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Clinical Photography (PgCert)

  • Duration: 14 months
  • Mode: Part time distance learning

Start date

Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

If you are a practising photographer working in a healthcare setting, this programme offers you the opportunity to extend your knowledge and understanding of the profession and the context in which it is practised.


Leading research

Our research is ranked 4th overall in the UK and 1st for Research Environment in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment.


Learning community

You will work in a supportive yet independent environment.


High-quality teaching

You will learn in an organisation with over 40 years of established history of clinical photography/medical illustration education.


Accredited programme

Our programme is accredited by the Institute of Medical Illustrators.


Professional registration

Upon graduating you will be eligible to apply for full membership to the Institute of Medical Illustrators and professional registration.

This course offers clinical photographers the opportunity to extend their knowledge and understanding of the profession and the context in which it is practised.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Photography is a 14-month, part-time distance learning course. It is one of only two part-time distance learning courses in the UK on offer to photographers employed in healthcare and it is the only course that supplements distance learning with face-to-face teaching.

Through a combination of theory and practice-based assignments, delivered through e-learning and face-to-face teaching methods, you will have the opportunity to advance your photographic skills and critical thinking through evidence-based, reflective practice.


Where you'll study

School of Healthcare Sciences

Our courses are designed to provide you with the knowledge and experience you need to embark on a professional healthcare career.

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  • Telephone+44(0) 29 2068 7538
  • MarkerUniversity Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XN

Admissions criteria

In order to be admitted to the course, you will need an Honours degree in photography or relevant media related subject, which has a concentration on photography, or a minimum of two years relevant work experience, which must be in accordance with the Programme Regulations.

Students whose first language is not English will be required to pass an IELTS test. Please see our English Language Requirements guidance for more details.

Candidates must work in a clinical setting that can enable the learning outcomes of the course to be met. You must currently be employed as a photographer within a healthcare environment, where you take clinical photographs for patient care. Candidates are required to be in employment for the duration of the course.

As part of your online application, you must provide a personal statement that addresses the following:

  • Why have you selected this programme?
  • What interests you about the programme?
  • Any relevant experience related to the programme or module content.
  • How you plan to use the qualification in your career.
  • How you and your profession will benefit from your studies.
  • Why you feel you should be given a place on the programme.

Application deadline: End of July of each academic year.  Your application will be considered after this date but it may be for a later intake.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

The course commences every September and is delivered via e-learning through Cardiff University’s virtual learning environment. Although the programme is distance learning, it is supplemented by face-to-face teaching methods. Students are expected to attend three study periods in Cardiff, totalling eight days. Four days at the start of the course in September, two days in November and a further two days in June. During the study days, you will be taught through face-to-face teaching sessions, group discussions, student presentations and workshops. Students are required to have regular one-to-one tutorials with their tutor to discuss their work in progress.

The course consists of two compulsory 30 credit modules.


The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.

Year one

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.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

Through a mixture of three face-to-face study day periods totalling 8 days (4, 2 and 2 days respectively) in Cardiff and self-directed distance learning supported with on-line learning materials.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment methods for the two modules include a work-based project, essays, a poster and a clinical photography portfolio.

How will I be supported?

Each student will be allocated a personal tutor for academic and pastoral support. At the start of the course, students are also made aware that should they wish, they are able to contact any of the course staff for academic or pastoral issues.

Academic support for students

At the start of the course each studentis asigned a tutor, with whom he or she are encouraged to have regular contact with.  The personal tutor provides support by discussing the student's progress, providing advice and guidance. 

Mechanisms to be employed for monitoring the academic progress of students

The students’ academic progress will be monitored by their contribution and engagement to discussions on Learning Central and also during the face-to-face study days in Cardiff. Formative and summative assessments will indicate students’ progress. As will a student’s engagement with their tutor and performance in tutorials.

