Rheumatology MSc

Ailments associated with rheumatology are common throughout a wide range of the population. As a result of this, all physicians 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.

Next intake: 2022 MarchKey Facts

Awarding University
University of South Wales
Commitment
20 hours a week
Class Size
15 - 20
Application Deadline
14th February 2022
Course start date
Format
100% Online
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Our MSc in Rheumatology has been developed for Doctors, GPs, Allied Health Professionals, Practice Nurses and those with related undergraduate degrees (e.g. Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Occupational Therapists, Pharmacists) or equivalent professional qualifications and background experience.

The MSc 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.

On completion of the rheumatology online course graduates will be able to:

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


Next intake: 2022 March Key Facts

Awarding University
University of South Wales
Commitment
20 hours a week
Duration
24 months
Class Size
15 - 20
Application Deadline
14th February 2022
Course start date
Format
100% Online

Why Study 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.

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Distance learning allows us to work with the worldwide industry-leading professionals.

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

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

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Learning environment

Learn 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.

15:1 student tutor ratio. We have a 92% student satisfaction rate.

Who is this course for?

This MSc in Rheumatology is aimed at health professionals who are interested in a leadership role including Doctors, GPs, Allied Health Professionals, Practice Nurses and 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.

Curriculum

The Rheumatology MSc is a two year course, consisting of eight modules (180 credits) with the first 120 credits deriving from the Postgraduate Diploma. The second year of the Rheumatology Masters 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 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.

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 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 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 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
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.

Year 2

Module Aims
To help students recognise, understand, interpret and apply methods used in healthcare research and critically appraise the various methodologies specific to Rheumatology research.

Module Summary:

  • Basic terminology used in epidemiology and research studies such as prevalence, incidence, sensitivity, specificity, false positive and false negatives.
  • Interpreting graphical representation of epidemiological and statistical data such as Kaplan-Meier Curves, Forrest Plots and Meta-analyses.
  • Calculations used in the assessment of research data such as relative risk, absolute risk, number needed to treat.
  • Basic statistical tests and their applications including t-Tests, ANOVA, Chi-Square.
  • Methodologies as applied to rheumatology research.
  • Fundamentals of evidence based practice and its application into the clinical setting.
  • Establishing patient registers and the value of disease specific registers.
  • Research into educational principles for both health care practitioner and patient.
  • Understanding what may work for the patient as well as the educator.

On completion of this module the student should be able to:

  1. Interpret research in rheumatology medicine.
  2. Display a critical understanding of the clinical implications of research and its impact upon healthcare delivery and service development.
  3. Implement evidence based practice into care.

Module Aims

  • 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 clinically related project relevant to the student’s practice.

This project may comprise:

  • Literature review and appraisal of the evidence
  • Audit of practice including organisational or clinical
  • Review and implementation of evidence-based practice
  • Qualitative or quantitative research (formal research involving human subjects is not anticipated)
  • Case(s)-based and quality of service review with critical appraisal
  • Case report, review of literature and organisational assessment

On completion of this module the student should be able to:

  1. Produce an extensive piece of literature which may be suitable for peer-reviewed publication.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to recognise and implement good practice.
  3. Critically evaluate practice and suggest improvements or change.
  4. Incorporated knowledge of the research process in developing services appropriately.

Assessment Methods

The Rheumatology MSc 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 first seven 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. 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 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 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.

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.
  • 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.

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 a 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 consists of brief summaries of discussion.

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 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.

Should you have already successfully completed the 1 year Postgraduate Diploma and wish to convert to the MSc and complete only the second year of the programme this is possible. Please contact our admissions department [email protected] to find out more.

Should you have already successfully completed the 1 year Postgraduate Diploma and wish to convert to the MSc and complete only the second year of the programme this is possible. Please contact our admissions department [email protected] to find out more.

Course Fees

Total Course Fees for UK & International Students for March 2022:
£7,800
Application deadline - 7th March 2022

Fee payments may be made via the following options:

DateInstalmentsUp-Front Payments
Deposit payable on acceptance†£650£650
1st May 2022£650£7,150
1st July 2022£650
1st September 2022£650
1st November 2022£650
1st January 2023£650
1st March 2023£650
1st May 2023£650
1st July 2023£650
1st September 2023£650
1st November 2023£650
1st January 2024£650

† Deposits are non-refundable

Why Learna

We have over 10 years’ experience delivering online 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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