Clinical Dermatology (MSc)

Designed for doctors with at least one year of general medical experience, this MSc offers a structured education in dermatology and gives a firm grounding in the fundamentals of clinical and scientific dermatology. It gives priority to clinical instruction, but also emphasises the scientific content of dermatology.

The MSc in Clinical Dermatology is designed specifically for doctors with a special interest in dermatology after gaining at least one year of general medical experience.

The course aims to give a firm grounding in the fundamentals of clinical and scientific dermatology, with priority given to clinical instruction but also an emphasis on the scientific content of dermatology.

It is particularly suitable for overseas medical graduates, but is also appropriate as an additional course to contribute to any dermatology specialist training programme. Most students are self-funded, though some obtain awards from the British Council, respective Governments, Commonwealth Universities Scholarships and employers.

The MSc comprises seven modules delivered using face-to-face teaching at the Welsh Institute of Dermatology at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, UK.

Distinctive features

  • Weekly observational clinical placements in local dermatology centres.
  • Lectures from international guest speakers.
  • Skills workshops, including practical skin surgery sessions.

The course is also accredited by Hong Kong College of Family Physicians and Hong Kong Medical Association.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration1 year
QualificationMSc
ModeFull-time
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

Applicants must be qualified in medicine and have a minimum of one year's post-qualification general medical experience.

English Language Requirements: A score of 7.0 IELTS (with 7.0 in all subtests) or equivalent qualification.

In your personal statement, please state why you wish to do the course and how it will help you in your future career.

Decisions will be made on a continuous basis throughout the year on the basis of your written application and the references received. Places are limited, so early application is recommended.

The MSc is a full-time course, consisting of two stages.  It involves attending daily teaching sessions, Monday to Friday, and some Saturdays.

Stage 1 is the teaching stage. It lasts for eight months, and consists of six 20-credit modules, totalling 120 credits, at Level 7.

Stage 2, the dissertation stage, lasts for a further four months, to a total of one academic year, and will include a dissertation of 60 credits at Level 7, to achieve a combined total of 180 credits at Level 7 to complete the MSc programme.

You may leave the course after successfully completing 60 credits with a Postgraduate Certificate, or after successfully completing 120 credits with a Postgraduate Diploma. 

The dissertation is based on a literature-review and normally not more than 20,000 words supported by such other material as may be considered appropriate to the subject and should include the results of your period of project work. The dissertation is worth 60 credits and is weighted 50% for the purpose of calculating your final mark.

For the taught modules stage, students are required to attend daily teaching sessions (Monday-Friday, including some Saturdays).

Topic areas could include: clinical immunology, cosmetic dermatology, cutaneous manifestations of systemic diseases, diagnostic techniques, disorders of skin and mucous membranes, environmental factors, evidence based medicine, immunology and biology, inflammatory dermatology, microbiology of the skin, photobiology, pigmented skin diseases, practical skills, research methods, skin cancer, skin histopathology, surgical intervention, tropical skin diseases.

A practical skills module runs throughout the duration of Stage 1 of the course. This is supported by significant patient interaction. You will be allocated to the Dermatology Day Treatment Unit for a 1 – 2 week period for practical clinical experience. You will be required to attend regular general outpatient dermatology clinics in Cardiff and the surrounding area. There are also day visits to other dermatology centres in Wales.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

The course is delivered via:

  • Lectures.
  • Workshops.
  • Self-directed learning.
  • Journal clubs.
  • Clinical attachments.

All course tutors are doctors, other health care professionals, and scientists, who collectively have a wealth of experience and skills in dermatology. To take advantage of this valuable resource, the course promotes collaborative small group work with an emphasis on a problem-based approach to the study of dermatology. Didactic methods such as the lecture format are also utilised on the programme. There is emphasis on clinical teaching in the form of demonstrations in clinics, on the Dermatology Day Care Treatment Centre, in clinical workshops and interactive clinical tutorials.

How will I be supported?

All modules within the programme make extensive use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Learning Central, on which you will find course materials, links to related materials and support resources.  You will be allocated a nominated supervisor when undertaking your dissertation, who will schedule regular meetings to discuss progress, provide advice and guidance, and give written feedback on a draft.

There will be opportunities to reflect on your abilities and performance through scheduled meetings with your personal tutor.

Feedback

Depending on the module and assessments, feedback may include:

  • Written comments on assessments.
  • Oral feedback in lectures, seminars, and tutorials.
  • Oral feedback in clinical situations.
  • Sample answers.
  • Whole-class general feedback.
  • Peer feedback, either formally as part of an assessment task or informally outside of the classroom.
  • Meetings with personal and/or academic tutors.
     

How will I be assessed?

The course is assessed through a combination of written work, presentations, objective structured questions, mini clinical exams and a dissertation.

Students are not required to be called for a viva voce examination.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The course will provide you with the opportunity to gain a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’.

Through the programme, you will have the opportunity to develop IT and practical medical skills, and will be presented with a number of opportunities to extend your communication and analytical skills.

 By fully engaging in this course, you should also be able to:

  • Critically appraise dermatology literature and evaluate the integration of evidence-based medicine in patient management.
  • Interpret the histopathology of a wide range of dermatological conditions with specific reference to current developments in the area.
  • Investigate, conceptualise and solve diagnostic problems integrating the history and clinical features of a wide range of dermatological conditions, including problematic situations involving many interacting factors.
  • Critically appraise management plans and develop broad autonomy and judgement for a wide variety of dermatological conditions.
  • Critically evaluate actions, methods and results and their short and long-term implications.
  • Take responsibility for diagnostic and management decisions in clinical dermatology, persuading / influencing colleagues as to appropriate clinical care using sound scientific principles and best available evidence.
  • Plan and organise a literature review in a coherent and scientific manner on a specific topic in dermatology.
  • Design and undertake research, development or strategic activities to inform the theory and practice of dermatology, determining and using appropriate methodologies and approaches.
  • Feel confident in treating and managing patients with skin disease.

Some graduates of this course have pursued a career as academic lecturers and consultant dermatologists while some of our international graduates have gone on to work in private practice or high governmental positions in their own countries.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Additional costs

While most of the costs are incorporated in the fee structure, there may be additional costs for transportation to clinical attachments. Additionally there may be a cost for students requiring English Language proof reading for the dissertation or other written assessments.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

Students will need a computer with Internet access and up-to-date virus and malware protection. An up-to-date, suitably secured web browser and Adobe Reader will be required to view course materials. A word processor, compatible with Microsoft Word, will be required to complete the summative and formative exercises.  Other software may also be useful at some points in the programme for conducting data collection/analysis, for instance Microsoft Excel.

Weekly observational clinical placements in local dermatology centres.