Postgraduate Diploma in Rheumatology

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This UEMS and EULAR accredited postgraduate diploma in rheumatology course aims to create professionals who can independently access information and use the information to critically assess, evaluate, and disseminate the evidence base related to rheumatology. It will develop problem-solving and clinical skills together with preparing students to take a leadership role in rheumatology. This diploma in rheumatology is fully flexible and you can complete your studies around your family, work and lifestyle commitments. You will also work with students from all over the world from a range of disciplines giving you clinically accurate and relevant information you can take straight into your clinical practice.

PgDip Rheumatology

Next intake: 2022 SeptemberKey Facts

Awarding University
University of South Wales
Class Size
15 - 20
Application Deadline
15th August 2022
Course start date
5th September 2022 (view full module dates)
100% Online
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Ailments associated with rheumatology are common throughout a wide range of the population. As a result of this, healthcare professionals need to be familiar with rheumatological related conditions.

Having specialist knowledge in the field of rheumatology is an increasingly important role and responsibility of medical personnel globally.

Our 100% online and fully flxible diploma in rheumatology course is designed to meet this ever growing need. On completion of the diploma in rheumatology, graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the care of patients in rheumatology
  • Critically evaluate current research in rheumatology
  • Apply a critical awareness of current issues affecting the care of patients undertaking rheumatology treatments
  • Much more…

Next intake: 2022 September Key Facts

Awarding University
University of South Wales
100% Online
12 months
Class Size
15 - 20
Application Deadline
15th August 2022
Course start date
5th September 2022 (view full module dates)

Why Study a Rheumatology Postgraduate Diploma 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.


100% Flexible

Our courses are 100% online. No fixed study times mean you can log in and learn whenever and wherever.

Multidisciplinary - study in a group of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.



No physical campus means we can offer world-leading programmes at the most competitive prices.

Get a PgDip from £3,900 or an MSc from £7,500 - the most affordable courses of their kind in the UK.


Career Boosting

Get a University Validated postgraduate qualification in just 1 calendar year instead of 2 academic years.

40% of our alumni reported an increase in salary 2 years after studying with us.

Who is this Diploma course for?

This Postgraduate Diploma in Rheumatology is aimed at health professionals who are interested in a leadership role including:

  • Doctors
  • GPs
  • Allied Health Professionals
  • Practice Nurses
  • Those with related undergraduate degrees (e.g. Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Occupational Therapists, Pharmacists) or equivalent professional qualifications and background experience.

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.


Our online post graduate diploma in rheumatology 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 Epidemiology, Pathophysiology and the science in rheumatological disorders.

Module Summary

  • The evolution of rheumatology as a speciality including notable people with rheumatological disorders throughout history and the representation of rheumatology within art
  • Epidemiology and economic impact
  • Pathophysiology of rheumatology disorders
  • Science in rheumatology (Including immunology, genetics and biomechanics)

Learning Outcomes

  1. Extract evidence of the evolution of the rheumatology speciality from art, history and science.
  2. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the pathophysiology and science of rheumatology disorders.
  3. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the epidemiology and global impact of rheumatology conditions.
  4. Have the ability to critically appraise the health and economic consequences of rheumatology.

Module Aims
To develop a critical understanding of diagnostics, treatment and care of rheumatology patients, including the appreciation of the multidisciplinary team involved.

Module Summary

  • Patient treatment pathways, triage and the role of primary care
  • What is the Multidisciplinary Team?
  • The Role of Alternative and Complementary treatments
  • Understanding, recognition and care of the Psychological aspects of the disorders (Psyche meets the Soma)
  • Patient education and management of their concerns
  • Self-Management techniques, support groups, use of social media and consequences of the digital age

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an ability to critically appraise the multidisciplinary approach to the management of rheumatological treatment.
  2. Demonstrate active engagement in the evolving role of the rheumatology healthcare professional in the digital age for improved patient treatment and care.
  3. Apply appropriate patient education and management techniques in complex clinical situations.
  4. Incorporate knowledge of the psychological aspects of Rheumatology disorders into clinical practice.

