Postgraduate Diploma in Expedition and Wilderness Medicine

Travel for both work and pleasure is becoming increasingly prevalent and travellers are seeking more adventurous trips going off the beaten path and challenging themselves.

In this emerging market, current job adverts are asking for doctors and other healthcare professionals (HCPs) with training, experience, and specialisation in wilderness and expedition medicine.

Examples may include adventure holidays, charity work, and overseas employment - scenarios could be anything from climate research expeditions, treks and charity work, to going into space.

Next intake: 2022 MarchKey Facts

Awarding University
University of South Wales
Commitment
20 hours a week
Class Size
15 - 20
Application Deadline
14th February 2022
Course start date
Format
100% Online
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The online Postgraduate Diploma in Expedition and Wilderness Medicine has been designed for any health professional who is interested in developing their career and credentials in this increasingly popular and competitive speciality of extreme medicine.

The diploma in expedition and wilderness medicine is not intended to cater to the elite medic who intends to single-handedly trek to the South Pole. However is focused on developing the role of the healthcare professional interested in delivering clinical support to expeditions and travel to remote locations.

Our experienced faculty focus upon the practicalities of preparing for the expedition and also on the physiological and pathological impacts of expedition in remote and extreme locations.

On successful completion of this diploma in expedition and wilderness medicine will enable graduates to:

  • Apply evidence-based clinical skills and knowledge to minimise risk and maximise health before, during and after expeditions.
  • Demonstrate the ability to provide sound clinical and situational judgement in environments prone to rapid change and uncertain outcomes.
  • Develop skills and knowledge to anticipate, plan for and treat common and potential health problems which may arise on expeditions.
  • Gain lifelong learning and advanced problem-solving skills that they can apply within the field of expedition medicine.
  • Apply the knowledge, approaches and skills gained within expedition medicine to wider emergency situations.
  • Deliver leadership to teams in multi-agency, multi-cultural and/or international contexts.
  • Become leaders in the field of expedition and wilderness medicine.


Next intake: 2022 March Key Facts

Awarding University
University of South Wales
Commitment
20 hours a week
Duration
12 months
Class Size
15 - 20
Application Deadline
14th February 2022
Course start date
Format
100% Online

Why Study with Learna

We have over 10 years’ experience delivering online courses, giving you access to flexible, affordable distance learning in partnership with world-leading educators.

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15:1 student tutor ratio. We have a 92% student satisfaction rate.

Who is this course for?

Applicants will typically be registered healthcare professionals with some experience or interest in the area of expedition and wilderness medicine who wish to enhance their knowledge, skills, and understanding in order to fulfil the role of an expedition medic or otherwise specialise in expedition and wilderness medicine.

How Will I Learn?

You will be supported throughout your studies by a committed team of internationally recognised educational experts.

Our courses are conducted entirely online through self-directed distance learning. You’ll receive guidance throughout your course with tutor-stimulated academic discussions, which are based on clinically-rich case scenarios.

These usually occur within groups of 10-20 students, allowing you to clearly communicate with both your tutor and fellow students.

Curriculum

Our online Postgraduate Diploma in Expedition and Wilderness Medicine allows you to study for just one calendar year and is a part-time, distance-learning course. The course is worth 120 credits and comprises six modules of 20 credits, each running over a period of six weeks.

Module Aims

To provide healthcare professionals with the skills, knowledge and methodical approach to prepare and plan a successful and safe expedition in a variety of settings.

Module Content

  • Pre-expedition screening and medical assessment
  • Preparation for expedition
  • Physical and mental preparation for expedition
  • Pre-expedition timeline
  • Evacuation planning
  • In-country training considerations

Learning Outcomes

  1. Develop appropriate screening of potential participants to mitigate risk and improve the viability and success of an expedition.
  2. Critically interpret the evidence base and application of knowledge with respect to the planning required for health considerations of expedition participants which can be applied to different environments.

Module aims

  • To provide healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge to plan and execute a successful and safe expedition in a polar and/or mountain environment.
  • To anticipate potential complications which may arise within cold and high altitude in respect both of the expedition participants and the treatments available.

Module Content

  • Expedition and emergency planning
  • Situational awareness
  • Group health considerations in polar and mountain environments
  • Medical kits
  • Environmental medical considerations
  • Mental health

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically interpret and apply the evidence base in the planning and management of the health considerations within a polar and mountain environment to minimise risk to health.
  2. Develop and demonstrate skills to appraise, reflect upon and adapt treatments considering the constraints and considerations of the polar and mountain environment.

Module Aims

  • To provide healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge to plan and execute a successful and safe expedition in an aquatic environment.
  • To anticipate potential complications which may arise within remote ocean, river and water environments in respect both of the expedition participants and the treatments available.

Module Content

  • Expedition and emergency planning
  • Situational awareness
  • Group health considerations in water environments
  • Medical kits
  • Environmental medical considerations
  • Mental health

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically interpret and apply the evidence base in the planning and management of the health considerations for an ocean, river/water-based expedition.
  2. Develop skills to appraise, reflect upon and adapt treatments considering the environmental constraints and considerations in aquatic expedition situations.

Module Aims
To provide healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge to plan and execute a successful and safe expedition in a desert and/or tropical environment. And to anticipate potential complications which may arise within desert and/or tropical environments in respect both of the expedition participants and the treatments available.

