Mountain Medicine

1-3 Years
September 2024
Campus Taught

Our Mountain Medicine, MSc/PGDip programme is dually accredited. As well as awarding the prestigious UIAA/ICAR/ISMM International Diploma in Mountain Medicine. This course is for registered healthcare practitioners interested in expedition, travel, remote, rescue and high-altitude medicine. You'll gain theoretical and practical knowledge to treat the illnesses and diseases that may occur in these settings.

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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Mountain Medicine students learning practical skills in Plas y Brenin in North Wales
Mountain Medicine students learning practical skills in Plas y Brenin in North Wales

Course 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.


Please note the delivery information for this course is accurate for the academic year 2023/24. The information displayed in this section may not yet accurately reflect how the course will be delivered in 2024/25 but this information will be updated by December 2023.

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. The Royal College of Surgeons of England, registered charity number 212808.
  • This programme is accredited by the International Commission of Alpine Rescue (ICAR). ICAR provides a platform for mountain rescue and related organisations to disseminate knowledge with the prime goal of improving mountain rescue services and their safety.
  • This programme is accredited by the Union Internationale Des Associations D’Alpinisme (UIAA). The mission of the UIAA Medical Commission is to increase the knowledge about mountain medicine among doctors and mountaineers all over the world.
  • This programme is accredited by the International Society of Mountain Medicine (ISMM). This society deals with all the different aspects of mountain medicine, mainly on a scientific level.

Industry Links

  • The University of Central Lancashire is an Adventure Smart UK partner.

Please see the current list of holders of the UK UIAA/ICAR/ISMM Diploma in Mountain Medicine.

If you are a holder of the UK Diploma in Mountain Medicine and would like to update your details on the list above, please request an update to the diploma holder list.

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Academic expertise

Dr Tim Sanders
Senior Clinical Lecturer in Rural Medicine
School of Medicine and Dentistry

Dr Tim Sanders is a GP in the rural Eden Valley in North East Cumbria. Alongside his clinical role, he is a Clinical Lecturer in Rural Medicine and Urgent Care here. He also co-ordinates the clinical teaching programme for Cumbria Health on Call. He is a GP appraiser and Mental H…

Nick Wright
Lecturer in Mountain Medicine
School of Medicine and Dentistry

Nick is based at our National Centre for Remote and Rural Medicine. He is a paramedic with a specialist interest and background in mountain rescue, extreme sports medicine and trauma/critical care in remote areas.

Entry requirements

The annual deadline for applications for the next academic year is 30 April 2024.

All applications received will be assessed, with feedback given where this is necessary. Applications received after 30 April will be considered for any vacant places that remain once those received before the closing date have been assessed.

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. This course is designed to build on existing basic mountaineering skills. Further information on course entry requirements can be found below.

All applications received will be assessed, with feedback given where this is necessary.

Applications received after 30 April will be considered for any vacant places that remain once those received before the closing date have been assessed.

Fees and funding

Part-time£1,333 per 20 credits
Part-time£3,111 per 20 credits

Scholarships and bursaries

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

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

Fees additional information

If you are being sponsored or funded by your employer, or are an employer wishing to send staff onto the course, please contact our mountain medicine team to discuss our fees and payment structure.


This course is based in the School of Medicine and Dentistry

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