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This two-year part-time Masters programme delivered through the University of Edinburgh’s virtual learning environment, taught entirely online, is designed to give you the freedom to study flexibly.

Based on the UK Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum, the programme provides the opportunity for trainees in Trauma & Orthopaedics to select those advanced modules relevant to their declared specialty, and supports learning for the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) examinations.

Trainees are taught by experienced tutors, all leading clinicians in their field, and have access to a large structured learning resource of educational material, including an unparalleled online library facility. Illustrative cases cover technical skills and procedures as well as core knowledge and clinical skills.

In the first year of the programme, compulsory core modules cover the basic elements of the subspecialties. Modules are taught and assessed using a clinical problem-based approach, supported by systems-based review of the course material.

In the second year, trainees undertake a tailored academic module that reflects their subspecialty interest. Academic modules (core and specialist) explore research and teaching methodology, as well as developing skills to ensure an ability to analyse published evidence and explore interactive and written clinical communication skills. Trainees are required to complete an academic critique in an appropriate subspecialty area of work undertaken during the two-year period of study such as that resulting from a publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

On completion of this programme, trainees will be able to:

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of their chosen surgical subspecialty, and be able to apply this knowledge to the systematic assessment and management of surgical patients in the elective, urgent and emergency clinical setting;
  • Recognise the leadership contribution and responsibilities of the surgeon in the multidisciplinary management of complex surgical disease;
  • Critically reflect upon day-to-day surgical practice in the context of recent advances, and engage in critical dialogue with peers and experts in other sub-specialties;
  • Apply the general principles of clinical study design, ethics, and statistics to critically evaluate the scientific literature in surgical research, and make informed judgements on new and emerging issues in surgery;
  • Exercise a high level of autonomy and initiative in professional activities at a level of independent surgical practice.

Eligibility Criteria

Prospective entrants would normally have acquired their MRCS (or equivalent assessment milestone) and be an Advanced Trainee in Trauma & Orthopaedics - ST3 or greater [Specialist Training years] in the UK, or equivalent outside the UK.

Eligible candidates will have completed a minimum of 3 years speciality training in Trauma & Orthopaedics before the proposed date of admission to the programme and will be pre-FRCS status.

For those candidates who already hold FRCS status, we will look at each application on a case-by-case basis and may accept if there is a substantive training element in their current post.  However if you have passed Section 1 but not Section 2 of the FRCS you are still eligible to apply.

Ready to apply?

Find out how to apply and submit your application.

Programme Structure of ChM in Trauma & Orthopaedics

Year 1

Semester 1
to January
Basic Science Part 1
10 credits
Adult Reconstruction
5 credits
Shoulder and Elbow
5 credits
5 credits
5 credits
Semester 2

to June
Basic Science Part 2
10 credits
5 credits
5 credits
Ankle and Foot
5 credits
5 credits

Year 2

Semester 1
to January
Basic Science Part 3
10 credits
Core Academic Activity
20 credits
Semester 2
to July
Specialist Academic Activity
30 credits

Fee information

ChM in Trauma & Orthopaedics Fees for academic year 2023/24

Students on full-time and part-time programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that annual tuition fees are subject to revision and are typically increased by approximately 5% per annum. This annual increase should be taken into account when you are applying for a programme.

Please see the scholarships page for full information on the range of Edinburgh Surgery Online Scholarships available. 

The BOTA - ESO Scholarship for ChM in Trauma & Orthopaedics

The University of Edinburgh will offer two Masters Scholarships for the ChM in Trauma & Orthopaedics offered by the University in partnership with The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

The Scholarship will have a total value of £2,500 and candidates will receive the award in their second year of study. The Scholarship will be deducted from their annual tuition fee and will be awarded on the basis of academic merit. Candidates must have performed satisfactorily in Year 1 of the ChM in Trauma & Orthopaedics and must be a current member of BOTA to be eligible for the award.

British Orthopaedic Trainees Association

Bota Logo - A tree.

The ChM in Trauma and Orthopaedics delivered by the University of Edinburgh has been a resounding success

As a practising orthopaedic surgeon, this course has enabled me to once again explore the basic science, pathology and management of trauma and elective orthopaedic procedures through case based discussions amongst a collaborative and experienced cohort of colleagues.

