• Course Delivery
  • Total Credits
  • Tuition
  • Duration
    1 Year


Health care across the world faces major challenges due to the increasing demands of ageing populations and the rise in non-communicable diseases. Strong and effective primary care (also known as family medicine or community medicine) is a key part of the solution. This Primary Health Care PgCert will equip you with the knowledge and skills required to make a difference to primary health care in the 21st century.

Our Primary Health Care programme will give you the skills you need to propose, develop and implement sustainable strategies that will help to address rising rates of chronic illness and complex care needs.

To give you as broad an experience as possible, our interdisciplinary team of lecturers cover health inequalities, multimorbidity, chronic disease, treatment burden and migrant health. Internationally renowned guest speakers also feature alongside the University of Glasgow staff.

Students come from a wide range of primary care, family, community, and internal medicine disciplines, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, podiatrists, managers and those working in health care and health policy. Thanks to the multidisciplinary nature of the programme, youll benefit from sharing your interests and experiences with students from other health care programmes.

By the end of the programme you will have all the skills you need to critically appraise evidence and apply a population approach to your work. As part of your project research, you will also have an opportunity to explore novel ideas or particular areas of interest, under academic supervision.


The overall aim of the programme is to help you identify and implement strategies to enhance quality in primary care. In particular, the programme aims to:

  • Equip health professionals and others with the intellectual and practical skills to apply a population approach to their work, whether that involves public health, general practice, primary care, nursing, health service management or other professions
  • Provide a grounding in the principles and values of primary care across different health care settings
  • Enable graduates to rigorously engage in and contribute to current debates around the future delivery and organisation of primary care
  • Prepare graduates for challenges facing health systems globally, including ageing populations and increasing multimorbidity, health inequalities and resource constraints

On successful completion of this programme, you will be able to:

  • Critically discuss and apply a population perspective to health and social issues
  • Synthesise and critique the definitions and measurements of health
  • Analyse and challenge the various determinants of health and assess how they impact on an individual, local and wider environment
  • Examine critically and in depth, drawing on policy and empirical evidence and illustrating from experience, how the multi-factorial aspects of health can be measured and possible solutions considered
  • Synthesise, critique and analyse how policies and decisions taken at government, health authority, practice and consultation levels impact on health outcomes
  • Contrast, compare and critically evaluate the use of different organisational approaches to primary healthcare, including patient and user perspectives, in relation to diverse and fluctuating populations
  • Critically discuss and evaluate the different methodological approaches to research in primary care


Graduates have the capacity to take a lead role in primary care, family practice and family medical development, whether in Scotland, the UK or internationally. Post-award opportunities include further study, leadership roles in primary care teams, secondment to positions within government, teaching positions and sitting on editorial boards of academic journals.


During this programme, you will be required to study one compulsory course which will be followed by two optional courses, worth 60 credits altogether. 

Throughout each course you will be assessed in a variety of ways which could include essays, discussions, blogs, online presentations, interactive quizzes, assignments or group work. Details of these assignments are found in your induction.

The duration of this programme is 1 year - 2 years taken on a part-time basis. For details on full-time options request more information to speak to an admissions representative.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student Contract

  • MED5440International Primary Care Principles and Systems20 Credits

    Learn the essential features of effective primary care systems in a range of health care settings, particularly in low, middle, and high-income countries. You’ll learn about the challenges facing primary care in the 21st century in terms of population change, rising multimorbidity, workforce challenges and resource constraints.

  • MED5437Understanding Evidence for the Real World20 Credits

    You will gain the necessary skills to find, appraise and understand a range of different study designs common in the health care research literature, to better appraise numerical data presented in the media, social media and the internet, and to better discuss concepts such as risk with patients and the public.

  • MED5438Cardiovascular Disease Management in Primary Care20 Credits

    Acquire an in-depth grounding in the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease, risk assessment and management. You’ll gain an overview of current management of common cardiovascular conditions in primary care. The course will highlight key challenges for patient management and emerging research issues/findings.

  • MED5439Epidemiology, Evidence and Statistics for Primary Care20 Credits

    Gain the epidemiological and statistical skills needed to appraise and interpret literature appropriate to primary care development, policy and research. Your learning will be reinforced by developing your practical skills to critically appraise research papers.

  • MED5442Management of Long Term Conditions20 Credits

    Gain the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in and contribute to the current debate around the future care of people with physical and mental long-term conditions (LTCs). You will also be encouraged to explore strategies that will contribute to the management of long-term conditions.

  • MED5499Research Methods20 Credits

    An introduction to the principles and processes involved in designing and conducting research studies in health sciences using systematic reviews, qualitative, quantitative and health economics approaches.

Admissions Requirements

To be accepted to this programme, you must have:

  1. Applicants should have at least a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in a healthcare or related discipline from a recognised institution. We will give individual consideration to applications with a lower degree classification or without a degree if the applicant has extensive work experience in Primary Care, Community Health, Public Health, Health Policy or another related field.
  2. If your first language is not English, you must have a valid IELTS score of 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band or an equivalent English language qualification. For more information visit our FAQs page, or contact your recruitment coordinator to discuss your credentials and English language requirements.

To apply to this programme:

You must apply online for this programme. As part of your online application, you need to submit the following:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s), if you have already completed your degree.
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained.
  • Official or certified English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s).
  • One reference letter on headed paper.
  • Evidence of your English language ability (if your first language is not English).
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (if detailed above).
  • Up to date Curriculum Vitae and a supporting statement.

Please check you meet the entry requirements for this programme before you begin your application.

You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload supporting documents, such as your final transcript or your language test.

Key Dates UK/EU

Application Deadline
Start Date
2 Sep 2020
21 Sep 2020

Key Dates International

Application Deadline
Start Date
2 Sep 2020
21 Sep 2020

Tuition & Fees

  • Home/EU: £5,000*
  • International: £5,000*

*Total cost, incremental payment schedule available. Fee information is subject to change and is for guidance only.

How much does the programme cost?

Part-time fees 1,667 per 20 credits

Fees for NHS-funded students:

939 per 20 credits (Total: 2,817)

Can I get help to fund my studies?
You may be eligible for help with the cost of the programme.

What it's like to study online

100% online for complete flexibility
Our part-time online programmes are ideal if you're working full-time or have family commitments.
Connect to campus from anywhere
All you need for our online programmes is a device with internet access.
Gain a global perspective
As an online student, you'll be part of an international community of academics and learners.
Learn from the experts
Our world-class teaching and research staff will help you realise your potential.
Interact with everyone
Community building and collaborative learning is a key focus of our online programmes.
Access a multitude of resources
Study using a range of materials, including recorded lectures, live seminars, videos, interactive quizzes, journal articles and ebooks.
Regular Assessments
During each course you will be assessed in a variety of ways which could include essays, discussions, blogs, online presentations, interactive quizzes, assignments or group work.

Want to learn more?