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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Surgical Studies

BSMS > Postgraduate > Surgical Studies

Surgical Studies

Key facts

MSc, PGDip, PGCert

Full-time: 1 year

Part-time: 3 years

Eligible applicants: UK, international

Due to visa restrictions, international students requiring a student visa (including EU/EEA who require a student visa) are eligible to apply for BSMS full-time Masters courses only. Part-time Masters courses, all PGDip and all PGCert courses are open to UK and Irish students and international students (including EU/EEA) who have an alternative visa/immigration permission to stay in the UK (such as settled/pre-settled status, Tier 2/work visa, indefinite leave to remain etc).

Location: University of Brighton, Falmer campus, University of Sussex, Falmer

Course Leader: Anouk van der Avoirt

Read Anouk van der Avoirt's profile here >

General enquiries:

This course is jointly validated by the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex. We are not taking new student intake in 2023/24 so please do not apply at this time.

Download the course application handbook for further information on this course. 

Download the Surgical Studies handbook here > 

Watch our video below to find out more about this course.

Key areas of study

Three clinical modules:

  • Advanced professional issues in surgery
  • Perioperative care in surgery
  • Principles and practice of simulation in surgery

Three professional modules:

  • Research methods and critical appraisal
  • Leadership and change management in clinical services
  • Communication, learning and teaching in health and social care

Research-based dissertation

Course overview

This course is designed to provide and prepare surgeons for advanced posts and practice. It is modular with six one-week teaching blocks.

The course is not designed to duplicate the preparation for the Royal College exams; instead it will cover topics not routinely covered by standard training or included in mainstream textbooks. The emphasis is on acquiring knowledge and skills which will prepare students for advanced practice in surgery.

Seb Chong photo

"This programme is fantastic for covering such topics as research, leadership, ethics and medical law, which are all highly relevant to surgery and yet receive little attention in the traditional surgical curriculum. I have highly enjoyed studying these subjects in depth." -

Sebastian Chong, MSc Surgical Studies student

Course structure

PG Cert

All three of the following clinical modules: 

  • Advanced Professional Issues in Surgery (20 credits)
  • Perioperative Care of the Surgical Patient (20 credits)
  • Principles and Practice of Simulation in Surgery (20 credits)

OR two of the clinical modules PLUS the following professional module:

  • Research Methods and Critical Appraisal (20 credits)


All three clinical modules PLUS all three of the following professional modules: 

  • Research Methods and Critical Appraisal (20 credits)
  • Communication, Learning and Teaching in Health and Social Care (20 credits)
  • Leadership and Change Management in Clinical Services (20 credits)  


PGDip modules PLUS  

  • Dissertation (60 credits)

Career opportunities

This course will support the professional who is looking to become a better rounded surgical expert.

It will marry theory with practical skills in a variety of subjects to produce a thorough learning experience. The professional modules encompass the three crucial areas of research, leadership and education to equip the surgical leaders of tomorrow with the knowledge and skills necessary for their jobs.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have an undergraduate medical degree, and should be able to demonstrate an ability to study at this level. It is expected that students will be in clinical practice throughout the programme.

Applications will also be considered from other professionals in appropriate clinical practice (theatre and surgical practitioners and physician associates).

For international students a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 is required.

This course is open to applications from UK and international students. 

Fees and funding

The fees listed below are the overall costs for full-time courses taken in the academic year 2023/24. Where courses are taken part-time over more than one academic year, fees are usually charged pro-rata for the modules taken during each academic year.  

With effect from 2021/22 onwards, EU nationals starting new postgraduate courses will pay international fees and will not be eligible for student funding from the UK government. However, there are exceptions to this for Irish nationals and EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. For the latest information, please see If you do not have settled status in the UK and require a work visa, then you will be fee assessed as Overseas and will therefore be subject to the International fee rate.


UK £11,840

International £24,210


UK £7,894

International £16,140


UK £3,947

International £8,070


A number of bursaries are available for trainees employed by the NHS in the HEESE region. Please contact the Course Leader for further information.