Pastoral support for students including:              

The personal tutor system
The personal tutor also offers pastoral support to students, by guiding them to the relevant person(s) and/or support service(s). Cardiff University Support Services provide high levels of support for overseas students in academic and pastoral matters.

Personal development planning for students
All students will receive written feedback on summative assessments and they will be expected to reflect and learn from this. Students have the opportunity to reflect on their learning during the planning, development and evaluation stages of formative assessments. Whilst attending the face-to-face study days in Cardiff the students’ will also partake in cohort tutorials. As part of the programme, the students will be required to produce a clinical photography portfolio as a summative assessment. On successful completion of the course students are eligible for full membership of the IMI and entry onto the CAMIP register.

Support for students studying away from the institution including:
Teaching and learning material will be accessible to the students via Learning Central. Students will be encouraged to make use of, and contribute to, Learning Central’s discussion board, where they will receive peer and academic staff support and feedback. The course handbook, the School of Healthcare Sciences Handbook and the Cardiff University Academic Handbook will support the students in their learning experience. Also, the students have access to Cardiff University’s library and IT services, which are essential to their studies.

Support for overseas students (where applicable)
This is a distance learning course and all students will receive the same support and access. If additional support is required the University’s Support Services provide high levels of support for overseas students in academic and pastoral matters.

Other mechanisms for providing pastoral support for students

Cardiff University Support Services provide high levels of support for overseas students in academic and pastoral matters.


We will provide you with feedback on your work in a variety of formats.  These will include oral feedback during lectures, written feedback provided through online module discussion forums, and electronic feedback on assessed coursework through GradeMark.  You can discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor.

What skills will I practise and develop?

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

  • Evaluate the clinical photographer’s role within the healthcare context and the contribution of clinical photography to patient care, healthcare education and research.
  • Demonstrate and critique a range of imaging modalities and techniques in the recording of medical conditions.
  • Evaluate legal, ethical and patient management considerations relevant to clinical photography practice, demonstrating understanding of their impact on the professional practice of a clinical photographer.
  • Appraise clinical photography and/or wider medical illustration practice, through evidence-based research and critical reflection.
  • Formulate and coherently communicate ideas, principles and arguments through written, oral and practical means.

You will have the opportunity to practise and develop discipline specific, academic and transferable skills. These include the following subject-specific skills:

  • Communication skills with patients and healthcare professionals
  • Photographic skills
  • Discipline specific skills dependent upon students’ chosen area of research.

Additionally, students will have the opportunity to acquire the following academic skills:

  • Information search and retrieval
  • Reflective practice
  • Presentation skills
  • Communications skills
  • Learning strategies.

The skills practised and developed on the course are transferable across a range of clinical photography practice.

Tuition fees for 2021 entry

Students from the UK

Fees will be invoiced by module. Normally, invoices will be released shortly after enrolment for each individual module. For more information please refer to our tuition fees pages.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, unless you qualify for UK fee status, tuition fees for 2021/22 will be in line with the fees charged for international students. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Students from the rest of the world (international)

Fees will be invoiced by module. Normally, invoices will be released shortly after enrolment for each individual module. For more information please refer to our tuition fees pages.

Additional costs

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Careers and placements

Students enrolled on the programme are employed as photographers within the healthcare profession. Successful completion of the course will support your career progression and professional development. This course is recognised nationally, with previous clinical photography students regularly achieving success in the Institute of Medical Illustrator’s Annual Awards and presenting at the Institute’s annual conference. On graduating from the course you are eligible to apply for full membership to the Institute of Medical Illustrators and entry onto the Committee for the Accreditation of Medical Illustration Practitioners (CAMIP) Voluntary Register.


Students should already be employed in a healthcare setting and require the support of their employer and need to have access to the resources to undertake the assignments.


UK Government master’s funding

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2021 or later, you may be able to apply for UK Government postgraduate funding to support your study at Cardiff University.

Next steps


Open Day visits

Register for information about our 2021 dates.

Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.


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