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Mountain Medicine

1-3 Years
September 2022
Blended Learning

Our MSc/PGDip Mountain Medicine course is designed to give registered healthcare practitioners interested in expedition, travel, remote, rescue and high-altitude medicine the theoretical and practical knowledge to manage the specific illnesses and diseases that may occur in these environments.

The programme combines practical skills and theory, both in medicine and mountaineering, to equip you with the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to operate successfully in mountain environments. Difficult terrain, high altitudes and harsh weather can quickly lead to life-threatening situations and present unique challenges when it comes to locating and treating casualties and saving lives.

The faculty include some of the most eminent figures in high altitude medicine, top mountain guides and others at the forefront of mountain rescue.

The Postgraduate Diploma course takes place as four week-long modules, two of which are based at the Welsh National Outdoor Centre at Plas y Brenin, one at Fort William in Scotland’s West Coast, and culminates with a week in Arolla in the Swiss Alps.

Why study with us

  • Develop your medical and mountaineering skills in this unique, practical course.
  • Our guiding team is made up of hand-picked, highly qualified IFMGA mountain guides and mountain instructors.  They have experience of climbing, skiing and guiding all over the World and bring a huge depth of experience to their role as trainers on the Diploma in Mountain Medicine. They provide friendly, top class instruction and coaching so both beginners and seasoned mountaineers will benefit from time in the hills with them.
  • This flexible blended learning programme combines face-to-face teaching with an online virtual learning environment to fit around your professional and personal commitments.

What you'll do

  • Study in real life conditions on the mountainside with a qualified mountain guide and clinical tutor right beside you.
  • Learn and gain experience working at altitude during our module based in the Swiss Alps.
  • Meet, socialise and study with potential future expedition team mates.

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Course overview

Module Overview

Course Delivery

Following the pandemic, we have found that some courses benefit from a blended learning and teaching approach. Therefore, the majority of your teaching will be face-to-face on campus aside from a small amount of online teaching where we have learnt it works best.


Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information. However, our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may cause alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses. Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies or revisions to subject benchmarks statements. As well as to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

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  • The centre is accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons, a professional membership organisation and registered charity which exists to advance patient care.

Academic expertise

Entry requirements

PGDip Mountain Medicine: The annual deadline for applications for the next academic year is 30 April 2022

MSc Mountain Medicine: Applications for direct entry by holders of the UIAA/ICAR/ISMM International Diploma in Mountain Medicine to the MSc year of the programme will be accepted until the beginning of each academic year.

Applicants will be registered with one of the nine UK Health and Care Regulatory Bodies, (GMC, HCPC, NMC, GDC etc.). Applications will also be considered from final year healthcare students who will complete the course after they are fully registered. Overseas applicants will hold registration with their national equivalent Health and Care Regulatory Bodies. Due to the clinical nature of the course, we regret that we cannot accept applications from applicants who do not fulfil this requirement.

Applicants would normally hold a British honours degree (class 2:2 class or above) or equivalent or provide evidence of the ability to study at master's level.

Sufficient competency in English language (IELTS Academic module 6.5. is required. Please note that UCLan accepts IELTS Academic and IELTS UKVI but does not accept IELTS General.

Please complete the electronic Mountaineering Experience Proforma, save and attach this to your online application.

Mountaineering Standards

The Postgraduate Diploma in Mountain Medicine is a very practical qualification for clinicians operating in a mountain environment or advising patients who will be in a mountain environment. It is therefore vital that the clinician concerned is safe, relaxed, and capable of looking after themselves in the mountains when caring for a patient. It is also important that a clinician advising a mountaineering patient has theoretical and practical experience of the environment in which the patient will be active.

Applicants are required to have experience of travelling through mountain terrain in both summer and winter conditions. They must also have logged multi-pitch rock climbs of V Diff (UIAA 3) standard or above and have logged winter climbs that require the use of crampons. (Scottish grade 1/2 or above). These can be as a leader or second.

Applicants not based in the UK may qualify by showing climbs of equivalent standard, though they may be asked to familiarise themselves with UK conditions before attending the relevant modules.

While further training is given, applicants should have the basic navigation skills needed for British hills in summer and using Ordinance survey (OS) 1:25 000 and 1:50 000 maps.

Basic climbing and mountaineering techniques are reviewed on the practical modules, but the applicant should have a basic understanding of climbing and belaying techniques in both Summer and Winter.

Fees and Funding

Part-time£1200 per 20 credits (PGDip = 120 credits) £7200 total fee
Part-time£1200 per 20 credits (PGDip = 120 credits) £7200 total fee

Scholarships and Bursaries

We have a wide range of scholarships, bursaries and funds available to help support you whilst studying with us.

Select your country and see eligibility information and how to apply by selecting more info on the cards below.


This course is based in the School of Medicine located in the Faculty of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page