Rheumatology MSc

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Our online Rheumatology MSc will fast-track your knowledge and skills necessary to excel in this specialised area of medicine, designed for doctors, nurses, GPs, and other allied healthcare professionals. This master's in rheumatology covers a wide range of topics, including the pathophysiology of rheumatic diseases, musculoskeletal medicine, clinical assessment and diagnosis, treatment strategies, and the latest advancements in research.

This part-time master's in rheumatology will ensure you stay updated with the most current and effective approaches to managing rheumatic conditions.

This Rheumatology MSc is flexible and completely accessible to students across the globe - through our online platform, you can study whenever and wherever is convenient for you. This makes it ideal for busy healthcare professionals who want to advance their careers while maintaining their work and personal commitments. This qualification will enhance your professional profile and open doors to a wide range of career opportunities in rheumatology.

Our master's in rheumatology has been approved by the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom (RCP), enabling graduates of this programme to receive CPD points as accredited by the RCP.

MSc Rheumatology

Next intake: September 2024Key Facts

Awarding University
University of South Wales
Exit Points
24 Months
Class Size
15 - 20
Application Deadline
30th August 2024
Course start date
2nd September 2024 (view full module dates)
100% Online
Total Fees
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This Rheumatology MSc course aims to develop professionals who can access information independently and use it to critically assess, evaluate, and disseminate the evidence base in rheumatology. In addition, the course will prepare students to take on leadership roles in rheumatology by developing problem-solving and necessary clinical skills.

Our master's in rheumatology is completely flexible, allowing you to fit your studies around your family, work, and lifestyle obligations. You will also collaborate with students from all over the world from a variety of disciplines, providing you with clinically accurate and relevant information that you can immediately apply in your clinical practice.

This master's in rheumatology is designed to meet this ever-increasing demand, and on successful completion of this flexible rheumatology course, you’ll be able to:

  • Show a systematic understanding of patient care in rheumatology.
  • Critically evaluate current research in rheumatology.
  • Maintain a critical awareness of current issues affecting the care of rheumatology patients.

Next intake: September 2024 Key Facts

Awarding University
University of South Wales
100% Online
Exit Points
24 Months
24 months
Class Size
15 - 20
Application Deadline
30th August 2024
Course start date
2nd September 2024 (view full module dates)
Total Fees

Why Study a Rheumatology Master's 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.


Expert Led

All of our programmes are authored and developed by world leading experts in their field.

Our faculty are selected due to their subject expertise, experience and teaching abilities to ensure the highest standards of educational excellence.


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 course for?

This master's 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 through our interactive online learning platform, log in daily whenever and wherever you want. No fixed timetable empowers you to study when it suits you

These usually occur within groups of 10-20 students, allowing you to clearly communicate with both your tutor and fellow students.


Our master's in rheumatology (distance learning) is a two year course, consisting of eight modules (180 credits) with the first 120 credits deriving from the [diploma in rheumatology](https://www.diploma-msc.com/p/diploma-in-rheumatology "diploma in rheumatology"). The second year of the master's in rheumatology course starts with an initial 10 week online module that will develop skills in critical appraisal and knowledge of research methodologies. Students then complete the professional project module, which consists of a 1,500 word proposal and 10,500 word professional project (dissertation).

Year 1

Module Aims
To give an overview of the current state of Rheumatology, critically examining the underpinning science, as well as the diagnosis, treatment and healthcare/organisational delivery of common rheumatic disorders.

Module Summary

  • Introduction
  • Genetics, pathophysiology and immunology of common rheumatic disorders
  • Role of the multidisciplinary team (MDT) in rheumatology services
  • Imaging in rheumatology
  • Drugs & therapeutics

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the pathophysiological science of common rheumatology disorders.
  2. Critically evaluate the contribution of the MDT services, disease activity assessments, diagnostic imaging and drugs and therapeutics used in Rheumatology.

Module Aims
To develop a critical understanding and in-depth knowledge of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and its associated disorders (polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and palindromic rheumatism).

Module Summary

  • Immunology, genetics, clinical presentation and diagnostic criteria in RA
  • Biochemistry, serology and imaging in RA
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in RA
  • Biologics in RA
  • Palindromic rheumatism, postpartum arthritis and polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically evaluate the science, diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
  2. Differentiate, diagnose and treat complex complications of rheumatoid arthritis and the associated conditions of polymyalgia rheumatica and palindromic rheumatism.

Module Aims
Develop a critical understanding and in-depth knowledge of the seronegative spectrum inflammatory disorders, crystal arthropathies and infection-associated arthritic disorders.

Module Summary

  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis & non-radiographic spondyloarthropathies
  • Reactive arthritis & enteropathic inflammatory arthritis
  • Gout & other crystal arthropathies
  • Septic arthritis & COVID-19-related autoimmune phenomena
  • Infective arthritis

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an evidence-based critique of the science, diagnosis, treatment and complications of seronegative spondyloarthropathies and other inflammatory arthropathies.
  2. Demonstrate an evidence-based critique of the science, diagnosis, treatment and complications of crystal arthropathies and infection-associated arthritic disorders.

Module Aims
Develop a critical understanding and in-depth knowledge of the wide range of connective tissue disorders (CTDs) seen in rheumatology.

Module Summary
Indicative content to include topics on a range of connective tissue disorders such as:

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Sjogren's syndrome
  • Raynaud's disease
  • Antiphospholipid syndrome
  • Vasculitis
  • Scleroderma

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the presentations, immuno-patho-physiologies, diagnostic criteria and diagnostic investigations of CTDs.
  2. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of multi-system management, disease activity assessments, potential multi-system complications of CTDs.

Module Aims
Develop a critical understanding and in-depth knowledge of multi-system rheumatic disorders, common paediatric rheumatology disorders and paraneoplastic rheumatic conditions.

