Cosmetic Medicine Postgraduate Diploma

Team: Cosmetic Medicine Team
In partnership with: University of South Wales

Our Postgraduate Diploma in Cosmetic Medicine has been designed to promote and enhance working professional’s knowledge underpinning practice in cosmetic medicine. Course Code: QPDP023

Next Intake: 2019 Sept

Course Information

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

The Postgraduate Diploma in Cosmetic Medicine course has been specifically designed to promote and enhance working professional’s knowledge underpinning practice in cosmetic medicine. It is designed to complement separate practice based recognised prior learning (RPL) awards that are being developed for cosmetic medicine practitioners.

The aims and aspired outcomes of the course upon completion are to:

  • Develop analytical and critical appraisal skills in both theory and research related to cosmetic medicine.
  • Demonstrate critical application of research to cosmetic medicine practice.
  • Professional decision making: incorporating evidence based rationale in a variety of diverse and complex situations related to cosmetic medicine.
  • To be able to apply advanced problem-solving skills in clinical practice.
  • Demonstrate leadership in the delivery and advancement of cosmetic medicine.
  • Demonstrate leadership of teams in multi-agency, multi-cultural and/or international contexts.
  • Demonstrate evaluation skills in the delivery of care to patients.

Applicants would typically be doctors, nurses or dentists.

These roles are evolving with increasing demand amongst these specialists for a postgraduate qualification to help support their professional learning and clinical development.

Course Structure

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

Aim of the module:
  • The aim of the module is to address the life sciences underpinning cosmetic medicine and the professional and ethical issues that arise in practice.
Synopsis of module content:
  • Anatomy of the face – the skin, muscles, fat pads, blood vessels, nerves and bones within the face.
  • Physiology and physiological changes relating to these structures.
  • Facial structure functions and their relation to ageing.
  • Facial assessments and treatment plans.
  • Ethics for treating patients for financial gain (treatment dependent).

This module includes mandatory formative assessment activities, to support students learning and development prior to summative assessment tasks.

On completion of this module, students will be able to:
  1. Critically apply in-depth anatomical and physiological knowledge of the face to the selection of appropriate cosmetic medical treatments.
  2. Critically analyse the professional and ethical issues surrounding aesthetic medicine.
Aim of the module:
  • Address botulism as a disease and the pharmacology of botulinum toxins and treatments.
Synopsis of module content:
  • Botulinum and botulism history.
  • Botulinum toxin pharmaceutical history and licenses.
  • Clostridia as bacteria.
  • Indications for use, common complications and their treatment.
  • Patient selection, injection techniques, indications, safety, adverse effects and combination treatments.
On completion of this module the student should be able to:
  1. Critically apply the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of botulinum use in cosmetic and medical treatment.
  2. Critically appraise the use of botulinum toxin in aesthetic treatments.
Aim of the module:
  • Teach candidates about facial fillers, volume loss, facial fat pads and how treatment of a volume depleted face can have an impact on the aging face.
Synopsis of module content:
  • Anatomy of facial fat pads and physiological effects of ageing.
  • Dermal fillers
  • Hyaluronic Acids (HA), different manufacturers, cross linking (BDDE), length of fibre, duration of effect, fibroblasts (HA production, hyaluronidase).
  • Indications for Has, complications associated with the administration of Has and the treatment of complications
  • Avoiding complications.
  • Managing patient expectations.
  • Non HA fillers – permanent/temporary, synthetic/autologous.
  • Dermal fillers for specific regions – lips, hands.
On completion of this module the student should be able to:
  1. Critically analyse the evidence base for the augmentation of facial fat pads with dermal fillers.
  2. Critically evaluate the use of dermal fillers in aesthetic treatments.
Aim of the module:
  • Understand skin in terms of: Embryology, structure and function.
  • To understand the effects of aging/sun/cigarette smoking upon the skin, and how treatments such as lasers and dermal peels can alter the skin elements.
Synopsis of module content:
  • Normal skin anatomy and physiology – layers of epidermis, layers of dermis, functions of epidermal layers/elements, function of dermis cells/non cellular elements.
  • How the skin changes with ageing and environmental damage in all aspects and layers.
  • Different types of Fitzpatrick skin types, the effect of ultraviolet light on the skin, sun tanning, sun protection, sun damage on the skin, skin ablative treatments, skin non ablative treatments, lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments.
  • IPL Treatments – what are they, how do they work what are the different parameters that can be used in laser treatments, dermal peels, and skin repair and emerging treatments.
On completion of this module the student should be able to:
  1. Critically appraise the processes affecting damage to the skin.
  2. Critically evaluate a variety of skin treatments.
Aim of the module:
  • The aims of the module are to understand hair growth and hair loss and relate that to medical treatments for hair removal and hair replacement.
Synopsis of module content:
  • Normal hair growth cycles.
  • Hair colour and variations.
  • Hair follicle anatomy, physiology and pathology, and how is this related to hair follicle pharmacological treatment.
  • What medical conditions are related to unwanted hair – polycystic ovary syndrome, folliculitis barbae, hormonal conditions, etc.
  • Hair aesthetics – hair removal with laser and IPL systems, specifically excluding mechanical hair removal (shaving, plucking, de-epilation, waxing, electrolysis, etc.)
  • How does laser hair removal produce a reduction in hair growth, which lasers can be used, what is the difference between each type of laser, what is the difference between laser hair removal and IPL hair removal.
  • Difference between hair reduction using “pain free” hair removal systems and using more traditional methods that have greater pain associated with them.
  • What is hair loss – how does it manifest itself, what are the different types of male hair loss patterns, and how can they be treated. What are the non-surgical methods of treatment (light therapy, hair stimulation non-surgical therapy) and what evidence is there to suggest their efficacy.
  • What drug treatments are available for hair loss, how do they work, how effective are they, what are their side effects, what are their pharmacological properties.
  • What surgical methods are available for hair loss.
On completion of this module the student should be able to demonstrate:
  1. Critically apply knowledge of normal hair growth, hair follicle anatomy, physiology on a variety of hair pathologies.
  2. Evaluate and appropriately recommend treatments used in hair removal.
  3. Evaluate and appropriately recommend non-surgical methods used for the treatment of hair stimulation.
Aim of the module:
  • The module aims to develop an understanding of the hormonal mechanisms underlying ageing and other effective anti-ageing strategies.
Synopsis of module content:
  • The physiology of aging including hormonal changes in testosterone, growth hormone and the menopause.
  • Menopause, andropause and somatopause.
  • Hormonal replacement as anti-ageing therapy.
  • Vitamins and anti-ageing.
  • The role of nutrition in anti-ageing.
  • Role of exercise as an anti-ageing strategy.
  • Exercise for the ageing person.
  • Platelet-rich plasma infusions and their effect in aesthetics and ageing.
  • Injection lipolysis, derma-rollers and micro needling.
  • Ultrasonic therapies and radiofrequency.
On completion of this module the student should be able to:
  1. Critically apply the scientific evidence base to appraise the interaction between the ageing process and the endocrine system.
  2. Critically evaluate investigations and treatments available for age-related hormonal deficiencies.
  3. Critically appraise a range of anti-ageing strategies.


