In 2007, Edinburgh Surgery Online launched its first online masters programme. The pioneering three-year MSc in Surgical Sciences was established to support professional and academic development in the early years of surgical training. It was recognised for its innovation and excellence by the Queen’s Anniversary Award for Higher and Further Education in 2013.
The successful launch of a two-year ChM in General Surgery in September 2011 to support advanced surgical trainees was soon followed by ChM’s in Urology, Trauma and Orthopaedics, as well as Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. An MSc in Primary Care Ophthalmology and ChM in Clinical Ophthalmology were developed to support optometrists, other allied health care professionals and ophthalmologists in training. The most recent MSc in Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors launched in 2018, recruiting a wide range of graduate health care professionals.
The highly popular programmes have enrolled over 500 students each year. A total of 2,423 students from 76 countries have registered across the eight online masters programmes, which have seen over 1000 students and trainee surgeons graduate. Global outreach has increased considerably in recent years and is now underpinned by a large scholarship programme. In 2021 this provided full funding to 70 postgraduate students in low- and middle-income countries.