Diploma in Diabetes

Team: Diabetes Team

The RCGP accredited Postgraduate Diploma in Diabetes course is designed to be practical and clinically focused

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.

Delivered over one year, the online part time distance learning Postgraduate Diploma in Diabetes course is specially developed for busy health professionals. The online diabetes course is designed to be practical and clinically focused. The successful completion of this course will enable graduates to have:

  • A greater understanding of the multidisciplinary approach to the care of people with Diabetes.
  • Experience of developing local guidelines, patient information literature or care pathways which will be part of their individual and group activities.
  • A greater confidence and understanding of the management of people with Diabetes through case studies and discussion.
  • Improved critical analysis of published data and data interpretation.

Applicants will typically be health professionals who have a day to day exposure to people with Diabetes. They may be part of a team which delivers care, a leader of that team or an individual who treats people with Diabetes.

The Diabetes Diploma course is designed to be relevant to all health professionals who might manage people with Diabetes and is particularly relevant to:

General Practitioners, Practice Nurses, Diabetes Specialist Nurses, Podiatrists, Pharmacists, Dieticians and Pharmaceutical Representatives

Course Structure

The Postgraduate Diabetes Diploma course is based on the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Curriculum for Diabetes health professional education. 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.

Syllabus relating to diagnosis, classification, epidemiology and the metabolic syndrome:

  • To understand the methods of diagnosing patients with Diabetes and their implementation in clinical practice. Terminology such as impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance.
  • The classification of Diabetes including LADA, MODY, Type 1, Type 2, secondary Diabetes and the accurate diagnosis of these conditions.
  • Basic epidemiology including prevalence, incidence, case selection.
  • Screening for Diabetes, issues surrounding screening and case selection.
  • The metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, insulin resistance - diagnostic criteria, contribution of central obesity versus obesity, the role of waist circumference, BMI and epidemiology.
  • The contribution of prandial and fasting glucose to hyperglycaemia.

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate the presentation, diagnostic criteria and classification of diabetes.
  2. Interpret research in relation to the aetiology, pathophysiology and risk factors for diabetes and its complications.

Syllabus relating to the role of the multidisciplinary team, education and the patient perspective:

  • To gain a critical and applied understanding of the different approaches to delivering Diabetes care including multidisciplinary working in complex/unpredictable cases and situations.
  • The roles of the multidisciplinary team and the contribution of the components to patient care.
  • Models of patient care.
  • Delivery of Diabetes care across a variety of healthcare settings.
  • Educational programmes including X-PERT, DAFNE, DESMOND.
  • The patient perspective - living with chronic disease and improving care.
  • Understanding the patient's psyche including changing behaviour - cognitive behavioural therapy and motivational interviewing.

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  1. Analyse the contribution of different health professionals to providing Diabetes care.
  2. Adopt relevant psychological, behavioural and educational strategies in managing Diabetes care.

Syllabus relating to diet, exercise and psychological aspects:

  • Promotion of self-care with focus on diet and exercise.
  • Physiological principles including knowledge of calorie intake and energy expenditure.
  • Total energy expenditure, basal metabolic rate.
  • Anthropometric measurements including BMI and waist circumference.
  • Understanding appropriate dietary interventions.
  • Basic concepts of dietary interventions and various diets employed including GI index, Atkins diet, VLCD.
  • Role of dietary intervention in treatment of Diabetes.
  • Principles of carb counting in managing hyperglycaemia.
  • The role of exercise in the management of patients with Diabetes and in those patients with weight-related disorders.
  • Physiological benefits of exercise.
  • Understanding the types of exercise and the selection of the appropriate exercise programme for the patient.

On completion of this module the student will be able to employ a variety of techniques and approaches to encourage self-management of physical activity and nutrition.

