MHPE programme structure and academic calendar 2022-2023


*Note: The MHPE curriculum is designed as a partly campus-based and partly online curriculum. In 2022 we assume that the on campus period will take place in Maastricht and we will be able to meet each other in person again.  

Click here for an overview of the MHPE Academic Calender 2022-2023


Your MHPE journey starts with three weeks full-time and on campus in Maastricht or at one of our partner sites. The core of this campus period is to provide an introduction to health professions education. Main components are a group project, workshops, trainings, and supportive reading materials.

This first campus period is also an introduction to the MHPE community. You will meet staff and fellow students during educational and social activities; get acquainted with the structure of the MHPE programme and the MHPE competency framework with eight competencies related to the roles of Educational Designer, Educational Leader and Educational Researcher. We will discuss learning beliefs and expectations of MHPE students and staff. You will meet your coach, start planning your personal curriculum path, and familiarize yourself with the electronic portfolio.


The rest of the year is divided in four themed periods. In each period, you will work on one common learning task (mandatory), and elective learning tasks of your choice. All learning tasks are based on authentic examples and represent tasks in the field of health professions education. The online periods have general themes and most (but not all) learning tasks will be centred around this theme:

  • ANALYSE an educational problem
  • DESIGN a solution that contributes to solving an educational problem
  • IMPLEMENT & EVALUATE to what extent the goal has been reached

The common learning tasks are mandatory. They will require collaboration with fellow students from all around the world. This will give you the opportunity to look across your own borders and learn with and from each other. In addition, you will be able to select a number of elective learning tasks. These tasks relate to one or more roles that MHPE graduates are likely to take: Educational Designer, Educational Leader, or Educational Researcher. You can choose to focus on one role, but also mix-and-match. Your coach will help you choose tasks that match your learning needs and interests. To graduate in two years you choose an average of two electives in each period in your first year, and one per period in your second year (when you are also working on your Master thesis). You can adjust your workload by choosing less or more electives.

For example:

The first online period focuses on analysing educational problems. The common learning task focuses on learning theories. With a small group, you will imagine to be the editorial board of a journal. Your task is to prepare a special issue on innovative learning theories, including an editorial and a discussion paper. MHPE staff will guide you in this process. Besides this common task you might choose to focus on tasks related to the Educational Researcher role, choosing one elective task that focuses on critical appraisal of scientific articles and another one that focuses on learning to do a systematic review of literature. If research is not your primary interest, you would do the same common task on learning theories, but perhaps select an elective learning task related to the Educational Designer role, which asks you to analyse how learning theories are used in your curriculum (i.e. a curriculum that you work in). A second learning task related to this role might focus on discovering what characterizes student-centred education in general or Problem-Based Learning more specifically. You can also choose to combine electives related to different roles.


The second campus-based period focuses on the elaboration of your thesis proposal. Together with your fellow students, you learn more about research methods and work on your proposal in thesis circles, supported by your thesis supervisor. Of course, there is also time to meet your coach, discuss your experiences, and start planning the rest of your MHPE curriculum.


During the rest of the year you will again work on mandatory common tasks and elective learning tasks in four themed periods (analyse, design, implement and evaluate, and mix). You select learning tasks from the same set of tasks as in year 1, but you might choose more challenging and complex learning tasks in your second year. In parallel, you will be working on your thesis project.

For example:

In the Analyse period you will, together with a group of fellow students, take the role of trend watchers: what is new in health professions education? How is society changing? What are the challenges and innovations that health professions education faces now and in the near future? If you are collecting data for your thesis in this period, you might choose to focus on that and do no electives now. If, on the other hand, you are not yet ready to start your research project, you could choose to do two electives now and none in a later period when you want to focus on your thesis. You could, for example, work on a more difficult learning task that asks you to contrast different assessment paradigms (related to the role of Educational Designer) or a learning task that asks you to reflect on your educational leader identity (related to the role Educational Leader).


You collect your work and the feedback that you receive in your portfolio. The MHPE teaching staff will provide rich, formative feedback that allows you to monitor your own development related to the eight MHPE competencies. You discuss with your coach what you do well and which competencies you still need to work on. Together you select suitable elective learning tasks for the next period. At the end of the first year, you conduct a self-assessment and hand in your portfolio for evaluation. An assessor decides whether you have made enough progress to start up your thesis project. At the end of the second year, you perform a self-assessment again. The assessment committee will review your portfolio and self-assessment, and then decide whether you are eligible for graduation.

In order to graduate, you will have to collect evidence of sufficient performance on the eight MHPE competencies. To achieve this you will have to complete the mandatory campus-based periods, all common learning tasks, your thesis and at least 11 elective learning tasks. If you have not yet shown sufficient performance on all eight competencies, you may have to do more elective learning tasks.*

For example:

In your first year, you complete the campus period and in the first online period, you work according to schedule, completing the common learning task and two electives. In the second online period, however, you are very busy, for example because you need to do your residency exams or because you have to teach a lot. Therefore, you decide to do only the common learning task. In the third and fourth period, you have more time, so you can take on an extra elective. This means that you are now on schedule again. In the second campus period, you develop your thesis proposal, but you cannot collect data until January, for example because that is when the OSCE’s are performed and that is what your research is about. Therefore, you decide to take on more electives, so that you can fully focus on your thesis research later on.


The last step in your MHPE programme is the presentation of your thesis project, followed by a festive graduation ceremony. Congratulations! We invite you to come to Maastricht or one of the partner sites to graduate and celebrate together. This is not obligatory, though, you can also graduate at distance.

*Note: You can take more than two years to finish the MHPE program, but this has financial implications. There is a small delay fee for each additional study year. If you need more than 25% extra learning tasks to demonstrate your competency, you will have to pay the full MHPE fee again.