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 certificate level of the programme is underpinned by the UIAA/ICAR Diploma in Mountain Medicine syllabus and expanded to meet the requirements for an academic postgraduate certificate. The diploma level study provides students with an opportunity to further develop their academic knowledge of the field.

Programme approval for this course has been granted by UIAA-MEDCOM for the period to 2016 to 2020. 


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 - Research Methods
  • Module 6 - Best Bets Clinical Review
  • Module 7 - Self Directed Module
  • Module 8 - Self Directed Module

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 face to face module for the Postgraduate Certificate is normally Module 4 - Alpine skills. All prior taught modules and assessments must be completed to a satisfactory standard, barring exceptional circumstances, and with the agreement of the programme leads before attendance at this module.

The table below shows indicative times of the year and potential locations. These may be subject to change. 

Residential module duration is approximately one week, location and time of year are indicative.

Module Location Time of year
Module 1 - Theory 1 National Mountain Centre, Plas Y Brenin December
Module 2 - Mountain Skills Scottish Mountains February
Module 3 - Theory 2 National Mountain Centre, Plas Y Brenin May
Module 4 - Alpine Skills European Alps September
Module 5 - Research Methods RCSEd, Edinburgh and Online October
Module 6 - Best Bets Clinical Review Online January
Module 7 - Self Directed Module Online April
Module 8 - Self Directed Module Online July


As shown above, Modules 1-4 are taught over four periods of student contact, with allotted time for personal study. Between taught modules there are written exams and pre-module preparatory work and activities to be completed.

Students commence their Diploma level study with a short residential held at the Royal College of Surgeons. The diploma level modules themselves, are delivered online via the Programme VLE.

Please refer to the Learning Schedule for further information.


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.