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Neonatal Medicine (MSc)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • 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

Available to those who have already completed our PgDip in Neonatal Medicine, this programme provides a highly marketable academic qualification for healthcare professionals involved in the care of neonates and very young children.

The MSc in Neonatal Medicine is open to medical doctors, nurse practitioners and other health professionals involved in neonatal healthcare.  Entry to the dissertation stage for the MSc award requires completion of the Cardiff University Postgraduate Diploma in Neonatal Medicine. 

This part-time distance learning course focuses on the study of clinical problems and therapeutic approaches specific to neonatal healthcare.   The physiological and anatomical changes that occur during gestation and after birth influence clinical presentation and effective treatment strategies for sick and premature infants.  Understanding the scientific basis for neonatal healthcare is vital to clinical decision making and managing the ethical and communication challenges faced by clinical teams every day.

The course aims to  prepare clinicians to identify, critically appraise, plan and implement  more effective treatments based on a sound knowledge of relevant research evidence, clinical practice, anatomy and pathophysiology.

Distinctive features

  • The distance-learning format gives clinicians the flexibility to gain a postgraduate qualification alongside busy jobs
  • The active involvement of clinical neonatologists and academics ensures there is both scientific rigour and relevance to day to day clinical work
  • The dissertation allows students to explore an area of personal interest or relevance to their own clinical setting with the support of an academic supervisor

Where you'll study

School of Medicine

We are of the largest medical schools in UK, committed to the pursuit of improved human health through education and research.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2068 7214
  • MarkerUniversity Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XN

Admissions criteria

To be eligible, you will need to have completed the Cardiff University Postgraduate Diploma in Neonatal Medicine within the last three years. 

  • 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).

You will also need to provide evidence that you are currently registered with the professional body relevant to your profession.

English Language Requirements
IELTS with at least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all subskills or equivalent.

There is no set application deadline but we allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend that you apply as early as possible.

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

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).

The MSc stage continues for a further academic year after the Postgraduate Diploma, making a total of three academic years for the full MSc. This stage includes a 20,000-word dissertation worth 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 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 2022/23 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2022.

Year one

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.

Learning and assessment

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 our online learning platform.

How will I be assessed?

The MSc dissertation stage will be wholly assessed based on the final dissertation.

How will I be supported?

You will be 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.

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 dissertation you will have the opportunity to develop and enhance skills in 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 support 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.

Tuition fees for 2022 entry

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.

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £5,100 £1,000
Year two £5,100 None
Year three £5,100 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2022/23 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £8,200 £1,000
Year two £8,200 None
Year three £8,200 None

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

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

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.

Living costs

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

Career prospects

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 your abilities in critical analysis, problem-solving, decision-making, finding and using evidence and  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 academic skills that are likely to be highly regarded for 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 local, regional and national services and governance frameworks. As such, it should provide evidence of commitment and potential that may assist you in taking on greater responsibilities or seeking management, research, scholarship, or leadership roles.

“After working as an Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner for over 20 years I was in need of a comprehensive update. The course provided an evidence-based review of neonatal care and is an ideal foundation for a career in neonatal medicine/advanced neonatal nursing practice or as an update for experienced clinicians. Year 3 provided an opportunity to undertake a detailed project in order to enhance care. Being supported to address an issue pertaining to my own area meant that I was able to address the prevention of CPAP failure in a low dependency neonatal unit in a systematic and structured way.

The weekly release of course materials  divided into distinct parts made it easier to find short time slots to undertake the all the e-learning tasks in stages throughout the week. The shared discussion forums with tutors and fellow learners helped maintain momentum and motivated us all.

The MSc in Neonatal Medicine provides academic credibility to those in clinical roles and is suitable for trainees, non-specialist paediatricians with a commitment to the neonatal unit and senior nurses aspiring to develop within the role of Nurse Consultant.”

George Brooks, Neonatal Nurse Consultant and MSc in Neonatal Medicine alumnus


Master's Excellence Scholarships

An award open to students with a home fee status intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

UK Government master’s funding

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2022 or later, you may be able to apply for UK Government postgraduate funding to support your study at Cardiff University.

Next steps


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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.