Postgraduate Diploma in Expedition and Wilderness Medicine

The online Expedition and Wilderness Medicine Postgraduate Diploma is valuable to all healthcare professionals wishing to progress their career in providing clinical support on expeditions and in remote locations. Course Code: QMSP064

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 Expedition and Wilderness Medicine.

This course is specifically designed for healthcare professionals who aim to fulfil the role of an expedition medic or otherwise specialise in Expedition and Wilderness Medicine.

The successful completion of this course 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.

Course Structure

Our online Expedition and Wilderness Medicine Postgraduate Diploma 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.
  • 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 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.

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 run 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.

Teaching Methods

You will be supported throughout your studies by a committed team of internationally recognised educational experts. Find out more about our world-class tutors on the Expedition and Wilderness Medicine Team page.


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.

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.

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.


Orientation and Study Skills Week (online)

Once you have secured your place on the course you will be invited to participate in our Orientation and Study Skills week, held in the week preceding the start of the course. This will prepare you for your course and take you through how to navigate the learning platform, course format and teaching methods, the assessments for each module, research skills and good academic practise.


Assessments

The Expedition and Wilderness Medicine course 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.

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.

  • 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.

Course Fees

Total Course Fees for UK & International Students for February 2021: £4,500
Total Course Fees for UK & International
Students for February 2021:
£4,500

Application deadline - February 5th 2021

Fee payments may be made via the following options:

Date Instalments Up-Front Payments
Deposit payable
on acceptance
£750 £4500
1st May 2021 £750
1st July 2021 £750
1st Sept 2021 £750
1st Nov 2021 £750
1st Jan 2022 £750

Deposits are non-refundable


Early Bird Discount Deadline