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Medical Toxicology (PgDip)

This programme is designed for doctors, pharmacists and other scientists who wish to develop a broad understanding of the principles underlying medical toxicology.

This Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Toxicology is a one year full-time distance learning course for medical personnel.

It is particularly designed for clinical pharmacologists in training, specialist trainees in accident and emergency medicine or acute medicine and other disciplines, and those intending to enter or already working in the pharmaceutical industry.

It is also designed for those working in poisons centres, for health professionals, including hospital and community pharmacists and for those with a degree in Life Sciences or other individuals seeking a career in the government regulatory bodies or the pharmaceutical or chemical industry.

The course aims to:

  • Introduce you to the broad principles underlying medical toxicology.
  • Seek to integrate an understanding of the mechanisms by which drugs and other chemicals produce toxic effects and how these can be predicted, treated and whenever possible, prevented.

A key aim of the teaching programme is to encourage critical thinking, as we aim to equip you with practical and factual knowledge and also provide a basic approach to toxicological problems, encouraging attitudes and abilities which will be of lasting value in the future.

Distinctive features

This is a distance learning course delivered entirely online so students can choose when and where to study.  Case studies will provide opportunities to apply the theoretical knowledge in solving problems. This course is designed to give skills to candidates working or planning to work in various toxicological fields which include clinical, laboratory, environmental and occupational and also in an advisory capacity.

The modules are the same as for the part-time distance learning Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Toxicology but are taken over a single year rather than two years. It is therefore a more intensive version and applicants will need to be confident they can commit the requisite amount of time to completing their studies before commencing. 

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration1 year
QualificationPgDip
ModeFull-time - distance learning
Other ways to study this course
Contact

Admissions criteria

Candidates will normally possess a primary degree in any science speciality awarded by a recognised institution. Your performance in previous academic courses and the relevance of the subject area and/or evidence of commitment to a career using toxicology will be used as part of the selection process.

Applicants holding differing qualifications but working in a relevant area will be considered provided they have a suitable initial qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelor’s Degree.

 

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 Postgraduate Diploma (full-time) course consists of one stage: stage T (taught). It lasts for one academic year, and consists of six 20 credit modules totalling 120 credits, at Level 7.

You may exit the course with a postgraduate certificate, after completing 60 credits, only where these include the award of credit for particular modules.

At the end of stage T, students who have obtained a minimum of 120 credits at Level 7, including the award of credit in all required modules from stage T, will be eligible for the award of Postgraduate Diploma. 

Entry to the MSc in Medical Toxicology (dissertation stage) is available to a selected number of candidates only, and eligibility is dependent upon successful completion of the Cardiff University Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Toxicology to an acceptable standard.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

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 takes advantage of home (student’s own environment) and practice-based learning techniques.
  • The course is managed and delivered via the internet through Cardiff University’s e-learning platform, Learning Central™.
  • Most of the education process is problem-orientated and there are several different integrated components to the course structure.
  • There is fortnightly reading for each module with copies of or links to key articles.
  • There are regular clinical exercises to be completed which provide the basis of in-course assessment. These are reviewed by the course tutors and you will receive feedback during the course.
  • There is a discussion forum and also a direct telephone number to ensure good communication with the University and between students.
  • Candidates are encouraged to attend a two-day Toxicology Update course organised by NPIS Cardiff to meet the course team and also fellow students in person. This is available without any extra fee.

How will I be supported?

The course is entirely delivered as a distance-learning course via Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Learning Central, on which you will find course materials, links to related materials and assessments.

All students are allocated a personal tutor, for help and support with academic and pastoral needs, who you can contact to discuss progress and to provide advice and guidance as needed.

Feedback

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.

 

How will I be assessed?

The in-course formative and summative assessment is delivered and submitted via Learning Central™. Summative assessment for each module is carried out by means of one written assignment and one set of objective test exercises (e.g. multiple-choice questions) conducted every two weeks throughout each of the modules.

The summative objective test exercises are marked in-house. Feedback and explanations of the correct answers are provided to students. This element is worth 30% of the marks for each module. The written assignment is marked by one of the programme markers and marking is moderated by a member of the course team. This element contributes the remaining 70% of the marks for the module.

What skills will I practise and develop?

By fully engaging in this course, you will have the opportunity to develop skills relevant to the diagnosis and management of patients in regard to common poisons and to advising the industry and environmental agencies in managing and preventing toxicological accidents. 

You will also have the opportunity to practise and develop a number of skills which can be transferred to your daily working life, such as the ability to use the general medical literature and become more familiar with effective and efficient search strategies used to interrogate the commonly used databases of medical literature, and to make effective use of Cardiff University’s virtual learning environment and the library facilities for distance-learning students.

In addition, by fully engaging in this course, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of common poisons and their antidotes, routes of exposure, sites of action, drug metabolism, toxicokinetics and the epidemiology of poisoning incidents.
  • Analyse the toxicity effects, features of poisoning and toxicodynamics of commonly used pharmaceuticals.
  • Identify the adverse reactions, adverse effects, interactions and toxicity in relation to a range of non-pharmaceutical medications, products, animal and plant toxins.
  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the mechanisms and risk factors relating to adverse drug reactions/interactions and design strategies to detect, manage and avoid them.
  • Critically appraise relevant aspects of current approaches to drug development and drug safety.
  • Explain the processes resulting in chemical carcinogenesis, evaluating the evidence base for our understanding of these processes.
  • Design methods for risk assessment, risk management, prevention of poisoning and improvement of practice in relation to preventative and regulatory toxicology, toxicological incidents and the role of analytical toxicology.
  • Critically assess the toxicology of the living and working environment and the roles of key regional, national and international mechanisms for managing risk and dealing with incidents.
  • Demonstrate the effective use of relevant information technology to research, synthesise and communicate evidence based approaches to the diagnosis and management of poisoning by commonly used pharmaceuticals.
  • Investigate the various diagnostic tools and management methods available for the clinical management of poisoning, evaluating the evidence base for such tools and methods.
  • Take responsibility for your use of the diagnostic tools and management methods for the diagnosis and management of poisoned patients and in formulating plans for the improvement of your current practice in relation to management of poisoning.
  • Translate your knowledge of Medical Toxicology and the principles of diagnosis and management into your clinical arena.

The course is suitable for clinical pharmacologists in training, specialist registrars in other disciplines, those working in the pharmaceutical industry, those working in the National Poisons Information Services, pharmacists, nurses and other life science graduates. The course may be of interest to individuals seeking a career in the government regulatory bodies or the pharmaceutical or chemical industry.

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 (2020/21)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,700£1,000

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 (2020/21)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£14,650£1,000

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.