Syllabus relating to therapies, Research methods and clinical guidelines:

  • Awareness of the appropriate structured approach to the therapies employed in treating patients with Diabetes.
  • Action, use, contra-indications and side effects associated with oral hypoglycaemic agents including sulphonylureas, insulin secretagogues, biguanides and thiazolinidiones.
  • Action, use, contra-indications and side effects associated with insulins and insulin analogues.
  • Emerging therapies including incretinomimetics, gliptins and incretins.
  • Treatments used in obesity, overweight and their efficacy in Diabetes.
  • Awareness of other treatment options including pancreatic transplantation and insulin pumps.
  • Awareness of the appropriate algorithmic use of therapies as suggested in clinical guidance.
  • Understanding of clinical trials and basic statistical interpretations such as number needed to treat, absolute and relative risk.

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and skills in the therapeutic management options of people with Diabetes.
  2. Have an awareness of the role of emerging therapies and evaluate current and emerging therapies.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to create clinical guidelines.

Syllabus relating to acute metabolic and microvascular complications:

  • Awareness of the short and long term complications of Diabetes.
  • Metabolic sequelae - including effects of hyperglycaemia, diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar osmotic non-ketosis (HONK) and lactic acidosis.
  • Hypoglycaemia - physiology, effects, prevention and treatment.
  • Physiological principles underlying acute metabolic consequences of Diabetes.
  • Microvascular complications.
  • Neuropathy - epidemiology, diagnosis, classification, consequences, presentation and treatment.
  • Retinopathy - epidemiology, diagnosis, classification, consequences, presentation and treatment.
  • Nephropathy - epidemiology, diagnosis, classification, consequences, presentation and treatment.
  • Review the evidence base and apply strategies for the prevention and treatment of complications.

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  1. Be competent in the recognition and management of the acute metabolic complications of Diabetes.
  2. Be competent in the recognition and management of microvascular complications of Diabetes.

Syllabus relating to macrovascular disease, diabetic foot disease, IHD, Stroke, hypertension and lipids:

  • Understanding of the physiology underlying macrovascular disease in Diabetes.
  • Understanding the contribution of various risk factors in the development of macrovascular disease in Diabetes.
  • The epidemiology of macrovascular disease in Diabetes including stroke, ischemic heart disease, MI, foot disease, hypertension and peripheral vascular disease.
  • Investigation and treatment of vascular disease in Diabetes.
  • The role of the multidisciplinary team in the treatment of vascular complications.
  • The management of lipid disorders and hypertension in subjects with Diabetes.
  • An understanding of the guidelines relating to the treatment of macrovascular disease, the diabetic foot, hypertension and lipids in Diabetes.

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  1. Use the evidence base to identify risk factors for macrovascular complications.
  2. Appraise clinical trial evidence in the management of macrovascular complications.
  3. Multidisciplinary working in complex/unpredictable cases and situations.


Online Diploma in Diabetes

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 Diabetes. 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

Health professionals working within a clinical setting, both UK and overseas, with a related Healthcare Science degree (including international qualifications) are eligible to apply for the PG Diploma in Diabetes course.

Applicants without the above academic criteria but relevant/suitable experience can apply. Applications will be judged on the individual specifics of background and qualifications including 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).

Applicants should submit copies of the following with their application:

  • Qualification certificates
  • One written reference
  • English language qualification (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent) please see University of South Wales for further details

Student Stories

Our customers gave this product 5 out of 5 stars based on 4 reviews

5 Star Rating

Little did I know...

"Little did I know that the diploma was going to be a significant stepping stone in my medical career. Both the diploma and MSc were invaluable in terms of expanding my knowledge and management of diabetes, but also enhanced my critical thinking and writing skills. Read full story..."

5 Star Rating

I had no idea about the opportunities this course would provide me

"Having my first paper published through this course helped me overcome my apprehensions of academic writing and made me more confident to pursue it further. Read full story..."

5 Star Rating

The course certainly met my expectations

"I started the Postgraduate Diploma in Diabetes as a Staff Nurse and finished it as a Diabetes Specialist Nurse Read full story..."

5 Star Rating

Diploma team deserves the highest praise...

"Diploma team deserves the highest praise and admiration on their ability to manage all participants very well and helping them in timely manner in highest possible positive spirit.Their approach towards students is undoubtedly one of the most important reasons which makes USW online programmes most acclaimed and praised in entire world."

Latest News: Super early bird deadline for March 2018 intake is 2 weeks away. Apply today secure your place before Friday 27th October and receive £200 off your chosen course!!