Respiratory Medicine Postgraduate Diploma

The online Respiratory Medicine Postgraduate Diploma offers you the opportunity to explore and study the major classes of respiratory disease. Course Code: QPDP009

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 Respiratory Medicine.

Respiratory medicine is an increasingly important field of medicine, as respiratory disease is a growing cause of morbidity and mortality.

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

  • A critical awareness of current issues affecting the care of patients undertaking respiratory treatments.
  • An advanced knowledge of respiratory medicine and other associated conditions 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.
  • An in-depth understanding of the scope and delivery of respiratory treatments including horizon scanning of potential new treatments for the wider population.

Course Structure

Our online Respiratory 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
  • Establish an understanding of Respiratory Anatomy and Physiology and apply this to the clinical assessment and investigation of common respiratory symptoms.
Module Content
  • Impact, burden and epidemiology of Lung diseases
  • Anatomy and Physiology of the Respiratory systems
  • Clinical Assessment and Clinical Examination
  • Breathlessness and Wheeze, Cough and Sputum.
  • Spirometry
  • Other Respiratory Investigations (X-rays, blood tests and more complex lung function tests).
Learning Outcomes
  1. Recognise the impact of respiratory disease on society and the importance of epidemiology in the diagnosis and management of respiratory conditions.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of anatomy and the physiology of the respiratory system and relevance to the pathophysiology of respiratory disorders.
  3. Compare and contrast the range of presenting symptoms in respiratory disease and how they are investigated.
Module Aims
  • To develop an in-depth understanding of Asthma and Allergy and its impact on patient life.
Module Content
  • Asthma Diagnosis and Investigation
  • Allergy and anaphylaxis
  • Pharmacological management
  • Non-pharmacological / self-management
  • Co-morbidities (obesity, OSA, bronchiectasis, rhinitis, depression)
  • Difficult Asthma
Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify common causes of allergy and anaphylaxis, their investigation and treatment.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the diagnosis, treatment and management of Asthma
  3. Appreciate the role of co-morbidities and their relationship to difficult asthma
  4. Formulate a coherent approach for assessing, investigating and managing patients with difficult asthma
Module Aims
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the presentation, diagnosis and management of patients with COPD.
Module Content
  • Early and accurate diagnosis
  • Pharmacological management (including oxygen therapy)
  • Non-pharmacological management (smoking cessation, pulmonary rehabilitation and assisted technology)
  • Management of exacerbations (acute and chronic, ICS debate, NIV, ceiling of treatment)
  • Co-morbidities (osteoporosis, heart disease and depression)
  • End of life care, palliative care and advance care planning
Learning Outcomes
  1. Outline a robust approach to the diagnosis and investigation of patients with COPD
  2. Compare and contrast pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions in COPD, focusing on their strengths and limitations
  3. Recognise the importance of exacerbations and co-morbidities in COPD and their effects on patient morbidity and mortality
  4. Critically evaluate the role of palliative and end of life care in COPD, focusing on strengths and weakness of services in their locality
Module Aims
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of the presentation, investigation and management of thoracic malignancy and pleural disease
Module Content
  • Lung cancer – screening, red flags, solitary pulmonary nodules
  • Lung cancer – diagnosis and staging
  • Lung cancer - treatments
  • Asbestos related pleural disease
  • Pleural effusion and pneumothorax
  • The interface and ethics (MDT, working across boundaries, communicating difficult diagnoses, when to stop treatment)
Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically evaluate screening programmes, diagnostic investigations and treatments in lung cancer
  2. Formulate a robust approach for investigating and treating patients with pleural disease
  3. Justify the role of the multidisciplinary team in the management of malignant and non-malignant respiratory disease
Module Aims
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of pulmonary infection, its investigation and management
Module Content
  • Tuberculosis and non-tuberculous mycobacterial disease
  • Pneumonia (including community acquired and hospital acquired)
  • Respiratory tract infection (bronchitis, URTI, bronchiolitis)
  • Bronchiectasis and Cystic Fibrosis
  • Infections in the immunocompromised patient (HIV, immunomodulatory drugs, atypical infections)
  • Antibiotic guardianship
Learning Outcomes
  1. Contrast the presentation, diagnosis and management of different respiratory pathogens
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of antimicrobial side effects and resistance, and the importance of antibiotic guardianship
  3. Describe the role of more rare pathogens in immunosuppressed patients and develop a robust approach to diagnosing such infections
Module Aims
  • To develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of interstitial lung disease, pulmonary vascular disease and conditions resulting in respiratory failure
Module Content
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Other interstitial lung diseases
  • Venous thromboembolic disease and pulmonary vascular disease
  • Lung disease in my environment (occupational lung disease, children, flying and diving, dysfunctional breathing)
  • Lungs at the extremes (age, obesity, illegal drugs)
  • Sleep disordered breathing and ventilatory failure
Learning Outcomes
  1. Compare and contrast the presentation, investigation and management of interstitial and pulmonary vascular disease
  2. Outline and differentiate conditions that lead to ventilatory failure, including sleep disordered breathing
  3. Outline and differentiate respiratory conditions that pertain to a particular environment or country

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 Respiratory 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.


The Respiratory 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 March 2022: £3,900
Total Course Fees for UK & International
Students for March 2022:

Application deadline - February 14th 2022

Fee payments may be made via the following options:

Date Instalments Up-Front Payments
Deposit payable
on acceptance
£650 £3900
1st May 2022 £650
1st July 2022 £650
1st Sept 2022 £650
1st Nov 2022 £650
1st Jan 2023 £650

Deposits are non-refundable

Early Bird Discount Deadline