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Postgraduate Open DayMeet us at our next Open Day on the 30 November.

Therapeutics (MSc/PgDip/PgCert)

n/a (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / 1 year full-time (PgDip), 1 year part-time (PgCert), 2 years part-time (PgDip), 3 years part-time (MSc) (distance / e-Learning)

Course Aims:

The courses will equip candidates with a sound understanding of the management of common medical conditions and develop skills in evidence-based medicine. Successful candidates will have gained the knowledge and understanding to act as the "local therapeutics expert".

The Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology at Cardiff has a major commitment to teaching postgraduate and undergraduate students. A key aim of our teaching programmes is to encourage critical thinking, as we equip our students not only with practical and factual knowledge, but also provide a basic approach to therapeutic problems, encouraging attitudes and abilities which will be of lasting value in dealing with future advances in therapy.

Course Description:

Part-time candidates may register initially either for the PgCertificate (PgCert.) or for the PgDiploma (PgDip.).  Candidates who apply for and successfully pass the PgCert. and who wish to progress to the PgDip., may do so.

Full-time candidates must register initially for the PgDip.

The part-time PgCert. programme takes one year to complete and consists of three 20-credit modules.

The PgDip. consists of a total of six 20-credit modules, including the three PgCert. modules.  The PgDip. can be taken either on a full-time basis (one year for all six modules) or part-time basis (two years for all six modules, including the three PgCert. modules).

Entry to the MSc (dissertation stage) is available to a selected number of candidates only, on a part-time basis only, and eligibility is dependent upon successful completion of the Cardiff University PgDip. in Therapeutics to an acceptable standard.  The MSc takes one further year to complete (post-PgDip.) and consists of a 60-credit dissertation.

Most of the education process is problem-orientated and is specifically designed to be of direct relevance to practice.  There are several different integrated components to the course structure.  There is fortnightly reading with copies of or links to key articles.  There are regular clinical exercises to be completed which provide the basis of in-course assessment.  These are reviewed by the course supervisors and rapid feedback is given during the course.  There is an electronic discussion board, as well as dedicated email and telephone contacts, to ensure good communication with the department and between candidates.

Available Modules

Within the modules, the following subjects are studied:

Foundation in Clinical Therapeutics -
Information Technology and Evidence-based Medicine
Principles of Therapeutics
Basic Biostatistics and Scientific Evaluation
Drug Development and Clinical Trials
Health Economics

Safe Prescribing in Practice -
Practice Prescribing Issues
Prescribing at the Extremes of Life
Prescribing in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Adverse Drug Reactions and Interactions
Therapeutic Drug Monitoring

Illness in Practice (Derm, Resp, GI and Gynae) -
Dermatology: Skin and Wounds
Management of Gastrointestinal Disorders
HRT and Contraception
Respiratory 1: Asthma
Respiratory 2: COPD and Infections

Illness in Practice (Pain, Musculoskeletal and Endocrine) -
Pain Management
Common Bone Disorders
Rheumatic Disorders and Gout
Endocrinological Disorders

Cardiovascular Therapeutics -
Heart Failure
Thrombotic Disorders
Angina and Myocardial Infarction

Illness in Practice (Psychotherapy, Neurology and the Eye) -
Psychotherapy 1: Depression
Psychotherapy 2: Antipsychotics, Anxiolytics and Hypnotics
Neurology 1: Epilepsy
Neurology 2: Parkinson's, headache and migraine
The Eye

A set of 10 MCQs on each subject, contributes to the final mark.  To complete each module, a longer written task on the whole module contributes to the final mark. This may take the form of an essay-type question, several short-answer questions or a piece of portfolio work.  There is no final examination.

To assist you in your studies:

Special Features

Career Prospects

Many of our alumni have gone on to hold senior positions in clinical and governmental organisations.


Some comments from previous graduates included:

“Having completed the Diploma I now feel much more able to prescribe appropriately, and, perhaps just as importantly, NOT prescribe when that is appropriate.”

“The course is well designed and should be made compulsory for all medics and pharmacists.”

“So, so useful... it has really re-ignited my enthusiasm for medicine!”

“An incredible way to increase one’s knowledge about common medical conditions and their treatment...”

One of our external examiners commented:

“This therapeutics course is one of the most comprehensive and challenging currently delivered by distance learning in the UK. The wide range of clinical scenarios and therapeutic reviews makes the information very relevant to the practicing clinician…Course aims and outcomes are clearly stated and link with course materials, assessments and individual learning styles.”

Entry Requirements:

The course is open to all health-care professionals who prescribe or use drug treatments in their work and who have usually had basic training in pharmacology at undergraduate level (e.g. medical practitioners, pharmacists, and nurses).

Applications are very welcome from professionals currently working in other countries.

In addition to satisfying the requirements of the Cardiff University General Entrance Requirement, candidates will normally possess an initial degree in Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing or a cognate subject, awarded by a recognised Institution.  A candidate should be a healthcare professional who prescribes, or is familiar with drug treatments, in the course of their work. They will usually have had basic training in pharmacology at undergraduate level (e.g. medical practitioners, pharmacists and nurses).  At the discretion of the Board of Studies, non-graduates whose relative lack of formal qualifications is compensated for by their relevant work experience may also be admitted to candidature provided the candidate has held, for a minimum period of two years, a position of responsibility relevant to the programme.

MSc (dissertation stage):

Application for the MSc is available to a selected number of candidates only. To be eligible to apply for entry to the MSc, candidates must have been awarded the PgDip. in Therapeutics from Cardiff University and have attained an acceptable level of performance during the PgDip. – all work must have been submitted, each of the six modules must have been passed with a mark of 60% or more (final module mark) and the overall aggregate mark for the whole PgDip. must be 70% or more.  An appropriate Level 7 prospective project proposal must be submitted for which a supervisor must be available. In the case of the MSc being over-subscribed in any given year, priority will be given to students who submit the highest quality project proposals.  Marks at PgDip. level may also be taken further into account.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

Tuition Fees 2016/17

Fees quoted are for the academic session 2016/17. For programmes lasting more than one year, tuition fees for subsequent years of study are subject to an increase of no more than 4.5% per year.

In addition to the course fees, if students choose to attend the optional annual study day, they will be responsible for any travelling and accommodation costs.

  UK & EU International
Full-time PgCert: n/a
PgDip: £7,750
MSc: n/a
PgCert: n/a
PgDip: £11,250
MSc: n/a
Part-time PgCert: £3,875
PgDip: £3,875
MSc: £3,875
PgCert: £5,625
PgDip: £5,625
MSc: £5,625
Deposit Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy. Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Emma Scott OR Lynda Sullivan  

Telephone: +44 (0) 29 2074 2659 or +44 (0) 29 2074 6698 


Email: or  

School Website:

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