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Practical Dermatology (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

The PgDip is a highly interactive, online distance learning programme designed to provide the participant with a sound understanding of skin disease as it presents in practice, and to enable GPs to successfully manage dermatological problems in patients. The one year MSc is designed specifically for those who have completed our PgDip in Practical Dermatology and wish to pursue further studies in this field.


Flexible e-learning programme

Distance-learning, online format enables flexible learning at your own pace.


Relevant to your clinical practice

Equips learner with sound understanding of skin disease presenting in practice and enables doctors to successfully manage cutaneous conditions


Highly interactive programme

Rapid and efficient communication, including dedicated online tutorial support and discussion forums, ensuring a collaborative community


Professional accreditation

Programme holds international accreditation, including from the Hong Kong College of Family Physicians and Hong Kong Medical Association

The MSc in Practical Dermatology is for practising General Practitioners or other practising doctors who regularly deal with patients with dermatological problems, and who have obtained the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) in Practical Dermatology.

This 12-month, part-time distance learning course aims to enable doctors to successfully manage dermatological problems in patients presenting to their surgeries, by further developing the skills obtained in the PgDip.

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

In order to be considered for an offer for this programme you will need to meet all of the entry requirements. Your application will not be progressed if the information and evidence listed is not provided.

With your online application you will need to provide:

  1. A copy of your Cardiff University Postgraduate Diploma in Practical Dermatology programme or the QMUL Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Dermatology certificate and transcripts which show you have achieved a minimum award of Merit (60% or above) completed not more than five years prior to the year you are intending to start the MSc.
  2. A personal statement which confirms that you are currently working and actively managing patients, with part of your clinical practice involving the care of patients with skin problems. This is required in order to complete the case studies in the dissertation.
  3. Evidence that you hold continuing professional registration with a relevant medical body prior to and for the full duration of the programme.

Application Deadline

The application deadline is 31 July. Applications received after the deadline or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Selection process

We will review your application and if you meet all of the entry requirements it will be considered for offer. Offers are made up to the number of places available for that intake on a competitive basis according to the overall mark each candidate has achieved in the Cardiff University Postgraduate Diploma in Practical Dermatology. Cardiff University graduates will have priority over QMUL candidates if there number of applications exceed the number of places available.

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 MSc course consists of one (dissertation) stage, lasting for 12 months (part-time). All students must register initially for the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) prior to undertaking the MSc dissertation stage. The Postgraduate Diploma course lasts for two academic years for part-time students or one year for full-time students.

The MSc dissertation stage will include a formative 10-week block of online study to develop study and research skills, and completion of a dissertation of 60 credits at Level 7, to achieve a total of at least 180 credits, including the 120 credits from the Cardiff University Postgraduate Diploma in Practical Dermatology, to complete the MSc programme.

Please note:

  • Completion of the MSc dissertation stage (part-time) and PG Diploma (full-time) will take two years.
  • Completion of the MSc dissertation stage (part-time) and PG Diploma (part-time) will take three years.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2024/25 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.

Year three

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?

The course is delivered entirely online via our virtual learning environment, allowing regular, rapid and efficient communication between colleagues, tutors and course administrators, reducing the isolation commonly associated with distance learning.

Through dedicated online tutorial support, discussion forums and online assessments, you will be part of an enthusiastic and supportive online community of doctors with an interest in dermatology. This environment allows collaboration, both academic and clinical, which can extend beyond the life of the programme.

How will I be assessed?

The course requires formal assessment in the form of a dissertation.

The 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.

How will I be supported?

The academic staff who teach and oversee the MSc in Practical Dermatology are assisted by a dedicated postgraduate administrator team and learning technology team. All can be contacted by telephone or e-mail to ensure good communication between students and the University. Most of the communication is via the VLE, where there are discussion boards that also allow the students to support each other.


You will be allocated to a supervisor at the beginning of the course. Supervisors will be able to assist throughout the course by providing feedback on completed tasks and submitted drafts. Students are also allocated a personal tutor to help address concerns that may arise. Regular support will be in place to monitor your progress and submissions according to a pre-specified timetable.

What skills will I practise and develop?

Studying at Master's level should provide you with 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 practice 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 research focused elements you will have the opportunity to develop and enhance your skills and understanding in aspects such as literature review, critical evaluation, research design, research methodologies, data collection, data analysis and research principles.

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

  • Critically evaluate dermatological literature relevant to a specific topic
  • Organise case histories and management plans in a coherent academic manner
  • Synthesise a wide range of literature relevant to a specific topic in a logical coherent manner
  • Recommend areas for improving knowledge/management on a specific topic in dermatology
  • Reflect on strengths and weaknesses and areas of change in own practice based on existing evidence

Tuition fees for 2024 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 three £5,725 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2024/25 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 three £9,450 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.


Postgraduate loans

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2024 or later, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan to support your study at Cardiff University.

Career prospects

This programme is aimed at doctors who have completed the Diploma in Practical Dermatology. The MSc can form part of the portfolio of a general practitioner wishing to practice as a GPwSI/GPwER in dermatology.

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 research, scholarship, or leadership roles.

Next steps


Open Day visits

Register for information about our 2023 dates.

Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.


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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.