The Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care

Programme Structure

The programme is designed to be completed in the time frames indicated below; studied part time, with exit points as follows:

  • Stage 1, Postgraduate Certificate in Mountain Medicine - minimum of 12 months, maximum of 3 years
  • Stage 2, Postgraduate Diploma in Mountain Medicine - minimum of 24 months, maximum of 5 years

The programme is comprised of 8 modules modelled on being at Postgraduate Level, Scottish Qualification Framework level 11, with each module equivalent to the amount of student learning required for 15 credits. While the College is not able to award academic credits, the programme of study stipulates the equivalent number of credits/learning for a postgraduate certificate and diploma.

The Programme follows the required syllabus for accreditation by the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) Medical Commission, the International Society for Mountain Medicine (ISMM) and the International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR).

Programme approval for this course has been granted by UIAA-MEDCOM for the period to 2012 to 2016. 


Certificate level – equivalent to 60 credits

Students wishing to exit the programme at certificate level must complete 4 modules in total:

  • Module 1 - Mountain Medicine: Theory 1
  • Module 2 - Mountaineering Skills
  • Module 3 - Mountain Medicine: Theory 2
  • Module 4 - Alpine Skills

Students who initially opt to study at Certificate level can continue studying to Diploma level after completion of the 4 modules.

Students who pass modules 1-4 are also awarded the UIAA/ICAR/ISMM Diploma in Mountain Medicine. 


Diploma Level – equivalent to 120 credits

Students wishing to exit at Diploma level must complete 8 modules in total:

  • Module 1-4 above
  • Module 5 - Mountain Medicine: Reflective Piece 1
  • Module 6 - Mountain Medicine: Reflective Piece 2
  • Module 7 - Mountain Medicine: Reflective Piece 3
  • Module 8 - Mountain Medicine: Research Methods

Students who opt to study the Diploma and are unable to complete it will be eligible to exit the programme with a Certificate if they have studied the required modules.  

Study Schedule

1200 hours of study time is divided into 8 modules for Diploma students and 600 hours of study time divided into 4 modules for Certificate Students. Students precede their study with an online induction programme orientating them to the programme and to the online environment.

Students commence with Module 1 - Theory 1 and must complete the associated written assessment within the defined period (normally six weeks). The first assessment must be completed before attending a subsequent module.

Module 2 - Mountain Skills’ and Module 3 - Theory 2 may be taken in either order consistent with completion within the normal registration period.

The final taught module for the Postgraduate Certificate is normally Module 4 - Alpine skills. Students may not progress to this unless all prior taught modules and assessments have been completed to a satisfactory standard, barring exceptional circumstances, and with the agreement of the module leaders.

The table below shows indicative times of the year and potential locations. These may be subject to change.  Module (duration approximately 1 week) Location (indicative) Time of the year (indicative)

Module Venue Indicative Month
Module 1 – Theory 1 National Mountain Centre, Plas Y Brenin December
Module 2 – Mountain Skills Moorings Hotel, Lochaber, Scotland February
Module 3 – Theory 2 National Mountain Centre, Plas Y Brenin May
Module 4 – Alpine Skills The Grand Hotel and Kurhaus, Arolla  September


As shown above, Modules 1-4 are taught over four periods of student contact, with allotted time for personal study. Personal study between modules includes active days out in the hills as well as using the provided reading list, which will contain both core and additional texts. Students will be assigned a mentor during the first taught session for personal academic support.

Students registered for the Postgraduate Diploma may commence the reflective learning and research methods modules at any time during their studies, following completion of the first module.



Upcoming System Maintenance & Network Disruption

Due to essential systems maintenance and upgrades there will be intermittent interruptions to some on-line services on Saturday 27th of February. There will be further interruption to some core services on Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd of March.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.