Respiratory Medicine Postgraduate Diploma

Team: Respiratory Medicine Team
In partnership with: University of South Wales

The Postgraduate Diploma in Respiratory Medicine is the only online Postgraduate Diploma in Respiratory Medicine, which offers progression to an online MSc. Course Code: QPDP009

Next Intake: 2019 Sept

Course Information

Diploma MSc is a collaborative partner of the University of South Wales. On successful completion of this course, you will receive a Respiratory Medicine Postgraduate Diploma.

Delivered over one year, the online part time distance learning Postgraduate Diploma in Respiratory Medicine course is specially developed for busy health professionals. Comprising of six modules (120 credits), each of six weeks duration, the course is designed to be practical and clinically focused.

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 health care 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

The online course lasts one calendar year and is a part-time distance learning course. It consists of six modules per year, each of six weeks duration.

Aim of the module:
  • Establish an understanding of Respiratory Anatomy and Physiology and apply this to the clinical assessment and investigation of common respiratory symptoms.
Synopsis of 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).
On completion of this module the student should be able to:
  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.
Aim of the module:
  • To develop an in-depth understanding of Asthma and Allergy and its impact on patient life.
Synopsis of module content:
  • Asthma Diagnosis and Investigation
  • Allergy and anaphylaxis
  • Pharmacological management
  • Non-pharmacological / self-management
  • Co-morbidities (obesity, OSA, bronchiectasis, rhinitis, depression)
  • Difficult Asthma
On completion of this module the student should be able to:
  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
Aim of the module:
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the presentation, diagnosis and management of patients with COPD.
Synopsis of 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
On completion of this module the student should be able to:
  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
Aim of the module:
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of the presentation, investigation and management of thoracic malignancy and pleural disease
Synopsis of 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)
On completion of this module the student should be able to:
  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
Aim of the module:
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of pulmonary infection, its investigation and management
Synopsis of 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
On completion of this module the student should be able to:
  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
Aim of the module:
  • To develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of interstitial lung disease, pulmonary vascular disease and conditions resulting in respiratory failure
Synopsis of 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
On completion of this module the student should be able to:
  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

Meet the Course Director

Respiratory Image

Dr Ramsey Sabit, BSc (Hons), MBBCh (Hons), FRCP (UK), Dip MedEd
Current post: Consultant in General and Respiratory Medicine, University Hospital Wales, Llandough

  • Consultant Respiratory physician in Cardiff for 9 years
  • Appointed COPD lead for the All Wales Respiratory Health Improvement Group
  • Clinical lead for the COPD, smoking cessation, pulmonary rehabilitation and cardiopulmonary exercise testing at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
  • Responsible for leading undergraduate and postgraduate education in respiratory medicine
  • Was appointed Honorary Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University in 2012
  • Responsible for the pastoral care of medical students through my role as an academic mentor
  • Organiser of the yearly SPR teaching week
  • Co-investigator in the Liberate study looking at the effects of endobronchial valve insertion in patients with emphysema

I keep up-to-date with all advances and evidence in my subject by reading journals and attending local, national and international conferences. I regularly teach on both the PgDip and MSc which keeps me abreast of global best practice and challenges my knowledge daily.


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 six 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 two - three clinical cases, which are designed to promote discussion within a specific clinical area. 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 reflective 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 reflective journal nor would a simple list of points learned.

For this assessment, students will work on either a group assignment 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.
  • 30 single best answer 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 journal to help students consider how the learning can be translated into everyday work and practice.

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.

Entry Requirements

Registered healthcare 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 Respiratory Medicine.

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 the University of South Wales for further details

Course Fees

Total Course Fees for UK/EU & International Students for September 2019: £3900

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

Fee payments may be made via the following options:

Date Option A Option B
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 June 2020 £650

Deposits are non-refundable

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