD programme is taught online, start date to be confirmed.

Please note: MSc Urgent Care is subject to approval

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Entry Requirements

  • Students will normally have a British honours degree (2:2 class or above) or equivalent, in a relevant subject from an approved institution of higher education.
  • Non-standard applicants are welcomed.
  • Sufficient competency in English language (IELTS Level 6.5 or equivalent)

Programme at a Glance


PG Cert Rural Medicine
Requires 60 credits at Level 7 from the list of optional modules.

PG Dip Rural Medicine
Requires 120 credits at Level 7 from the list of optional modules.

PG Cert Urgent Care 
Requires 60 credits at Level 7 from modules MB4072, MB4065, MB4071, MB4070, MB4069, MB4062 and MB4061.

PG Dip Urgent Care
Requires 120 credits at Level 7 from modules MB4072, MB4065, MB4071, MB4070, MB4069, MB4062 and MB4061. NB this comprises all of the modules in bold to the right.

MSc Rural Medicine
Requires 180 credits at Level 7 from the modules to the right plus:

MB4066 Research Methods for Medical and Clinical Practice, Education and Management, 20 credits, compulsory

And either

GP4990 Dissertation, 40 credits
MB4003 Professional Project, 40 credits


  • MB4072 Working in Urgent Care Medical Services (20 credits)
  • MB4065 Providing Urgent Medical Care (40 credits)
  • MB4071 Using Technology in Urgent Care (10 credits)
  • MB4070 Managing Safe Dispositions (10 credits)
  • MB4069 Risk Management and Preparedness (20 credits)
  • MB4062 Operational Practice (10 credits)
  • MB4061 Human Factors (10 credits)

Professional Development through CPD Modules

  • HI4803 Leadership (20 credits)
  • HI4802 Communication (20 credits)
  • HI4804 Mental Health (20 credits)
  • HI4807 Public Health (20 credits)
  • HI4806 Professional Issues (20 credits)
  • HI4805 Practice Issues (20 credits)
  • MB4063 Planning (20 credits)
  • MB4064 Response (20 credits)


Further Information

This programme allows students to convert certified CPD already gained and implemented in daily practice, into academic credits to enter the programme at an appropriate stage.  Students then choose from a wide range of modules to build a programme suited to their own individual needs. 

The School of Medicine recognises:

  • Successful achievement of a relevant UCLan CPD programme or short course
  • Successful achievement of a recognised partner’s CPD programme or short course
  • Demonstration of achievement of a relevant level of functioning or attainment within your career that could be considered equivalent to level of the proposed postgraduate study
  • Professional and Personal Development in General Practice (PED) course with Health Education England North West

In order to be recognised, you will be asked to show how the prior learning relates to improvement in your practice and undergo a formative and summative assessment by the course team.

Any prior learning can be considered from the last 10 years but must be relevant to your current role. The maximum credit for prior learning that UCLan can offer is 2/3rds of the total credit required for the award.

You will discuss your prior learning with our career coach and agree your bespoke progression towards successful completion of the next short course and relevant postgraduate award.

For further discussion, please contact

Progression Routes

Progression Routes

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400



Please note that this course is subject to review/validation which may result in changes to the course structure. Any changes as a result of the review/validation will be immediately included and highlighted in the course documentation and all students holding current offers will be provided with a comprehensive list of those changes. If you are not satisfied with the changes, you will be offered the opportunity to withdraw from the programme and, if required, reasonable support to transfer to another provider.

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £7,920 (UK/EU), £14,000 (International)
Part-time: £880 per 20 credits (UK/EU)

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Industry Links

The programme has been developed in close liaison with GPs, NHS Trusts, CCGs and clinicians to ensure it is fully aligned with the needs of the health economy.

Learning Environment and Assessment

Teaching takes place at the National Centre for Remote and Rural Medicine (NCRRM) at our West Cumbrian Campus near Whitehaven. Teaching is likely to be delivered in blocks so weekly attendance may not be required.

The Centre trains professionals to deliver healthcare at a gold standard regardless of their environment or location by using innovative training and technology techniques.  Rural medicine has been under-served for a number of years and the Centre aims to provide a focus for remote and rural medical education and research in collaboration with colleagues globally.

Students are able to use all University facilities.

There will be a varied menu of assessment methods used to reflect the experiential nature and learning outcomes of this course.  Examples are:

  • Case study presentations
  • Case-based discussions
  • Practical demonstrations
  • Viva Voce
  • Written assessments
  • Project

Course highlights

The programme is led by Dr Stuart Maitland-Knibb. Stuart is an ex-military medical officer with extensive experience in primary care & emergency medicine both in hospital and pre-hospital. Specialising in urgent unplanned care, he has worked in the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) and pre-hospital settings for many years and continues to fly a day a week in a Clinical Supervisor position. A responder for BASICS, Stuart is also an Examiner for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh for the Dip IMC and FIMC. He remains a medical officer for UK International Search and Rescue.


You may wish to learn more about the practice of rural and urgent medicine either in a constant base or as part of a medical team supporting other pursuits such as mountain medicine, expedition medicine, medicine relating to extreme sports, or pre-hospital emergency care.

Although short courses in remote and rural care are available, these programmes give you the opportunity to gain skills and work towards a university accredited award.

The suite of courses can provide the ideal opportunity to develop and enhance your portfolio career.

The programme can be studied in ‘bite size chunks’ to facilitate work-life balance and is delivered on site or at the UCLan Westlakes campus, near Whitehaven, West Cumbria.  Students are guided through the programme by a UCLan mentor.  The teaching team comprises experienced academic staff, clinicians, leaders and managers.

Utilising your CPD training as Clinical Professionals