Master of Medical Education (MME)

Institute for Medical Education (IML)

The Master of Medical Education (MME) develops competencies in instructional design, curriculum development, learner assessment and research methods in health profession education. Over the course, participants engage with these themes and critically reflect on attitudes and beliefs. They are encouraged to initiate educational innovations in their own institutions and promote high-quality education in the health care system. Graduates are empowered to become leaders and scholars in medical education.
The course modules are orchestrated by a selection of international and highly qualified experts. Currently, they come from North America, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland.
For more than two decades, the MME is an integral part of the educational landscape for people engaged in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. The most outstanding features are:

The research-based mindset
Research is the best means to help graduates develop a better understanding of problems and to develop solutions for current and future challenges.

The leadership development
Participants are supported in their personal and professional development. The programme encourages them to reflect on their own practice and the resources in their workplace. This helps them to better deal with the uncertainty and complexity of the health care environment. Participants learn how to take the lead in situations requiring change and how to create conditions for educational innovation.

Building a community of practice
MME participants and graduates have access to a sustainable and social network of leading educators and motivated colleagues in Health Profession Education, aligned around a common mission to improve didactic approaches. Beyond the time spent together in class, this is an important resource to rely on for the implementation of new projects.

Learn more

Degree Master of Medical Education (MME)
Start 02/2024
Length February 2024 to December 2025
Scope 60 ECTS
Cycle Starts every 2 years
Flexible entry possible No
Single module visitable No
Place 10 course modules take place in Bern, one module is organized in the Swiss mountains and in one module the study group visits a medical school abroad (US, CAN or EU)
Language German, English
Admission University degree in human medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, biology, pharmacy or equivalent. Admission “sur dossier” for health professionals without university degree is possible.
Registration until 2023/08/31
Cost CHF 30’000
Organising institutions Institute for Medical Education (IML)
Partner University of Illinois at Chicago



The Master of Medical Education Programme Bern (MME Bern) is a part-time, postgraduate Master of advanced studies in medical education provided by the Medical Faculty of the University of Bern. It was developed in collaboration with the University of Illinois in Chicago and was established in 1999.

The study programme follows a systematic, evidence-based approach, and thus prepares participants for the growing demands in initial and continuing education in the healthcare sector.

Target audience

The MME programme involves international experts and is directed towards graduates of all healthcare professions alongside their employment. The programme requires the participants’ presence at course weeks which are offered over two years.

The aims of the MME programme

The MME programme Bern offers a broad range of courses with the following aims:

  • Training of leaders with competences in medical education
  • Imparting of knowledge of evidence-based teaching and lesson methods
  • Support in the development of innovative teaching projects and curricula
  • Promotion of leadership skills in the medical sector
  • Imparting of scientific knowledge in the area of medical education
  • Networking with international and national experts
  • Building of a network among the participants and promotion of an active, collaborative learning environment

Programme structure

The MME programme is designed to be conducted alongside participants’ employment and has a modular format. Performance is measured according to the European Credit Transfer System ECTS. One credit corresponds to a workload of 25-30 hours. Credits can be acquired for all study activities within the MME course.

The minimum requirements to be awarded the Master diploma are:

  • Successful completion of at least 9 MME course weeks, including 6 core courses,
  • Writing of at least 6 post-course assignments (three on core courses),
  • Conducting of a project with minimum qualification E,
  • Writing of a Master’s thesis with minimum qualification E,
  • Acquisition of 60 ECTS credits.


The study duration is normally two years (4 semesters) plus several months for completing the Master’s thesis. As it is particularly difficult to complete the MME programme whilst working full-time, a reduction of working hours is strongly recommended (guideline: approx. 80% of full-time hours). The MME degree must be completed within 4 years.

Master’s degree

Upon successful completion of the degree programme, participants can carry the title of “Master of Medical Education” of the University of Bern (MME Unibe). The title is awarded by the Medical Faculty Bern in conjunction with the University of Illinois College of Medicine (COM Chicago).