Module Content

  • Expedition and emergency planning
  • Situational awareness
  • Group health considerations in desert and tropical environments
  • Medical kits
  • Environmental medical considerations
  • Mental health

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically interpret and apply the evidence base in the planning and management of the health considerations for a desert and/or tropical expedition.
  2. Critically appraise, reflect upon and adapt treatments considering the constraints and considerations of desert and tropical environments.

Module Aims

  • To provide healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge to anticipate, plan for and treat potential common medical problems which may arise on expeditions and the additional challenges which exist within remote environments.
  • To consider the importance of the effective treatment of minor and/or major conditions and the impact of them on the expedition’s success.

Module Content

  • Cardiovascular and respiratory
  • Endocrine and neurological and mental health
  • Women’s health
  • Skin and wounds
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Ophthalmic and dental

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically consider the evidence base and available treatments to plan and manage common health considerations in an austere setting.
  2. Critically appraise common and/or likely medical problems which may occur on an expedition and the effects which differing environments and situations will have on their management, treatment and, ultimately, the success of the expedition.

Module Aims

  • To provide healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge to be able to transfer knowledge learnt within expedition and wilderness medicine to a natural disaster situation, providing safe medical care within a variety of environments.
  • To anticipate additional potential complications which may arise within an emergency situation. Using knowledge gained over the previous modules, use and adapt that knowledge to an emergency situation or natural disaster.

Module Content

  • Emergency planning
  • Situational awareness
  • Public health considerations
  • Medical kits
  • Environmental medical considerations
  • Mental health

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically interpret and apply the evidence base in expedition medicine to the planning and management within an emergency situation, such as a natural disaster.
  2. Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of safe medical care in austere environments and consider the potential complications within a variety of emergency situations.

Assessment Methods

The online Postgraduate Diploma in Expedition and Wilderness Medicine places assessments at the heart of the learning process through the employment of clinical scenarios to enhance problem-solving, critical analysis and evidence-based care. Since the scenarios act as a focus for learning and assessment, the two are intrinsically linked.

The six modules on the course have the same assessment format and for all modules, you will be assigned a dedicated expert tutor. Your tutor will then facilitate case discussions with the group, whilst monitoring, assessing and marking your work throughout. You will also participate in a combination of module activities that may be group and/or individual based, dependent on the module.

These innovative teaching methods enable you to envisage the translation of your studies into your every day work and practice. Due to the online nature of the course, you will be expected to regularly login and participate in the course - ideally on a daily basis. Students are recommended to spend around two hours per day on their studies. Our dedicated Student Support Team are also available to help with any problems you may face. From navigating our online platform to advising you on deadlines, our team can assist with any questions or challenges you may have along the way.

  • Every week students are presented with two/three clinical case-based scenarios that are reflective of every day clinical practice and research.
  • Your tutor will post a number of questions and prompts to aid students in a formal discussion of each case.
  • These discussions are facilitated throughout by your tutor and are then assessed at the end of every module.

The reflective journal is used by students throughout each module to monitor personal progress. This is guided by weekly feedback from your tutor and is graded at the end of every module. The journal typically includes the following:

  • Initial expectations and reasons for taking the course.
  • Module and/or personal learning objectives.
  • Description of events, issues and learning points within current personal practice.
  • Change in every day practice due to knowledge gained on each module.
  • A description of what has been learned during the module.

For this assessment, students will work on a group assignment and/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.
  • Students are provided with case-based problems in the form of a one-hour timed examination.
  • The exam consists of 30 'Single Best Answer' questions.
  • Students are required to complete the exam online within the set time.

Entry requirements

Since our courses are conducted entirely online, they are accessible to both UK and international registered healthcare professionals.

Applicants will typically hold a first degree or equivalent (including international qualifications) in a relevant professional healthcare field, such as a medical or nursing degree.

Registered healthcare professionals without these recognised qualifications will be considered on an individual basis and a wide range of prior experience may be taken into account. In some cases, applicants may be asked to submit a piece of work for assessment in order to confirm that they are able to work comfortably at postgraduate level, and demonstrate the requisite clinical and professional knowledge.

Documents Required

  • A copy of your updated CV including your address and date of birth.
  • A copy of your undergraduate degree certificate.
  • The name and email address of someone who is able to provide a reference, this can be a work colleague, employer or former tutor.
  • A detailed personal statement explaining why you would like to undertake the course.
  • A copy of your proof of English competency (see below).

English Language Requirements
Proficiency in the English language is also essential to completing our courses. If English is NOT your first language, we ask for proof of competency during the application process. We are able to accept an IELTS overall score of 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 for each band) or an equivalent qualification.

If you do not meet these requirements, please don’t worry. The University of South Wales runs a number of English Language Programmes at the Centre for International English to prepare you for your academic studies. You can also contact our admissions team on [email protected] for more information on the qualifications we accept.

Course Fees

Total Course Fees for UK & International Students for March 2022:
£4,500
Application deadline - 14th February 2022

Fee payments may be made via the following options:

DateInstalmentsUp-Front Payments
Deposit payable on acceptance†£750£750
1st May 2022£750£3,750
1st July 2022£750
1st September 2022£750
1st November 2022£750
1st January 2023£750

† Deposits are non-refundable

Why Learna

We have over 10 years’ experience delivering online courses, giving you access to flexible, affordable distance learning in partnership with world-leading educators.

Our courses are some of the most affordable of their kind, providing value for money without compromising on quality. We also don't apply an international surcharge. No fixed timetable means you can log in & learn on the go, at your convenience.

Being totally online means we can select the very best tutors and resource editors, no matter where they’re located.

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