Module Summary

Indicative content to include topics outlined below and/or any other relevant current topics to fulfil the module aims and learning outcomes:

  • Sarcoidosis
  • Behçet's disease
  • Myositis & anti-synthetase syndromes
  • Adult-onset Still's disease, familial Mediterranean fever and other systemic autoinflammatory disorders
  • Paediatric rheumatology
  • Paraneoplastic syndromes

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an evidence based critique of the science, diagnosis, treatment and complications of complex multi-system rheumatic disorders.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to assess and manage common Paediatric rheumatological disorders.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to assess and manage the relation of adult rheumatic disorders and cancers (paraneoplastic associations).

Module Aims
Develop a critical understanding and in-depth knowledge of a range of non-inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders.

Module Summary
Indicative content to include topics outlined below and/or any other relevant current topics to fulfil the module aims and learning outcomes:

  • Soft tissue disorders
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hypermobility syndromes
  • Osteoporosis & other metabolic bone disorders
  • Metabolic & neurogenic disorders

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically appraise the clinical assessment and diagnosis of common rheumatological non-inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders.
  2. Critically appraise the current management strategies of common rheumatological non-inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders.

Year 2

Module Aims
To prepare students for an independent research-based project by developing skills in selecting, appraising, discriminating, using evidence and appropriate research/investigative methods to address relevant topics for investigation.

Module Summary:
Indicative content to include topics outlined below and/or any other relevant current topics to fulfil the module aims and learning outcomes:

  • Quantitative Studies
  • Statistical Analysis Interpretation
  • Interpreting the Evidence
  • Meta-analysis and Systematic Reviews
  • Qualitative Studies
  • Evidence Appraisal: Interpreting, Weighing and Synthesising the Evidence
  • Audit, Governance and Quality Improvement, Health Economics
  • Preparing a Research Proposal: Research Committees, Consent, Ethics, Probity and Literature Review

Learning outcomes:

  1. Critically analyse and interpret research to assess its application to delivery/service development.
  2. Select and apply different methodological approaches and tools to answer research questions in your field of practice.

Module Aims
To formulate the research question that you seek to answer. To develop an ability to critically evaluate areas of professional practice. To critically appraise specific areas of clinical, research and organisational practice. To develop skills in independent research and study. To develop skills relevant to scientific publications.

Module Summary

The module will depend on the creation of a piece of work based upon a specific rheumatology-related project relevant to the student’s practice. This project may comprise:

  • Systematic literature review and appraisal of the evidence
  • Audit of non-patient data/organisational audit
  • Review and implementation of evidence-based practice
  • Literature review and qualitative or quantitative research proposal
  • Case(s)-based and quality of service review with critical appraisal
  • Case report, review of literature and organisational assessment
  • Secondary data analysis

Learning outcomes:

  1. Design and undertake a research and development project related to rheumatology in order to produce an extensive piece of literature which may be suitable for peer-reviewed publication.
  2. Critically evaluate practice and suggest improvements or change in a rheumatology setting.
  3. Incorporate knowledge of the research process in developing rheumatology services appropriately.

Assessment Methods

The master's 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 first seven modules on the master's in rheumatology 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.

For the final module of the MSc in rheumatology course you will be required to produce a piece of work based upon a project that is relevant to your practice.

Once you have selected a specific project, you will submit a project summary/proposal of approximately 1,500 words. Following the approval of your proposal you will then complete a 10,500 word professional project.

To produce the professional project you will continue to study online. Much of the work is self-directed, however you will receive guidance from your tutor throughout the module.

Due to the online nature of the Rheumatology MSc, 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.

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.

Year 1

  • Every week students are presented with two/three clinical case-based scenarios that are reflective of every day clinical practice and research.
  • Tutors 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.

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.

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.
  • 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.

Year 2

This module runs over an 8 week period and is designed to develop skills in critical appraisal and knowledge of research methodologies. The module consists of mandatory formative assessment activities to support your learning and development prior to the Professional Project module.

  • Students will work with their supervisor to submit a professional project proposal for their chosen topic.

  • Students will deliver an abstract (1000 words) outlining their proposal and, if deemed necessary, develop and submit documentation for the University’s ethical committee approval.

  • Students will create a dissertation, the theme of which has been developed in discussion with their tutor.
  • Supervision will normally involve direct online support involving planned progress, supporting research activity and reading student work.
  • Supervisors and students will agree on a communications plan, which may involve emails or online chats. Some students may employ the use of freely available chat or audio conferencing facilities for live discussion with supervisors.
  • Students will have access to online forums where they can develop their research capabilities together.
  • All communications with tutors will be logged on the Professional Project forum by the student, and consist of brief summaries of discussion.

Entry requirements

Since our master's in rheumatology course is 100% online, it's 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 admissions@diploma-msc.com for more information on the qualifications we accept.

Course Fees

Total Course Fees for UK & International Students for September 2024:
Application deadline - TBC

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

DateInstalmentsUp-Front Payments
1st November 2024£816
1st January 2025£816
1st March 2025£816
1st May 2025£816
1st July 2025£816
1st September 2025£733
1st November 2025£733
1st January 2026£733
1st March 2026£733
1st May 2026£733
1st July 2026£735

† Deposits are non-refundable
†† Prices are subject to review following each intake

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

*Subject to eligibility criteria.


Learna | Diploma MSc has a partnership with Lendwise which is a leading private student loan provider, to help UK students fund their course fees should they 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.*

*Other sources of funding are available.
Learna | Diploma MSc does not offer financial advice, recommend or endorse any financial product. You should always check the suitability of the product that is of interest to you. If you are in any doubt as to its suitability, we suggest that you seek independent professional advice.

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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.

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