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Obesity and Weight Management (Online Delivery) (MSc)

Course Description

Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide and is highly prevalent in most modern industrialised nations. It is a global epidemic and a leading cause of several major non-communicable diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Prevention and management is critical in reducing the considerable health costs of obesity. This online course will focus on enabling health care professionals to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to treat patients effectively.

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 Obesity and Weight Management. It will develop problem solving and clinical skills together with preparing students to take a leadership role.

On completion of the course, students will have:
1. An applied understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in an appropriate clinical setting.
2. An in-depth knowledge and understanding of the discipline informed by current scholarship and research.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/1799-msc-obesity-and-weight-management-online-delivery

What you will study

The course consists of two modules. Module one is compulsory and module two is a choice between Professional Practice or the Independent Prescribing module.

Module 1 – Research Methodologies and Critical Appraisal (compulsory module):
This module will address the terminology and methodologies used in epidemiology and research studies, and you will learn how to interpret graphical and other statistical data such as Kaplan-Meier Curves, Forrest Plots and Meta-analyses. You will develop an understanding of the importance of evidence based practice and how to apply it within a clinical setting.

Module 2: Professional Project or Independent Prescribing Module:
- Professional Project
This modules aims to develop an ability to critically evaluate areas of professional practice of your choice and develop skills in independent research and study. You will produce a report of 12000 words which will include a project proposal of 1,500 words and the remaining 10,500 words will consist of a literature review and an evidence appraisal, clinical or organisational practice audit. It will also involve the implementation of evidence-based practice and undertaking qualitative or quantitative research. As part of the module you will be in regular contact with your tutor who will offer guidance and supervision either via email, telephone or SKYPE.

- Or Independent Prescribing 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.

Learning and teaching methods

Each of the modules is taught online and includes self-directed learning, tutor stimulated discussion on case scenarios, examinations, group projects and independent projects. Reflective practice is also studied which involves considering how you can apply the knowledge gained into everyday work and practice.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

The Obesity & Weight Management courses have been developed for health professionals who are interested in a leadership role within weight and obesity management including GP’s, doctors, nurses, physicians, surgeons, physiotherapists, dieticians, psychologists, and counsellors running clinics. Following successful completion of this specialised course, you will have the knowledge to further improve patient care and it could enhance your future career progression.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods will vary for each module and include case-based examinations, discussions and scenarios, reflective portfolio, forum discussions and group activities.


As part of your online studies you will have access to the Learning Resources Centre materials at the University of South Wales. FINDit is the University’s portal which allows you to search for over 13,000 full-text journal articles, news articles, conference proceedings and approximately 160 databases via one search box- the majority of these materials are accessible online. Interactive study skills modules are available to study via Blackboard to enable you to utilise the library services fully.


The course is delivered by a board who have an established international reputation in Obesity & Weight Management and delivering online education:
- Dr. Steve Davies – Consultant Endocrinologist and Director of Diploma MSc
- Dr Simon Williams – Principal Lecturer, Obesity and Physical Activity Epidemiologist
- Professor Nadim Haboubi – Consultant Gastroenterologist
- Dr Dev Datta – Consultant Clinical Biochemist

Work and Study Placements

Students will usually be employed as health care professionals before commencing this course. Consequently work or study placements are not available.

Visit the Obesity and Weight Management (Online Delivery) (MSc) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Entry to the 1 year MSc programme will require the successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma in Obesity and Weight Management (120 credits) either from the University of South Wales or from another UK University. You may apply for the MSc as a two year course, completing all 8 modules (180 credits). Applicants without recognised qualifications but have relevant work experience, background knowledge and skills will also be considered on an individual basis. English language qualification (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent)

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