Course contents

The programme comprises 12 one-week courses. To achieve the Master’s degree, attendance of at least 9 course weeks is mandatory, 6 of which must be core courses. The course weeks normally take place in Bern. One of the 12 courses is held in a seminar hotel in the Bernese Oberland, and a further course is held abroad.

With respect to content, the modules cover relatively self-contained topics, but refer to and are aligned to one another. The focus is on contents such as Curriculum Development, Cognitive Psychology, Assessment and Evaluation, Leadership and Education Research.

Over 90% of the course is conducted in English. An exception to this is course week 2 on the theme of communication, which is held in German.

In the course weeks, we offer professional coaching across both study years.

Course offering

Year 1

Module 1 Setting the stage for Medical Education

Module 2 Communication

Module 3 Curriculum Development

Module 4 Learning Environment

Module 5 Assessment in the Health Professions

Module 6 Scholarship

Year 2

Module 7 Educational Research

Module 8 Qualitative Research and Thesis Workshop

Module 9 Leading Educational Change

Module 10 Visit of Medical Schools Abroad

Module 11 Program Evaluation

Module 12 Special Topics

University of Bern, Institute for Medical Education (IML)

The MME programme employs national and international lecturers as well as various committees for the planning, implementation and further development of the international, high-quality MME degree course:

Programme Director and Administration

  • Sandra Trachsel, PhD, MME, program director and Elke Bayha, PhD, deputy program director

Functions: Lead and compile the course program, appoint the course leaders, organise courses, are responsible for admission and coaching of the participants, allocation of credits, general logistics, public relations, etc.

  • Isabelle Zürcher, MME Administration

Functions: Administration and book keeping

The MME program employs national and international lecturers as well as various committees for the planning, implementation and further development of the international, high-quality MME degree course.

Curriculum Committee

  • Prof. Dr. Sissel Guttormsen (President), Director of the Institute of Medical Education, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • Prof. Dr. Johannes Forster, MME, Director of the Department of Paediatrics at the St. Josephs Spital, Children’s Hospital, University of Freiburg i. Br., Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Robert Greif, MD, MME Unibe, Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Therapy, Inselspital Bern, Switzerland
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Jürgen Christen, MD, MME Unibe, Centre for Children and Adolescents Auf der Bult, Hanover, Germany
  • Dr. Sandra Trachsel, MME Unibe, MME Programme Director, IML, University of Bern, Switzerland

Functions: Authorisation of persons for thesis supervision, examination and approval of Master theses on behalf of the Office of the Dean, admission of participants without classical university education, decision-making body in the case of conflicting performance assessment.

The quality of the course contents is ensured by national and international experts with long-standing experience in education and education research. The teaching portfolio ensues in cooperation with other universities from Switzerland, Europe, the USA and Canada.

National and international experts:

  • Matthias Beckmann, PhD, Communication trainer, Munich (D)
  • Christoph Berendonk, MD, MME, University of Bern (CH)
  • Francesco Di Pasquale, Project Management Expert, Lausanne (CH)
  • Prof. Kevin Eva, PhD, British Columbia University, Vancouver (CAN)
  • Prof. Wim H. Gijselaers, PhD, University of Maastricht (NL)
  • Prof. Mark Goldszmidt, PhD, London Ontario (CAN)
  • Prof. phil. Sissel Guttormsen, University of Bern (CH)
  • Prof. Sören Huwendiek, MD, MME, University of Bern (CH)
  • Erika Irniger, Dipl. supervisor BSO, Bern (CH)
  • Prof. Debbie Jaarsma, University of Groningen (NL)
  • Rabea Krings, PhD, University of Bern (CH)
  • Prof. Wolf Langewitz, MD, Basel University Hospital (CH)
  • Prof. Lorelei Lingard PhD, London Ontario (CAN)
  • Associate Prof. Meghan McConnell, PhD, University of Ottawa (CAN)
  • Prof. Mathieu Nendaz, MD, University of Geneva (CH)
  • Prof. Yoon So Park, PhD, University of Illinois, Chicago (USA)
  • Prof. Charlotte Ringsted, PhD, University of Aarhus, (DK)
  • Christof Schmitz, PhD, college M Bern (CH)
  • Kai Schnabel, MD, MME, University of Bern (CH)
  • Prof. Yvonne Steinert, PhD, McGill University, Montreal (CAN)
  • Prof. Ara Tekian, PhD, MHPE, University of Illinois, Chicago (USA)
  • Ulrich Woermann, MD, MME, University of Bern (CH)
  • Marc Züst, PhD, University of Bern