Module Aims
To develop critical knowledge and understand the scientific basis for therapeutic interventions available for the patient with a rheumatological disorder.

Module Summary

  • Self Management Techniques, over the counter alternative medicine
  • Portal of entry care
  • Specialist treatments in secondary care setting
  • Horizon scanning and scientific rationale of new treatments
  • Non drug therapeutic treatments
  • Cooperative management

Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply knowledge of the wide range of drug and therapeutics available to select the appropriate management choices for rheumatology patients in clinical practice.
  2. Demonstrate in depth knowledge and understanding of the scientific basis for therapeutics in rheumatology treatment.
  3. Critically evaluate information on emerging treatment pathways, including drug and non-drug therapies for rheumatology.

Module Aims
To critically analyse the diagnostic and management approaches in inflammatory arthritis.

Module Summary

  • Diagnosis approach to a patient first presenting with rheumatology symptoms
  • Differential diagnosis of Inflammatory Arthritis
  • The role of laboratory tests and imaging
  • The range of inflammatory arthritides including paediatric inflammatory arthritis
  • Non rheumatological disorders presenting to the rheumatology specialist

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the diagnosis and management of a patient presenting with joint pain or loss of function.
  2. Demonstrate in depth knowledge and understanding of inflammatory arthritis and its diagnosis.
  3. Critically evaluate diagnostic techniques used in the clinical setting.

Module Aims
To provide in depth understanding of the wide range of connective tissue disorders, their protein manifestations and the approaches to patients with possible connective tissue disease, with an emphasis on diagnosis and management.

Module Summary
Covering the modes of presentation of a patient with possible connective tissue disease or vasculitis.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the wide range of connective tissue disorders and their protean manifestations.
  2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the diagnosis and management of connective tissue disorders.
  3. Differentiate between the various modes of presentation in the patient with possible connective tissue diseases.

Module Aims
To develop the in depth knowledge and understanding of soft tissue, hypermobility and connective tissue disorders, degenerative arthritis and traumatic conditions.

Module Summary

  • Biomechanical Principles
  • Bone Biochemistry
  • Hypermobility and associated connective tissue disorders
  • Osteoarthritis/ degenerative disorders
  • Traumatic conditions
  • Crystal arthropathies

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the complexities of a wide range of soft tissue disorders, hypermobility and connective tissue disorders, degenerative arthritis and crystal arthropathies, traumatic conditions.
  2. Demonstrate a critical approach to the diagnosis and management of patients with these conditions/disorders.

Assessment Methods

The postgraduate diploma in rheumatology 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 diploma in rheumatology 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.

  • 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 rheumatology courses are 100% 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 for more information on the qualifications we accept.

Course Fees

Total Course Fees for UK & International Students for September 2022:
Application deadline - 15th August 2022

Option 1: Upfront Payment in full. Option 2: Interest free payments every other month for the duration of the course.

DateInstalmentsUp-Front Payments
Deposit payable on acceptance†£650£650
1st November 2022£650£3,250
1st January 2023£650
1st March 2023£650
1st May 2023£650
1st July 2023£650

† Deposits are non-refundable

Option 3: Lower monthly payments by spreading the cost for between 2 and 8 years with our lending partner Lendwise.

*Subject to eligibility criteria.


Learna | Diploma MSc has a partnership with Lendwise who is a leading private student loan provider, to help you fund your course fees should you require financing. Lendwise is a UK-based education finance platform through which candidates can fund their postgraduate and professional qualification studies at leading educational institutions.

A Lendwise loan comes with a fixed interest rate for the duration of the loan (between 2 and 8 years) and no early repayment penalties. The interest rate offered will depend on the overall applicant profile and the application process is entirely online.

Talk To Our Students

Why Learna

We have over 10 years’ experience delivering online diploma 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.

Connect with multidisciplinary people around the world to expand your insights & broaden your career prospects.

Our programmes produce 90% fewer emissions than campus-based learning.

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