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 six 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 two - three clinical cases, which are designed to promote discussion within a specific clinical area. 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 reflective 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 reflective journal nor would a simple list of points learned.

For this assessment, students will work on either a group assignment or an individual assignment:

  • Group assignments are designed to hone skills in the multidisciplinary, holistic approach to modern treatments and patient management by requiring group participation in a single piece of work
  • Individual assignments are designed to hone skills in academic career progression through such tasks as reviewing papers, developing scientific posters or abstracts, peer-reviewing, social media activities, patient information leaflets, and essays.
  • 30 single best answer 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 rich case scenarios. Group projects are undertaken alongside independent projects. Reflective practice is recorded in a reflective journal to help students consider how the learning can be translated into everyday work and practice.

Once you have secured your place on the course, you will be invited to an online Induction Day webinar. This will give you the opportunity to participate in study skills workshops on Harvard referencing, scientific and reflective writings, and levels of evidence in preparation for your studies. It is not compulsory for you to attend our Induction Day, but it is recommended as it’ll provide you with a sturdy introduction to the course.

Entry Requirements

Applicants will be expected to meet the below criteria:

  • Relevant degree.
  • Registered healthcare professional (e.g. doctor, dentist).
  • Completion of a recognised training course in aesthetic use of Botulinum toxins and fillers. Recognition of prior learning may be taken into consideration.
  • Evidence of having undertaken at least 10 cosmetic procedures (e.g. Botulinum toxins and fillers) in the last 12 months.
  • Current indemnification for cosmetic procedures.

Students will typically have completed a recognised training course in aesthetic use of Botulinum toxins and Fillers but relevant/suitable experience may be taken into consideration.

Applicants should submit copies of the following with their application:

  • Course certificates
  • One written reference
  • English language qualification (IELTS 6 or equivalent eg. English GCSE, C grade or above)
  • Indemnity insurance certificate
  • Evidence of completing a minimum of 10 cosmetic procedures in Botulinum toxins and fillers (e.g. aesthetic portfolio)

Registered healthcare 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 Postgraduate Diploma in Cosmetic Medicine.

Course Fees

Total Course Fees for UK/EU & International Students for September 2019: £4,500

Please Note: These are the fees for a single year.

Fee payments may be made via the following options:

Date Option A Option B
Deposit payable on acceptance £650 £650
1st November 2019 £3,850 £770
1st January 2020 £770
1st March 2020 £770
1st May 2020 £770
1st June 2020 £770

Deposits are non-refundable

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