Diploma in Acute Medicine

Diploma MSc is a collaborative partner of the University of South Wales. On successful completion of this course, you will receive a University of South Wales Postgraduate Diploma. Subject to validation

Course Information

Diploma MSc is a collaborative partner of the University of South Wales. On successful completion of this course, you will receive a University of South Wales Postgraduate Diploma.

As this is a rapidly evolving speciality and as many generalist healthcare professionals undertake acute medicine as part of their daily routines, there is a demand for tailored education, particularly at Masters Level. In response to this, we have developed our Postgraduate Diploma in Acute Medicine, which has been specifically designed to enable students to consolidate their skills in the subject while fitting their studies flexibly around their personal and professional commitments. The ethos of the course is to develop a systematic understanding of evidence-based, protocol delivered practice, which is crucial in optimising acute care.

As per other specialties, acute medicine is multi-disciplinary, particularly with the advent of physician assistants and specialist nurse practitioners. This course is therefore aimed at the multi-disciplinary team, covering the major spectrum of disease areas that would present acutely. Thus, the Postgraduate Diploma in Acute Medicine is a theoretical course that aims to supplement the education of existing healthcare professionals, as opposed to a practical course in acute medicine.

On completion of the Acute Medicine postgraduate course, you have:

  • Life-long learning and advanced problem-solving skills that they can apply to clinical practice in acute medicine.
  • The ability to lead complex tasks and processes in the delivery and advancement of acute medical specialty-related care.
  • Ability to deliver leadership to teams in multi-agency, multi-cultural and/or international contexts.
  • Ability to critically evaluate the delivery of care to patients.
  • A systematic understanding of evidence based medicine in relation to the acutely ill patient.
  • A relevant understanding in methodologies and approaches to address complex issues of patient management across the spectrum of medical specialties that comprise acute medicine.
  • The ability to critically evaluate evidence and guidance across acute medical specialties and implement best practice and innovation in complex patient scenarios

Course Structure

The online course lasts one calendar year and is a part-time distance learning course. It consists of 6 modules per year, each of 6 weeks duration.

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Online Postgraduate Diploma in Acute Medicine

The course puts assessment at the heart of learning by using clinical scenarios to facilitate problem-solving, critical analysis and evidence-based care. The scenarios act as both the focus for learning and assessment thus embedding assessment within the learning process.

Each of the 6 modules has the same assessment format. Due to the online nature of the course, students are expected to login and participate in the course regularly throughout the module (ideally on a daily basis).

Students are split into groups of 10-15 students and are assigned a dedicated expert tutor who:

  • Facilitates clinical case discussions with the group.
  • Monitors, assesses and marks each student throughout the module.
  • Students use the skills gained during the lectures to engage with the different activities (see below).

Each week, students are presented with 2/3 clinical cases with associated questions.  These cases are designed to promote discussion within a specific clinical area. Students:

  • Complete the questions.
  • Discuss the cases and issues surrounding the cases in a discussion forum.

Students discuss the cases within their tutor groups, facilitated by their tutor.  They use an online discussion forum to write well referenced, scientifically written postings.

The individual portfolio or journal is a learning log/diary. The purpose is for the student to reflect on their personal progress throughout the module. Students would typically include the following:

  • Initial expectations of the course, reasons for undertaking the course.
  • Module and/or personal learning objectives.
  • Description of events/issues/learning points within their personal practice.
  • Examples of change in personal practice due to knowledge gained throughout the module.
  • A description of what has been learned during the module.

Students are asked to think reflectively about what they are learning from each module, how this differs from their current practice, and how they can apply what they have learned through the course to their everyday practice as a health professional. Referencing would not typically be found in a learning portfolio nor would a simple list of points learned.

The group activity is designed to encourage group dynamics catering to the multidisciplinary nature within the field of Acute Medicine. Students are required to produce the following:

  • A group submission.
  • An individual submission.

Students are also marked according to their contribution to the group submission.

The group is given a specific task to accomplish over the 6 weeks of the module e.g. Develop an appropriate screening method for your clinic. Students are required to write well referenced, scientific reports.

  • 30 single best answer (SBA) questions.
  • One hour online assessment.
  • Questions are based on the clinical aspects of the module and their discussion topics.

Teaching Methods

Each module has the same format. Using an online platform and one tutor per 10-15 students, the self-directed distance learning is guided by tutor stimulated discussion based on clinically rich case scenarios. Group projects are undertaken alongside independent projects. Reflective practice is recorded in a reflective portfolio to help students consider how the learning can be translated into everyday work and practice.

Teaching starts with 1 day of introductory lectures. Students may attend these lectures in the UK (Glyntaff campus, University of South Wales)

The lecture series are delivered by the faculty and tutors, they are a pre-course organiser, giving students the tools required to undertake the online course such as:

  • Scientific writing
  • Levels of evidence
  • Harvard referencing
  • Reflective writing

The lectures series give an opportunity to meet face to face with tutors/other students prior to the online course.

Students are not required to attend the lectures however those who attend do benefit as they get a "jump start" to the course. Students who are not able to attend, should request a skype/telephone call to orientate them onto the course and are advised to review the lecture slides.

Entry Requirements

Admission to the course is typically through the following qualifications:

  • First degree or equivalent (including international qualifications)
  • Relevant professional healthcare (e.g. doctor, nurse) qualifications

Applications will be judged on the individual specifics of background and qualifications including the ability to work at Postgraduate level (applicants may be asked to submit a piece of work for assessment to confirm that they are able to work comfortably at Postgraduate level and demonstrate requisite clinical/professional knowledge).

Latest News: We have two new courses! Register your interest in Acute Medicine and Leadership in Healthcare today! Both courses are subject to validation.