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PGDip / MSc in Rheumatology

Course Description

Diploma MSc is a collaborative partner of the University of South Wales.

Our online 1 year MSc in Rheumatology is designed to be practical and clinically focused. Our courses promise to help students develop problem-solving and clinical skills whilst preparing them for a successful leadership role in Rheumatology, which is still an emerging area. The course is worth 60 credits and comprises 2 modules.

Entry to the 1 year MSc in Rheumatology will require the successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma in Rheumatology (120 credits) either from the University of South Wales or from another UK University.

Alternatively, students may apply for the MSc in Rheumatology as a two-year course, completing all 8 modules (180 credits).

The course aims to create professionals who can independently access information and use the information to critically assess, evaluate and disseminate the evidence base related to Rheumatology. It will develop problem-solving and clinical skills together with preparing students to take a leadership role in Rheumatology.

Our Rheumatology Masters of Science has been developed for health professionals who are interested in a leadership role within Rheumatology including Doctors, GPs, Allied Health Professionals, Practice Nurses and those with related undergraduate degrees (e.g. Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Occupational therapists, Pharmacists).

Course Structure

Module 1 - Research Methodologies and Critical Appraisal (compulsory module)
Aim of the module:

To help students recognise, understand, interpret and apply methods used in healthcare research and critically appraise the various methodologies specific to Rheumatology research.

Synopsis of module content:

Basic terminology used in epidemiology and research studies such as prevalence, incidence, sensitivity, specificity, false positive and false negatives.
Interpreting graphical representation of epidemiological and statistical data such as Kaplan-Meier Curves, Forrest Plots and Meta-analyses.
Calculations used in the assessment of research data such as relative risk, absolute risk, number needed to treat.
Basic statistical tests and their applications including t-Tests, ANOVA, Chi-Square.
Methodologies as applied to rheumatology research.
Fundamentals of evidence-based practice and its application in the clinical setting.
Establishing patient registers and the value of disease-specific registers.
Research into educational principles for both health care practitioner and patient.
Understanding what may work for the patient as well as the educator.>

On completion of this module the student should be able to:

Interpret research in rheumatology medicine.
Display a critical understanding of the clinical implications of research and its impact on healthcare delivery and service development.
Implement evidence-based practice into care.

Module 2 - Professional Project or Independent Prescribing Module
Professional Project

Aim of the module:

To develop an ability to critically evaluate areas of professional practice.
To critically appraise specific areas of clinical, research and organisational practice.
To develop skills in independent research and study.
To develop skills relevant to scientific publications.
Synopsis of module content:

The module will depend on the creation of a piece of work based upon a specific clinically related project relevant to the student’s practice.

This project may comprise:

Literature review and appraisal of the evidence.
Audit of practice including organisational or clinical.
Review and implementation of evidence-based practice.
Qualitative or quantitative research (formal research involving human subjects is not anticipated).
Case(s)-based and quality of service review with critical appraisal.
Case report, review of literature and organisational assessment.
On completion of this module the student should be able to:

Produce an extensive piece of literature which may be suitable for peer-reviewed publication.
Demonstrate an ability to recognise and implement good practice.
Critically evaluate practice and suggest improvements or change.
Incorporated knowledge of the research process in developing services appropriately.

Independent Prescribing Module

Aim of the module:

This module aims to prepare students, both academically and practically, for the role of independent prescribing. The module also meets the registration criteria for the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).
Synopsis of module content:

Consultation, decision-making and therapy, including referral.
Influences on, and psychology of, prescribing.
Prescribing in a team context.
Clinical pharmacology, including the effects of co-morbidity.
Evidence-based practice and clinical governance in relation to nurse prescribing.
Legal, policy and ethical aspects.
Professional accountability and responsibility.
On completion of this module the student should:

Describe the responsibility that the role of independent prescriber entails (and demonstrate and awareness of their own limitations and work within the limits of professional competence).
Apply and evaluate patient assessment skills (inc. clinical assessment, history taking) and consultative skills with patient/clients, clients, parents and carers in the context of prescribing/informing diagnosis.
Critically appraise and apply knowledge of drug actions, use sources of information/advice and decision support systems in prescribing practice to support prescribing decisions/informing diagnosis.
Explain and apply the relevant legislation to the practice of nurse/midwife prescribing and practice within a framework of professional accountability and responsibility.
Evaluate the influences that can affect prescribing practice and demonstrate understanding by managing prescribing practice in an ethical way.

Teaching Methods

Module 1 - Research Methodologies and Critical Appraisal

MSc teaching methods for this module are similar to the PG Diploma course modules, however, it is run over 12 weeks.

Module 2 - Professional Project

To produce the professional project, students continue to use the online course however much of the work is self-directed.

Students are expected in the first 8 weeks to interact with their tutor on a weekly basis. Students select a specific project and submit a project summary/proposal (approximately 1500 words).

Once the proposal has been approved, the professional project (10,500 words) itself is then completed through online guidance and supervision offered by the tutor. The student and tutor will interact regularly (weekly) on the dedicated students/tutor discussion area or through any other means of communication deemed appropriate by both parties (telephone/SKYPE/email). Note of any verbal communication with the tutor is recorded on the student's journal by the student.

Visit the PGDip / MSc in Rheumatology page on the Diploma MSc website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Entry to the 1 year MSc Rheumatology programme will require the successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma in Rheumatology (120 credits) either from the University of South Wales or from another UK University. Alternatively, students may apply for the MSc as a two-year course, completing all 8 modules (180 credits).

Last Updated

12 April 2017

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