With the help of an experienced Orthopaedic tutor, our class has been able to present, debate, research and surmise common and rare orthopaedic conditions and management principles. As an orthopaedic surgeon involved in trauma and arthroplasty, I have found this course to both fortify ideas previously held and challenge some of my practice when evidence and discussion suggest different methods of management.

The Edinburgh University ChM in Trauma and Orthopaedics has an extensive and comprehensive syllabus. With knowledgeable staff and an international student presence, the diversity of orthopaedics is thoroughly explored. This prestigious degree has helped me in my clinical and academic pursuits and is recommended to anyone in their search to improve their understanding of trauma and orthopaedics.

Mr Jarrad Stevens

2018 Graduate

Directed me to the important topics in the daily practice and for the exam

I decided to study the ChM as I was preparing for the FRCS-orth. I felt I needed a structured program to guide me through the syllabus. It was definitely the right choice as I kept studying every day for 2-3 hours and it was flexible with my work duties. The program was very good as it directed me to the important topics in the daily practice and for the exam. The evidence-based orthopaedics is important to keep up to date with new guidelines. My consultants noted big changes in the way I am handling patients and planning their management, which was very positive. I developed this with the regular participation in the discussion boards and the feedback from our tutors, they were very helpful. The ChM helped me also to prepare for the FRCS and I took section one and passed by the time I went for the graduation ceremony. Thanks for our nice tutors and supervisors, they encouraged us with positive feedback.

Mr Elgenaid Ahmed

2017 ChM Trauma & Orthopaedics Graduate.

Evidence-based and trains us to look at literature with a critical eye

The ChM course came highly recommended to me by colleagues who had done it before me. My decision to pursue the course was multi factorial. One was it provided me with a masters degree from the prestigious University of Edinburgh. Two was the high quality of mentors and tutors on the course. Three was the unique VLE platform where I could interact with everyone at my time and convenience. The best thing about the course is that it is evidence-based and trains us to look at literature with a critical eye. The modules cover all important aspects and topics like NOTSS, statistics etc. which are very important for surgeons to be aware of during practice and research. The course has improved my surgical acumen, decision-making and overall knowledge. I am more attune to practices and literature relevant to me. It has added weight to my résumé translating into more doors opening up, academically and clinically. I would hands down recommend this Masters course to anyone aspiring to be a master in trauma and orthopaedics!

Mr Jay Shah

2017 ChM Trauma & Orthopaedics Graduate.

Programme team

Mr Matthew Moran

Mr Matthew Moran
Programme Director

BSc (Hons), MBChB, MSC, FRCSEd (T&O)

Mr Matthew Moran has been a Year Director and now joint programme director of the ChM in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery since it’s inception. The ChM should provide a high quality, rigorous and interactive learning experience that is valuable for training surgeons as they progress towards their fellowship exam and then independent practice.

He was appointed as a Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in Edinburgh in 2009. Mr Moran also holds an Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturers position at the University of Edinburgh. He attended medical school at the University of St Andrews and then the University of Oxford before completing residency training in Manchester, Edinburgh and Sydney. His current Specialist interests include Trauma Surgery, Lower Limb Arthroplasty and Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcoma surgery, forming part of the Scottish Sarcoma Network. 

Mr Moran is the organizer of the South East Scotland teaching programme for specialty trainees. He is a Course Director for Advanced Trauma Life Support, running an annual course at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. He has lectured widely at National and International meetings on subjects of his specialist interest. Mr Moran is a member of the British Orthopaedic Association, British Hip Society and the British Orthopaedic Oncology Society. He is actively involved in research within the department and is leading and contributing to a number of ongoing projects including several randomized clinical trials. He is widely published.

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Mr John McKinley

Mr John McKinley
Programme Director


Mr McKinley has been involved with the surgical distance learning programs since the ESSQ was started in 2007. He helped to set up and run the ChM in Orthopaedics and is now the Program Director.

A Dundee graduate, he undertook his post-graduate surgical and orthopaedic training in Edinburgh. He specialized in Foot and Ankle surgery and was appointed as a consultant in Edinburgh in 2007 after a year Fellowship in Melbourne.

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Interested in this course?

To find out more about ChM in Trauma & Orthopaedics

chm.infor [at] (Email us today)

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