Obesity and Weight Management Postgraduate Diploma

The online Obesity and Weight Management Postgraduate Diploma will enable healthcare professionals to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to treat patients effectively. Course Code: QPDP005

Next Intake: 2019 Sept

Course Overview

Diploma MSc is a collaborative partner of the University of South Wales and on successful completion of this course, you will receive a Postgraduate Diploma in Obesity and Weight Management.

Obesity is a global epidemic and a leading cause of several major non-communicable diseases including Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Prevention and management is critical in reducing the considerable health costs of obesity. The Postgraduate Diploma in Obesity and Weight Management will focus on enabling healthcare professionals to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to treat patients effectively.

On completion of the course, graduates will be able to demonstrate:

  • A systematic understanding of the care of patients in obesity and weight management.
  • A critical awareness of current issues affecting the care of patients undertaking weight and obesity management treatments.
  • An advanced knowledge of obesity and weight management that will facilitate decision-making in unpredictable and/or complex situations.
  • An ability to use knowledge to adapt professional practice to meet the changing demands of healthcare systems.

Course Structure

Our online Obesity and Weight Management 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
  • Develop a critical understanding and knowledge of the physiology and regulation of the adipocyte, adipose tissue, human nutrition and appetite.
Module Content
  • The physiology of the adipocyte and adipose tissue.
  • The role of adipose tissue as an endocrine organ as well as its role in health and disease.
  • The regulation of adipose tissue and energy balance.
  • Appetite regulation and the role of adipose tissue, the brain and GI tract in the complex neuro-endocrine regulation of appetite and the uncoupling of many of these processes in relation to specific diets and disease states.
Learning Outcomes
  1. A critical awareness of the regulation of the adipocyte, adipose tissue and its endocrine function.
  2. An in-depth knowledge of the regulation of appetite and its relationship to obesity and weight gain.
  3. An in-depth knowledge of aspects of nutrition in relationship to body mass, weight gain and obesity.
Module Aims
  • To develop a critical understanding of the definitions of body mass. The importance of the distribution of adiposity, its epidemiology, the global problems of obesity and its relationship in different populations.
Module Content
  • Global trends in obesity, its relationship to public health and the differences in the diagnosis of obesity in differing ethic populations.
  • The aetiology of obesity, anthropometry including the importance of central obesity, and the epidemiological trends in obesity and its integral relationship with other co-morbidities in particular diabetes.
Learning Outcomes
  1. An in-depth knowledge and understanding of the diagnostic criteria for obesity, central adiposity and its impact upon health.
  2. An in-depth knowledge and understanding of the epidemiology and the global evolution of obesity and overweight.
  3. An ability to critically appraise the health and economic consequences of obesity and overweight in relation to associated co-morbidities.
  4. An understanding of and ability to diagnose the metabolic syndrome and appreciate its relationship to disease.
Module Aims
  • To develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the medical and genetic conditions that can cause obesity and weight gain.
Module Content
  • Overview of genetic conditions associated with obesity such as Prader-Willi syndrome as well as other genes related to weight gain including FTO.
  • Other conditions predisposing to weight gain and obesity such as Cushing Syndrome, hypothyroidism and pregnancy.
  • Drugs and their association with weight gain such as glucocorticoids, oral contraceptives and psychotropic agents.
Learning Outcomes
  1. An in depth knowledge and understanding of the inherited conditions linked with weight gain and obesity as well as an understanding of genes implicated in the development of obesity.
  2. An in-depth knowledge of conditions associated with weight gain and an ability to implement diagnostic strategies in specific endocrinopathies.
  3. The ability to critically evaluate and understand the contribution of drugs and medications used in clinical practice and their contribution to weight gain.
Module Aims
  • To enhance the clinical skills and knowledge required to effectively evaluate and treat obesity with emphasis on lifestyle and behavioural modifications.
Module Content
  • Theories on behavioural changes, such as Prochaska’s model of change and the clinical evaluation of the obese patient with this in mind.
  • The evaluation of the patient to understand the obstacles to changes in behaviour.
  • The implementation of specific strategies of lifestyle modification including diet and exercise to effect those.
