Skip to content

Practical Dermatology (PgDip)

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.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Practical Dermatology is for practising General Practitioners or other practising doctors who regularly deal with patients with dermatological problems.

This two-year, part-time distance learning course aims to enable doctors to successfully manage dermatological problems in patients presenting to their surgeries. It is a highly interactive, online programme designed to equip the general practitioner with a sound understanding of skin disease as it presents in practice.

Students are expected to use their individual study time to complete the modular learning material, which is available online, and complete further reading from dermatology text books and searches for material in journal articles and libraries.  The success of the course therefore depends, to a large extent, on the input and enthusiasm of course participants.

The course holds both UK and international accreditation, including from the Royal College of General Practitioners, Hong Kong College of Family Physicians and Hong Kong Medical Association. 

Distinctive features

  • The course holds both UK and international accreditation, including from the Royal College of General Practitioners, Hong Kong College of Family Physicians and Hong Kong Medical Association. It is quotable in Hong Kong and Singapore.
  • Online delivery of credit-bearing modules.
  • Continuously assessed by coursework components, with no final examination.
  • Part-time (two-year) and full-time (one-year) routes available for the Postgraduate Diploma.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration2 years
ModePart-time - distance learning
Other ways to study this course

Admissions criteria

The Postgraduate Diploma course is open to all qualified doctors who are currently working/training as general practitioners or clinical assistants in dermatology and those hoping to pursue a special interest in dermatology. Other specialities are considered, provided written and supporting evidence demonstrating the ability to see patients with skin problems is provided. No previous specific experience or training in dermatology is necessary.

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree in clinical medicine (MBBCh, BMBS, MBBS, or equivalent) awarded by a recognised institution


Be currently working and managing patients, with part of their clinical practice involving the care of patients with skin problems (evidenced by a reference). This is required in order to complete the case histories required on the course


Hold continuing professional registration with a relevant medical body prior to and for the full duration of the programme.

Find out more about English language requirements

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

All students must register initially for the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip).

The PgDip course lasts for two academic years for part-time students or one year for full-time students, and consists of six 20-credit modules, totalling 120 credits, at Level 7.

You will study six 20-credit modules, one per term on the part-time PgDip over two years (Three modules per year).

Students who have not obtained 120 credits, but have obtained a minimum of 60 credits at Level 7, including any ‘required core modules’, will be eligible for the exit award of Postgraduate Certificate.

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
Introduction to Practical DermatologyMET60120 credits
Skin LesionsMET60220 credits
Special Cutaneous SitesMET60320 credits

Year two

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 is delivered entirely online via Cardiff University’s virtual learning environment (VLE), Learning Central, 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, students become members 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.

To take advantage of the wealth of experience that already exists among these practitioners the course uses methods that promote co-operative, purposeful learning. This includes the use of small group techniques, problem solving and peer review all within an efficient online environment.

How will I be supported?

The academic staff who teach and oversee the Postgraduate Diploma 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 website/VLE, where there are discussion boards that also allow the students to support each other.

Each educational or assessment activity is designed such that students receive support and encouragement from the academics and a team of external tutors. The students are divided into tutor groups of approximately 12 people supported in the educational activities by tutors and academics.


Depending on the module and assessments, feedback may include:

  • Written comments on assessments.
  • Electronic feedback on online tests and quizzes.
  • Sample answers.
  • Whole-class general feedback – e.g. via discussion forums.
  • Peer feedback, either formally as part of an assessment or informally outside of the classroom.
  • Group online meetings with course tutors.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will be conducted in accordance with the Cardiff University Senate Assessment Regulations for Taught Programmes.

Each module will be assessed by written work, objective structured tests/questions and online activities.

Students are not required to be called for a viva voce examination.

What skills will I practise and develop?

Studying at Postgraduate Diploma 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 diploma course, you should be able to:

  • Solve diagnostic problems involving skin rashes and lesions.
  • Postulate management strategies and treatment solutions for inflammatory dermatoses and skin lesions.
  • Critically appraise evidence supporting management plans in dermatology.
  • Propose improvements to treatment strategies.
  • Design learning materials for use in patient and carer education for skin diseases.
  • Modify treatment approaches by incorporating new developments in the dermatology literature as part of lifelong learning.

The Postgraduate Diploma can form part of the portfolio of a general practitioner wishing to practice as a GPwSI in dermatology.

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.