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Diabetes (MSc)

The MSc in Diabetes is designed specifically for doctors and other healthcare professionals who have completed the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) in Diabetes and wish to pursue further studies in this field.

The course aims to:

  • Develop students’ critical independence and intellectual integrity with specific reference to diabetes and applied diabetes research.
  • Develop an enthusiastic and supportive online community of medical healthcare professionals with an interest in diabetes health care, linked via a learning environment that promotes clinical and academic collaboration extending beyond the life of the programme.
  • Develop an international community of doctors and other healthcare professionals equipped with the skill set to become leaders and innovators in the field of diabetes.
  • Establish a stimulating environment for research, teaching and education about diabetes.
  • Encourage a culture for training of health care professionals by the development of a network of experienced clinical teachers.

This part-time, distance-learning MSc runs over a period of 12 months. The MSc will begin with an introductory section (approximately 12 weeks) where you will be able to develop your knowledge and skills in analysis methodologies, critical appraisal and scientific writing.

You will then proceed to writing your Master’s dissertation of up to 20,000 words over the remainder of the year. 

This can be in the form of either:

  • Primary data analysis using an existing dataset (to which either the student or the supervisor has access and all appropriate ethical and legal clearance to use),

  • A systematic literature review with appraisal of published evidence, leading to guideline development.

Distinctive features

  • A stimulating environment for research, teaching and education about diabetes.
  • An enthusiastic and supportive online community of medical healthcare professionals with an interest in diabetes health care, linked via a learning environment.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration3 years
ModePart-time - distance learning
Other ways to study this course

Admissions criteria

Students must have completed the Cardiff University Postgraduate Diploma in Diabetes with a Merit or Distinction. 

Note: The modules taught as part of the Diabetes PgDip course are also available as standalone modules. 

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

The MSc course consists of one stage (post-diploma) – “stage R” (research dissertation stage), which lasts for 12 months (inclusive of 12 week introductory section) and will include a dissertation of 60 credits at Level 7, to achieve a combined total of 180 credits (including 120 credits from the Postgraduate Diploma course) to achieve the MSc.

Entry to the MSc stage is available to a selected number of candidates. Your dissertation, which will normally be of not more than 20,000 words and supported by such other material as may be considered appropriate to the subject, will embody the results of your period of project work. The subject of each student’s dissertation will be approved by the Chair of the Board of Studies concerned or his/her nominee.

The dissertation is worth 60 credits and, in combination with the postgraduate diploma taught stage(s), is weighted 50% for the purpose of calculating the final mark:

Stage Weighting

Taught modules (from PG Diploma in Diabetes) -  50%

Dissertation (stage R) -50%

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

Year one

Year two

Year three

Module titleModule codeCredits
Dissertation: MSc in DiabetesMET33360 credits
Dissertation: MSc in DiabetesMET33360 credits
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?

Studies at MSc dissertation level will largely consist of guided independent study and research, making use of the extensive learning and research facilities available. A project supervisor will be allocated to support and advise you on researching and writing up your specific dissertation topic. A formative module on Research Methods will be delivered online via Cardiff University’s online learning platform, Learning Central.

All relevant course content and library resources will be available via the course website. Students will have the opportunity to give feedback on the course and inform further course developments via online surveys and representation at course board meetings.

How will I be assessed?

The introductory section of the course will be formatively assessed by the following components:

  • Weekly tutor-led scientific discussions
  • Personal portfolio
  • Group and individual contribution to a scientific ‘mini-project’.

Following completion of the introductory stage, you will proceed to complete a dissertation under the guidance of a personal supervisor. The dissertation will be formally assessed upon submission.

How will I be supported?

As the course is delivered entirely online, it provides a flexible learning environment with rapid and efficient communication between peers, tutors and administrative staff.

A steering committee provides a forum for discussion of the MSc programme. The committee, whose membership includes academic and administrative staff, a learning technologist and student representation, meets regularly in order to monitor curriculum content and delivery, and review evaluation results and procedures. All students will be contacted at the start of the course to ask for a student representative to be nominated to this committee. There is also a dedicated discussion forum on the website for student-staff issues.

A team of supervisors provide expertise in assessing and providing feedback. All students will be allocated a personal supervisor for the MSc programme with additional pastoral tutor support as required. You will be able to reflect on weekly learning, abilities and progress via entries in your personal portfolio and will receive regular feedback on individual performance from your supervisors. The supervisor will schedule regular online contact to discuss progress, provide advice and guidance, and provide written feedback on a draft prior to final submission.

Please refer to student handbook for further detail.


You will receive informal feedback on your individual performance by your personal supervisor at regular intervals throughout the introductory section, with formal feedback upon completion.

Formative feedback will be communicated through electronic and written means in a timely manner. Summative feedback on assessment will be delivered within the timeframe set by the University.

What skills will I practise and develop?

By fully engaging in this Master's level course, you will have the opportunity to gain a wealth of skills and abilities which you can apply to any professional setting. In addition to greater conceptual understanding of current knowledge, issues and methods, you will have the opportunity to practise and develop abilities in critical analysis, the application of evidence based medicine and in dealing with complex issues systematically and creatively. Your studies should also help you develop your problem-solving and decision-making abilities by enabling you to utilise evidence effectively and communicate important concepts to colleagues and others. Through the research focused elements you will have the opportunity to develop and enhance skills in literature review, critical evaluation, research design, research methodologies, data collection, data analysis and research principles.

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

  • Appraise, interpret and apply appropriate research methodologies to supplement diabetes care.
  • Evaluate a range of research methods and statistical analyses to resolve a clinical question relating to diabetes-related care.
  • Be able to apply sound principles of informed consent, research governance and data protection to clinical research studies.
  • Write effectively for the scientific literature and to complete applications for research funding.
  • Critically evaluate and interpret scientific data relating to diabetes epidemiology, investigation and management.

This Masters programme enables you to demonstrate you are taking the opportunity to develop your abilities in critical analysis, problem-solving, decision-making, finding and using evidence and in dealing with complex issues.

Whilst we do not formally assess clinical skills or competencies in a face-to-face context (so the programme is not a substitute for a formal specialty training programme), studying at this level should help successful students demonstrate numerous academic skills that should be highly regarded in relation to their career development and progression.

In particular, the programme offers opportunities to demonstrate the development of knowledge and skills in relation to the application of evidence-based medicine and the potential enhancement of services and governance frameworks. As such, it should provide evidence of commitment and potential that may assist you in relation to taking on greater responsibilities or perhaps seeking management, research, scholarship, or leadership roles.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

EU students entering in 2019/20 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

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

You will need a reliable computer with high speed Internet access (and up-to-date virus and malware protection) and appropriate software.