  • Psychological strategies to promote change such as cognitive behavioural therapy and motivational interviewing.
  • The role of dietary interventions in weight management and the relative merits of different diets such as GI diet, VLCD, Atkin’s diet and 5+2 diets. Understanding why specific diets may work for individuals, rationales for implementation and relating this to evidence.
Learning Outcomes
  1. An expertise in behavioural change in relation to weight management and its applicability to the obese patient.
  2. A critical awareness of dietary programmes and the evidence relating to specific dietary interventions in weight management.
  3. An in depth knowledge of the health benefits of exercise and its applicability in weight related conditions.
  4. An expertise on the role of the multi-disciplinary team in weight management and the strategies used in public health to tackle obesity.
Module Aims
  • To understand the role of medications used in weight management, their pharmacology, mechanism of action and adverse effects.
  • The student will acquire an understanding of the potential for emerging therapies in weight management.
  • The student will develop a knowledge of previously used therapies in weight management and appreciate the role of pharmacovigilance and post-marketing surveillance regarding drug safety in weight management.
Module Content
  • The role and clinical applicability of medical therapies in weight management.
  • The pharmacological effects, mechanism of action, efficacy and adverse events associated with licensed medical therapies used in weight management.
  • Unlicensed therapies used in weight management, their pharmacological properties, evidence regarding surrounding their use, controversies and legalities of use and the associated adverse effects.
  • Previously licensed/used medical therapies, their pharmacology and reasons for withdrawal with an emphasis upon pharmacovigilance and post marketing surveillance.
  • The role of emerging therapies in weight management with emphasis upon the physiological basis for potential therapies.
Learning Outcomes
  1. An in-depth knowledge of medical therapies used in the clinical treatment of the obese or overweight patient and an ability to appreciate their clinical utility.
  2. The ability to critically evaluate emerging therapies with potential for use in weight management.
  3. An in-depth knowledge of agents previously used in the treatment of obesity and a critical understanding of the role pharmacovigilance in appreciating their associated adverse events.
Module Aims
  • To enhance the clinical skills and knowledge required to understand surgical weight management strategies.
Module Content
  • The variety of surgical approaches involved in the management of weight related disorders.
  • Risks associated with surgical interventions in weight management, both short term (intra and peri-operative) as well as longer term morbidity issues.
  • The identification of patients appropriate for bariatric procedures and the role of the multi-disciplinary team.
  • An appreciation of the critical role of the multi-disciplinary team in the management of the obese and overweight patient prior to and after bariatric surgery including the management of post-operative nutrition.
  • An appreciation of the health economics of bariatric procedures as well as medical therapies.
  • An understanding and appreciation of need for the reversal of certain bariatric procedures.
Learning Outcomes
  1. An in-depth knowledge of the surgical interventions for the treatment of patients including pre and post-surgical considerations and complications.
  2. The ability to identify patients that would be suitable for bariatric procedures and to be able to discuss issues relating to bariatric procedures including risks of the procedure.
  3. An ability to critically appraise health economic data relating to bariatric surgical and medical management.

Entry Requirements

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

To secure your place on the course, 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.


English Language Requirements

Proficiency in the Engish 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 Obesity and Weight Management 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 10-15 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, dependant 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.


Online Induction Day

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.


Assessments

The Obesity and Weight Management 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 clinical 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.

  • 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 September 2019:
£3,900

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

Application deadline - August 9th

Fee payments may be made via the following options:

Date Up-Front Payments Instalments
Deposit payable
on acceptance
£650 £650
1st November 2019 £3,250 £650
1st January 2020 £650
1st March 2020 £650
1st May 2020 £650
1st July 2020 £650

Deposits are non-refundable


Extended Application Deadline 23rd August:

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