M.Sc. Diabetes (PgDip/MSc - Distance Learning)

Cardiff University

Tuition fee: Not specified
Start date: January  2015
  • English
Delivery mode: Blended
Educational variant: Part-time

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The course is a development of the Diabetes Research Unit which has an international reputation for teaching and research in Diabetes. The programme seeks to encourage critical thinking and improve the understanding of diabetes and diabetes related topics. Students will be equipped not only with current factual knowledge but will also learn strategies which will be of lasting value in dealing with future advances in therapy and management strategy.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Diabetes is a part-time, on-line distance learning course based on the International Diabetes Foundation Curriculum. It is split into six modules over two years.

Candidates attend initial introductory lectures at the beginning of each year with the course then continuing online.

The majority of students are self funded, though some may obtain bursaries from supporting organisations.

The MSc in Diabetes is designed specifically for Health Care Professionals who have completed the Diploma in Diabetes with Cardiff University and wish to pursue further studies in this field.

The part-time, distance learning MSc runs over a period of 12 months. The MSc will begin with an introductory section (approx. 12 weeks) where candidates will be able to develop their knowledge & skills in analysis methodologies, critical appraisal & scientific writing. In keeping with the diploma teaching design, the candidates will initially be in groups of 8-10 where learning will be facilitated by expert tutors.

After completing the 12 week introductory stage above, students will proceed to writing their Masters dissertation of up to 20,000 words over the remainder of the year (approx 40 weeks). This can be in the form of either (a) primary data analysis using an existing dataset that either the student or the supervisor has access to, or (b) a systematic literature review with appraisal of published evidence, leading to guideline development. Each student will have an individual supervisor who will provide guidance throughout the year. The student & supervisor will maintain regular contact either via the MSc website, or other means of communication as previously deemed appropriate by both, e.g. e-mail, teleconference, Skype etc. Students will be expected to present a 2 page outline of the project by week 8 of the introductory stage with final confirmation of project details with the supervisor by the end of week 6 of the dissertation phase. The final dissertation will be submitted for marking by the end of week 40 with regular progress updates to be provided at set intervals in the interim.

Successful completion of the complete programme above will result in the award of 60 Level 7 (Masters) credits and the degree of MSc in Diabetes from Cardiff University.


Module list:

* Module 1 Principles of diabetes
* Module 2 Diabetes care in practice lifestyle management
* Module 3 Diabetes care in practice therapeutics
* Module 4 Diabetes in special circumstances
* Module 5 Diabetic complications pathophysiology
* Module 6 Diabetic complications management

Other components of the course:

* The introductory lectures and case discussion help to introduce the key concepts of the modules, allowing course organisers and students to discuss the role of the subsequent on-line learning.
* Group activity is aimed at developing students skills in generating and evaluating guidelines for the care of people with diabetes. For each module students will work in small groups focussing on various aspects of the subject. The group will develop a document and each individual will evaluate the work with consideration of their own clinical care.
* An on-line learning portfolio is used by students to record and reflect on the module as it progresses. Reflection is an important aspect of the course encouraging the clinicians to spend time considering how their practice compares to the themes being discussed in the module.
* Real life case problems are available for students to consider and answer. Explanations to the case problems are given and students will be expected to discuss the concepts being tested. Engagement in case problems is highly motivational for students and is perceived as being valid for their clinical work.
* Summative assessments of case problems will be presented to directly test the clinical reasoning and knowledge objectives of the module.
* On-line, threaded discussion groups facilitate conversation between students and tutors are an integral part of the course to allow students to be assessed on their contribution to and comprehension of the course.


Suitable for medical practitioners who have clinical responsibility for people with diabetes. In particular, it is aimed at doctors who will be future leaders in the management of diabetes in both primary and secondary care.

Candidates should possess an initial degree in Medicine. Good English language skills are essential and it is a course requirement that students have access to a computer which is connected to the internet.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
CAE score: 75 (Grade B)
TOEFL paper-based test score : 600
TOEFL computer-based test score: 250

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