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Course content

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

The 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. 


• PgDip:

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

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

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.

Core modules:

Introduction to Practical Dermatology
Skin Lesions
Special Cutaneous Sites
Inflammatory Dermatoses
Environmental Challenges in Practical Dermatology
Demographic Subgroups in Practical Dermatology

• MSc:

The MSc course consists of one (dissertation) stage, lasting for 12 months (part-time).

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.

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, embodies the results of a period of project work.  The subject of each your dissertation will be approved by the Chair of the Board of Studies concerned or his/her nominee.


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.


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.

The MSc requires formal assessment in the form of a 20,000 word dissertation to achieve the MSc in Practical Dermatology.

Career Prospects

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

Visit the Practical Dermatology MSc/PgDip page on the Cardiff University website for more details!





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