A high quality online course for teachers in the healthcare professions

About Course

The need for doctors, scientists and others involved with teaching in the healthcare professions to have training in teaching is widely recognised. The AMEE Essential Skills in Medical Education (ESME) Online course has been designed to meet this need. The course is aimed at those new to teaching and at teachers with years of experience who would like an update on current best practice and a greater understanding of the basic principles.

The course recognises that, with appropriate help, all teachers, even those with considerable experience, can improve their skills in teaching.

The award of the AMEE-ESME Certificate in Medical Education provides evidence of the participant’s interest in education and abilities as a teacher.

The highly successful ESME course has been offered since 2005 in relation to medical education conferences.  Since 2012 the course has been offered online.  All that is required to participate is access to a broadband internet connection. 

Download the flyer here 


ESME Online is recognised internationally by several institutions including:

  • Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
  • Flinders University, Australia
  • University of Dundee, UK
  • University of Khartoum, Sudan

All of the above institutions accept the ESME Online Certificate as recognition of prior learning (RPL) towards higher awards in medical education.


The course is delivered over 12 weeks and has six modules.

  • Introductory webinars by Professor Ronald Harden, where he provides an overview, introduces ideas and describes current thinking relating to the topic.  Available live and recorded.  
  • Take part in online discussions at a time convenient to you and apply the ideas  and principles to your own teaching practice, facilitated by a course tutor. There is an option to join a Spanish or French speaking discussion group (limited availability - contact [email protected] for more information). 
  • Access key resource material provided, including the ebook by Harden & Laidlaw ‘Essential Skills for a Medical Teacher: an introduction to teaching and learning in medicine’, 2nd Edition.
  • Access additional MedEdWorld webinars and resources. (Members only).
  • Complete a 300 to 500 word assignment for each module relating the module topic to your own practice.


  • The course offers a flexible approach. You can take part at a place – home or work– and at a time convenient to you.
  • The course is practical with a clear and simple theoretical underpinning.  The ideas are presented in such a way that they can be applied to your day-to-day work as a teacher or trainer.
  • You engage with colleagues with a similar interest in a supportive, non-threatening learning environment.
  • You gain a rich set of resources to support your engagement with the course and for your personal use later.
  • You will be awarded,  on satisfactory completion of the course, the AMEE-ESME Certificate in Medical Education. This recognises your commitment to achievement in the field and also is credited towards the AMEE Specialist Certificate in medical education and studies in some Masters programmes.


Module 1:  What is expected of the teacher/trainer in the healthcare professions?

  • The 12 roles of the teacher
  • The competencies and abilities of the good/excellent teacher
  • Professionalism & scholarship in teaching and learning

Module 2:  What should students or trainees learn? The learning outcomes/competencies:

  • The move to outcome-based education
  • What is outcome-based education and what are the implications of its implementation in practice?
  • How can learning outcomes be communicated?
  • What is the difference between learning outcomes and objectives?

Module 3:  How can learning be organised in a curriculum? Curriculum development and implementation:

  • Ten questions to ask about a curriculum
  • Educational strategies and the SPICES model
  • Problems in curriculum planning and delivery
  • The role of the teacher in relation to the curriculum

Module 4:  How can the students/trainees learn more effectively? 1. The FAIR principles:

  • The provision of feedback
  • Making learning more active
  • Individualising the learning to the personal needs of the student
  • Ensuring that the learning is relevant – authentic learning

Module 5:  How can the students/trainees learn more effectively? 2. The teacher’s toolkit:

  • Large group teaching and learning
  • Small group teaching and learning
  • Independent learning
  • The contexts for learning

Module 6:  How do we know if the student/trainee has learned? Assessment:

  • What should be assessed?
  • How should it be assessed?
  • Why assess the learner?
  • When should the learner be assessed?
  • Who should assess the learner?
  • Where should the learner be assessed?

Registration & Fees

Fees include access to Adobe Connect interactive presentations, participation in an online discussion forum facilitated by a tutor, course resource materials including a copy of Harden & Laidlaw’s book, ‘Essential Skills for a Medical Teacher: an introduction to teaching and learning in medicine’, assessment of course work and, if the work is completed satisfactorily, the award of an AMEE-ESME Certificate in Medical Education.

  • Standard Fee (includes membership of AMEE and access to MedEdWorld for one year) £545
  • Fee for AMEE members £475
  • Participants from countries less well resourced £285


ESME Online Terms and Conditions


The course is led by Professor Ronald Harden. He brings to the course his many years of experience as a dean, a clinical teacher and an international leader in medical education. The course is supported by a strong international team of tutors.


  • 16 Sep - 8 Dec 2019
  • 23 March - 14 June 2020

Participant Comments

“A fabulous overview of medical education today”

“A challenge to my current educational thinking and practice”

“I learned a lot and really enjoyed the webinars and online discussions”

“A wonderful selection of resource material that will inform my work as a teacher”

We look forward to welcoming you to this course and will work with you to ensure you get maximum benefit from participating.

If you require any additional information, please contact us at [email protected] and we would be pleased to assist you.

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