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Neonatal Medicine (MSc)

This programme provides a highly marketable academic qualification for hospital practitioners and trainees, nursing, paramedical and other professionals who are involved in the multidisciplinary care of neonates and very young children.

The MSc in Neonatal Medicine is open to all qualified medical doctors, nurse practitioners and other health professionals who have completed the Cardiff University Postgraduate Diploma in Neonatal Medicine. 

The MSc is a part-time distance learning course that focuses on the study of problems and approaches specific to neonatal health.  As a result of the numerous anatomical and physiological changes occurring as a child develops, similar conditions can have very different clinical presentations and pathologies at different ages.  This has implications for risk-benefit analysis and the ethics involved in choices faced by professionals and parents.  The course therefore aims to provide training and education in the identification, critical appraisal, planning and implementation of more effective treatments based on a sound knowledge of relevant research evidence, clinical practice, anatomy and pathophysiology.

During the MSc dissertation, targeted learning resources will support the development of competencies required to research a topic in depth and present findings in a robust, academic format.

Distinctive features

  • The distance and e-learning format allows clinicians to learn while doing busy jobs and achieve a high quality higher degree
  • The active involvement of clinical neonatologists ensures there is both academic rigour and relevance to day to day clinical work.

Key facts

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

Admissions criteria

To be eligible, applicants must have completed the Cardiff University Postgraduate Diploma in Neonatal Medicine.

In addition to satisfying the Cardiff University General Entrance Requirement, including English Language requirements, applicants will normally be:

  • Qualified medical doctors holding the clinical professional qualification recognised as the required entry qualification for their clinical profession (i.e. MB.ChB. or equivalent).
  • Qualified Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (ANNP) holding the clinical professional qualification recognised as the required entry qualification for their clinical profession (i.e. BN or equivalent) and in addition the training qualifying them to work as an ANNP (BSc / BSc and Postgraduate Certificate at MSc level / MSc, or equivalent). 

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

Entry to the MSc (dissertation stage) is dependent upon successful completion of the Cardiff University Postgraduate Diploma in Neonatal Medicine (not more than three years prior to the date you are applying to start the MSc) and competitive selection including an interview (Skype / telephone / in person).

The MSc consists of one stage, post-Diploma – Stage R (research dissertation).

Stage R continues for a further academic year after the Postgraduate Diploma, making a total of three academic years for the full MSc (stages T1, T2 from Postgraduate Diploma and MSc stage R), and includes a 20,000-word dissertation of 60 credits at Level 7, to achieve a total of at least 180 credits (including 120 credits from the Postgraduate Diploma) at Level 7 to complete the MSc programme.

The dissertation, 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 the Cardiff University Postgraduate Diploma in Neonatal Medicine) 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

Module titleModule codeCredits
Respiratory Care in Neonatal MedicineMET85120 credits
Cardiovascular Care in Neonatal MedicineMET85220 credits
Critical Care in NeonatesMET85320 credits

Year two

Year three

Module titleModule codeCredits
Dissertation: Neonatal MedicineMET85060 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 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. Supporting, formative material on research methods is delivered online via Cardiff University’s online learning platform.

How will I be supported?

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


Students will receive feedback throughout the duration of the programme from their supervisor/tutors. Formative feedback will be communicated through electronic and written means in a timely manner. Summative feedback on assessment will be delivered within the timeframes set by the University.

How will I be assessed?

The MSc dissertation stage will be wholly assessed based on the final dissertation. Expectations for the format, submission and marking of the dissertation will follow the current Senate Assessment Regulations, supplemented where appropriate with additional requirements of the Programme/School/College and any specific requirements arising from the nature of the project undertaken.

What skills will I practise and develop?

By fully engaging in this course, you will have the opportunity to develop a wealth of skills and abilities 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, in 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 project you will have the opportunity to develop and enhance skills in aspects such as literature review, critical evaluation, research design, research methodologies, data collection, data analysis and research principles.

In addition to the outcomes from the pre-requisite Postgraduate Diploma in Neonatal Medicine, by fully engaging in this course, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of specialised and/or complex area(s) of study, and an ability to relate these to the subject chosen and their own professional context.
  • Describe clearly the work carried out supported by cogent, evidence-based arguments to corroborate the conclusions drawn.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and critical analysis of a level commensurate with Master’s level (QAA level 7) study research projects.
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate and apply new ideas and concepts to your own professional setting.
  • Systematically review literature and other evidence sources demonstrating critical analysis, synthesis and reflection to evaluate the strength and provenance of evidence.
  • Explain clearly the methods used in the project and justify the choice of methods based on available evidence and logical argument.
  • Deal with complex issues systematically and creatively.
  • Demonstrate problem solving and/or decision making abilities in utilising evidence effectively and communicating important concepts.
  • Explore a topic relevant to Neonatal Medicine and write a comprehensive project report that demonstrates good practice in research/audit and contributes to the development of the body of knowledge and/or clinical practice in the field.

This programme is aimed at those who have completed the Diploma in Neonatal Medicine and wish to complete a research project or literature review to expand their academic knowledge on the subject.

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.

As this programme is three years or over in duration and has a one year full time equivalent you will not be eligible for a postgraduate loan. The UK Government has more information about eligibility for postgraduate loans.

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.