HPEC has extensive experience of conducting research across a range of themes within health professions education:

Assessment: Including both undergraduate and postgraduate graduate assessments, this research area includes self-assessment, multi-source feedback, undergraduate assessments, progress testing, workplace-based assessments, postgraduate membership assessments and assessments for international practice.

Interprofessional educational and learning: Featuring educational interventions to facilitate inter-professional learning and its assessment, the ultimate aim is to drive collaboration with healthcare professionals from other disciplines and improve teamwork for the benefit of patients.

Preparedness for practice and transitions: Including the transition period from school to senior medical practitioner, this theme focuses on key times of change and responsibilities (e.g. from final year medical student to starting work as a junior doctor or from speciality doctor to consultant).

Learning environment, clinical environment and culture: With observation of the learning environment and support for learning in this environment, this theme includes research on both positive and negative learning environments at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Educational interventions: Evaluation of teaching methods, placement types and nuanced approaches (e.g. case-based learning, longitudinal integrated clerkships, learning communities and novel approaches to psychiatry teaching).

Curricula: The development, review and evaluation of curriculum change, including a series of interventions which are grouped to achieve and facilitate a particular approach to facilitate learning. It can include evaluation of online resources, conferences and the development of interventions to drive engagement and improve learning. 

Digital learning: With a focus on the online digit delivery of learning material, this theme includes development of material to be delivered synchronously or a synchronously. 

Feedback: With a focus on both giving and receiving feedback, this theme includes structured and informal approaches, verbal and written feedback, quantitative and qualitative data and explores actions following receiving feedback.

Simulation: Covering a wide range a interventions, from single-skill or behaviour acquisition to rehearsal of clinical skills, behaviours and decision-making in a simulated environment in advance of practice.

Prescribing: With a focus on the learning and assessment of prescribing skills, this theme includes research of complex prescribing and on prescribing errors.

Communication skills: Teaching undergraduates how to communicate effectively with patients and colleagues, this theme includes taking a clinical history, use of particular communication approaches, patient centredness and shared decision-making and the exploration of communication failures.

Selection: The approaches used to select students for entry to medicine or other healthcare professions (cognitive tests, interviews and a range of approaches used to widen selection and ensure diversity).

Careers: Looking at postgraduate career choices, we review interventions to facilitate applications to shortage specialties and examine what influences speciality choice. 

Continuing professional development: Research on continuing professional development (CPD) includes approaches used to facilitate life-long learning in the healthcare professions – ensuring professionals keep up-to-date and maintain fitness to practise.

COVID-19: How healthcare adapted and how undergraduate and postgraduate students continued to learn during a pandemic.

Health and wellbeing: Interventions to support and facilitate wellbeing at undergraduate and postgraduate levels (mindfulness, clinical supervision and working conditions).

Healthcare management: Healthcare management education with a focus in the development of management and leadership competencies.

Medical professionalism: Including the teaching and assessment of professionalism, this theme features the legal and ethical frameworks that define professional behaviours.

You can find a full list of RCSI publications in health professions education here.

Read more about research in the area of Health Professions Education at RCSI.

If you have any queries regarding our research, please email