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Practitioners with Special Interest – Musculoskeletal Medicine with Rheumatology - PGDip

    Faculty of Health Studies Logo
  • Study Type

    Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Nursing & Health

  • Start Date

    March, September

  • Course Duration

    1.5 years

  • Course Type

    PgDip

  • Course Fees

    2018/19: £6,500

This programme enables practitioners to gain a formally recognised standard of competence in MSK with Rheumatology.

It is taught and run by advanced clinicians, allied health professionals and service improvement specialists and is designed for General Practitioners, Nurse Specialists and other medical professionals working in the specialty clinical environment.

The structure of the programme is specifically designed to encourage the development of the specialist practitioner role, by encouraging collaborative clinical work-based training between the practitioner and the clinical mentor. 

The emphasis is on critical thinking, reflective learning and the practice of evidence-based medicine. Students are enabled to directly apply their learning to their current and future roles.

This programme is delivered at The Ridge Medical Practice.

Professional accreditation

This programme is endorsed by the Primary Care Rheumatology Society (PCR).

What you will study

Each module is worth 30 level 7 credits; this nominally equates to 300 hours of work. 120 credits are required to achieve Diploma level.

There are 3 clinical modules, each taking 6 months to complete:

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders of the Upper Limb and Inflammatory Arthropathies
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders of the Lower Limb and Metabolic Bone Disease
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders of the Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar Spine and Chronic Widespread Pain Disorders

Plus a non-clinical module:

  • Applied Methodology

Learning and assessment

A variety of teaching methods are employed in the programme to enable students to fulfil the varied modular learning outcomes.

Face-to-face tuition: this occurs at the beginning of each module in Bradford. Tutors are available by email if required during placement periods to handle learning queries. Tutors are clinical practitioners (consultant specialists and PwSIs).

Work-based learning: this forms the central part of the programme of study, in the form of clinical placements – each six month module should contain at least 14 weeks of hands-on practical study in a secondary care environment. This learning is undertaken on placement in the locality, under the supervision of a clinical mentor. Students approach the mentor in the first instance: they must be a GMC registered consultant/Advanced clinician in whose name appears on a national register of practitioners, and who has teaching experience. The clinical mentor will receive a specific Mentor Guide including advice and support from the course management team in fulfilling the role of mentor. 

Guided reading (given by tutor and mentor): this complements the placement and enables you to fulfil the theoretical background necessary for your placement activities, and prepares you for your written and presentational assignments. e-learning: the virtual learning environment gives access to the peer group and tutors during placement, facilitating learning through clinical discussion, as well as providing support.

Local research and application: The Applied Methodology module involves working within the healthcare community to apply 3 different methodologies; learning takes place during the activities of researching and reading information, planning, preparation and application of these.

Assessment is designed to enable you to have a rounded measurement of the skills needed for your role in the healthcare community. Clinical competence is verified through mentor signature after observation (by mentor and where appropriate other relevant clinical professionals) and discussion during the placement periods.

The issues of ethics and informed consent are an integrated part of the students’ daily practice, and it is implicit in all the modules that there is conformity to the usual standards and guidelines in these areas.

Optionality is available to students studying for the Certificate in their choice of modules. It is available to students studying for the Diploma in the choice of cases for the written reflective studies and the presentations.

Each module has a number of set learning outcomes, and it is up to you, together with your self-identified local clinical mentor, to identify your learning needs and generate the training plan to fulfil these learning outcomes. You will have a teaching day on the clinical content of each module, after which you will attend at least 14 sessions in suitable clinics of your choice over a period of 6 months (clinical attachment). At the end of this period you will have to demonstrate your competency in managing patients, and an ability to critically reflect on your own practice.

About The Ridge Training Ltd.

The PwSI Programmes are delivered at the premises of The Ridge Medical Practice, in Bradford. The programme director is Dr Chris Harris; born and bred in Bradford, he has been involved with the courses since their inception in 2003. He is a Senior Partner at The Ridge, a PwSI and he has a clinical leadership role at Bradford CCG.

In his PwSI role, Dr Harris leads a team of enthusiastic and highly specialised clinical tutors who are passionate about delivering the Programmes to a high standard and who are dedicated to creating an excellent student experience. We currently have 22 tutors; practising advanced clinicians and service improvement specialists.

As the programme tutors are employed within the specialist sectors that they teach on, they are able to ensure that the contents of the programmes are clinically sound, contemporaneous and appropriate to the changing workforce within the NHS. Students are provided with high quality work-based learning through their relationship with their clinical mentor within an attachment for each clinical module. In addition to the clinical tutors, subject specialists are invited to provide complementary and additional teaching on the Programmes e.g. Physiotherapists on the MSK programme, ECG specialist on the Cardiology programme.

Career support

All students are employed within their specialties, and are able therefore to directly enhance service delivery by application of learning to their clinical practice.

Career prospects

Achievement of the qualification can provide new employment opportunities and promotions.

Students can progress to the MSc in Leadership, Management and Change in Health and Social Care on completion of the Postgraduate Diploma.


Visit the Practitioners with Special Interest – Musculoskeletal Medicine with Rheumatology - PGDip page on the University of Bradford website for more details!

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