Diploma in Diabetes

Team: Diabetes Team

The RCGP accredited Postgraduate Diploma in Diabetes course is designed to be practical and clinically focused.Course Code: QPDP008

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.

Aims of the module:

  • To understand the diagnosis, classification and presentation of diabetes, recognising the person with diabetes as the centre of care.
  • To gain an overview of the epidemiology and pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus.

Synopsis of the module content:

  1. Definition of diabetes.
  2. Incidence and prevalence.
  3. Aetiology.
  4. Diagnostic criteria of diabetes, its classification, presentation and epidemiology.
  5. The anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology underlying the different types of diabetes. Insulin action and resistance.
  6. Awareness and classification of the metabolic syndrome.
  7. Screening for diabetes.
  8. Diagnosing Diabetes in Pregnancy.

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

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

Aims of the module:

  • To gain a critical and applied understanding of the different approaches to delivering diabetes care including multi-disciplinary working in complex/unpredictable cases and situations while maintaining a person centred approach.

Synopsis of the module content:

  1. The role of the diabetes educator and other members of the multi-disciplinary team.
  2. The perspective of the person living with diabetes.
  3. User/public involvement in care.
  4. Teaching and Learning theory and application.
  5. Education programmes available.
  6. Psycho-social and behavioural approaches – theory and application.
  7. Community awareness and health promotion theory and application.

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse the contribution of different health care professionals to providing diabetes care.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to critically appraise and adopt relevant psychological, behavioural and educational strategies in managing diabetes care.

Aims of the module:

  • To facilitate the promotion of self care activities in the management of diabetes.

Synopsis of the module content:

  1. Promoting self care: The role of lifestyle management with emphasis on diet and exercise.
  2. Physical activity: the effects of physical activity, appropriate investigations, recommendations for physical activity, difference between metabolic and cardiovascular fitness targets, adjusting energy expenditure, prevention of hypo/hyperglycaemia, barriers to increasing daily activities and strategies to overcome them, appropriate activities for people with co-morbidity and/or complications.
  3. Nutrition: principles of a healthy diet; familial, social, religious and cultural influences on eating and food choices, availability of food, glycaemic index, nutritional assessment, setting dietary goals, educational methods. Knowledge of the potential benefits of structured education programmes for people with diabetes.
  4. Aspects of epidemiology of obesity, diabetes, data interpretation and critical evaluation of published data.

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate ability to critically appraise and select appropriate techniques and approaches to encourage self-management and physical activity.
  • Demonstrate ability to critically appraise and select appropriate techniques and approaches that could be employed to encourage self-management of nutrition.

Aims of the module:

  • To gain knowledge and skills in the pharmacological and other therapeutic options of people with diabetes and to be aware of the emerging therapies available in the management of people with diabetes to help them manage their own condition.

Synopsis of the module content:

  1. Pharmacology and appropriate use of the oral and injectable therapies available to treat diabetes and its complications.
  2. Dose adjustment, treatment regimens (local and global) and side effects.
  3. Adherence issues.
  4. Commencing insulin therapy.
  5. Physiological principles that underlie various therapies used in the treatment of patients with diabetes.
  6. Emerging therapies in diabetes.
  7. Identifying appropriate treatment aims.
  8. Complementary therapies used in the treatment of diabetes.

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate critical discrimination and selection in the choice of therapeutic options for people with diabetes in a variety of situations.
  • Critically evaluate the role of emerging therapies and evaluate current and emerging therapies and critically debate their contribution to treatment pathways.

Aims of the module:

  • To provide an overview of the short and long term complications of diabetes, taking into account the perspective of the person with diabetes.
  • To review the evidence base and apply strategies for the prevention, delay and treatment of complications.

Synopsis of the module content:

  1. Short-term complications; hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia/ ketoacidosis and Hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar state (HHS) – signs and symptoms, causes, treatment, reducing the risk of recurrent episodes; management of home emergencies.
  2. Long term complications: microvascular disease, retinopathy, maculopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, sexual dysfunction – epidemiology, recognition, signs and symptoms, assessment, treatment and management, prevention and follow-up.

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to diagnose and treat acute metabolic complications in diabetes and critically analyse factors that contribute to its occurrence and re-occurrence.
  • Critically review the evidence base and apply strategies for the prevention and treatment of microvascular complications of diabetes.

Aims of the module:

  • To gain an in-depth understanding of the risk factors for and management of macrovascular complications, taking into account the perspective of the person with diabetes.

Synopsis of the module content:

  1. Macrovascular disease to include cardiovascular disease, cerebro-vascular disease, peripheral vascular disease and the diabetic foot.
  2. Cardiovascular risk factors, management of risk factors.
  3. Primary and secondary preventative measures.
  4. Treatment targets and interventions.
  5. Epidemiology, evidence from clinical trials including data interpretation and critical evaluation.

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Critically appraise the evidence base to identify risk factors and prevention strategies for macrovascular complications.
  • Critically appraise clinical trial evidence in the management of macrovascular complications.


Online Postgraduate 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 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 an induction day. Students may attend the event in the UK (Glyntaff campus, University of South Wales) and also online via a webinar.

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 day gives an opportunity to meet face to face with tutors/other students prior to the online course.

Students are not required to attend the induction day 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 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 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."

Applications open for March 2019