As well as further lecturers for the course conducted abroad (USA, Canada, Europe).

Advisory Board

  • Prof. Dr. med. Hans-Uwe Simon (Dean of the Medical Faculty, University of Bern, ex officio)
  • Prof. Georges Bordage, MD, PhD (University of Illinois, Chicago, USA)
  • Prof. Ara Tekian, PhD, MHPE, (University of Illinois, Chicago, USA
  • Prof. Wim Gijselaers, PhD (University of Maastricht, NL)
  • Prof. Sigrid Harendza, MD, MME Unibe (University of Hamburg, D)
  • Prof. Martin Lischka, MD, PhD (Medical University of Vienna, A)
  • Barbara Stadelmann, PhD, MME (University of Bern, CH)
  • 1 representative from the last MME programme cycle
  • 1 representative from the MME alumni board

Functions: Advising the programme directorate and study leaders, PR, fostering international contacts/acceptance. Facilitating international cooperation.

Target audience

The MME programme is targeted at interested persons in Switzerland and abroad, who have completed a university degree in human medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or pharmacy, who carry out teaching activity and hold a leadership function at a medical faculty, or hold equivalent employment in the healthcare sector.

Admission is also possible for qualified persons from other professions in the healthcare sector (university, university of applied sciences or equivalent at tertiary education level II). In such cases, please contact the programme director in advance.


Admission to the MME postgraduate degree course is normally decided by the programme director based on written application documents and under consideration of the available study places. In exceptional cases, the Vice Dean of Education at the Medical Faculty of Bern decides together with the President of the MME executive board. The decision on admission to the degree course is generally made 6-8 weeks following application.

Number of participants

Between 16 and 24.

Applicants who are kept on hold for capacity reasons will receive priority admission for the following MME programme.

Over 90% of the course is conducted in English. In some modules like module 2 on communication, German is also spoken. A good knowledge of English is a prerequisite for participation in the course. The programme can still be attended if a participant lacks knowledge of German.


The two-year MME programme costs a flat rate of CHF 30'000 (approx. Euro 28’000 ). This sum covers the course fees including course material, thesis supervision and diploma fees, as well as the semester fees of the university for two years and a one-off fee for the Unicard. The tuition fees are paid in 2 instalments of CHF 15'000 (approx. Euro 14’000.-) (invoicing and credit management are through the University of Bern). Additionally, the participants pay costs of around CHF 500 (approx. Euro 460) for specific required reading. Individual travel and accommodation costs, in particular for the course conducted abroad, are at the participants’ own expense. Likewise, expenses for courses outside of the MME programme are also paid by the participants.

The MME Programme is funded from tuition fees and is organised with at least 16 participants.


Start: January/February in years with even numbers
Application deadline: until 31st October before program start

Please address your application to:

Universität Bern
Master of Medical Education Programm
Sandra Trachsel, Dr. phil.-nat., MME
Bühlstrasse 26
CH-3012 Bern 

Admission is possible until the maximum number of participants of 24 has been reached. Applications must be made in writing. Please use the online application form or request an application form. Applications must include the following documents:

A  Reasons for your application

B  CV in tabular form

1.     Graduate, postgraduate and further education

2.     Employment activities

3.     Teaching activities to date

4.     Qualifications (diplomas, certificates)

5.     References from previous employment

6.     List of publications, projects etc.

7.     Two referees

C  Proof of good knowledge of English for applicants whose native language is not English.

Each application will be carefully examined and evaluated.