Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Dermatology

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UK course

The course covers the core dermatological curriculum over a one year period, with particular emphasis on the diagnosis and management of skin disease from a primary care perspective.

This programme is aimed at UK-based General Practitioners wishing to gain experience in dermatology. Full registration with the GMC is essential due to patient contact during clinical days. Applicants must have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years and have indefinite leave to remain. Places are limited and early application is highly recommended. If the UK course is full or you are unable to attend the 6 clinical days, then you may join the overseas course where clinical days are replaced by live, interactive, online tutorials.

Key Features

  • Six clinical days with clinical cases, throughout the course of one year
  • Small group consultant-led teaching
  • Weekly audiovisual material to demonstrate cases and good practice

Course Content

There are 5 teaching modules of 6 weeks in duration covering core dermatological curriculum. There is a further module covering Cutaneous Neoplasms in depth which will run throughout semesters 1 and 2. Each of these modules have been devised by one or more ‘module tutors’ with a particular interest in the topic being studied. The modules they have created all consist of written, video and audio material together with an assignment.

Teaching is by a blended package of distance-learning and clinical study days.

1. QMplus teaching package

This online learning environment (OLE) provides the core modules. They comprise:

  • Weekly written material about the subject complemented by clinical pictures
  • Slide library – an extensive collection of clinical photos with description
  • Supplementary Reading – a selection of 5-10 relevant journal articles, together with Patient Information Leaflets. These papers have been selected by the module tutor to supplement and reinforce the main messages of his/her audio discussion and are usually of a practical nature, although papers of a more basic scientific nature may also be incorporated.
  • Quizzes - weekly formative quizzes which will be completed and marked online. Quizzes will comprise a mixture of EMQ and MCQ format.
  • Student Café – this area of the site allows pictures and questions or messages to be posted for discussion within the group. The current students find this a useful way of interacting with other students.

2. Audio and visual podcasts

Each week there is audiovisual material. This covers the fundamental principles of the topic in a clinically relevant and informal manner. There are practical demonstrations.

Subjects covered include:

  • emollients, topical steroids, and other treatments for eczema
  • topical treatments for psoriasis
  • phototherapy
  • cryotherapy
  • patch and prick testing
  • Doppler testing and leg ulcer treatment including use of multi layer compression bandaging
  • minor surgery
  • taking skin and hair samples

3. Clinical Days

There are six clinical days throughout the year. These comprise lectures and practical demonstrations with student interaction in the morning, followed by consultant-led small group teaching on clinical cases.

Topics Covered in Module 1
Credit value: 15

  • How to Recognise and Investigate Skin Disease
  • How to Manage Skin Disease
  • Common Skin Infections
  • Red and Spotty Faces
  • Itchy Skin and Eczema
  • Allergies at Home and at Work

Topics Covered in Module 2
Credit value: 15

  • Paediatric Dermatology 1
  • Paediatric Dermatology 2
  • Drug Reactions 1
  • Drug Reactions 2
  • Healing Wounds
  • Surgical Solutions and Treatments

Topics Covered in Module 3
Credit value: 15

  • Psoriasis
  • Blistering Disorders
  • Lichen Planus and Lichenoid Reactions
  • Vasculitis and Vascular Disease
  • Skin and Systemic Disease
  • Connective Tissue Diseases

Topics Covered in Module 4
Credit value: 15

  • Rashes in Creases
  • Hair too much and too little
  • Body Parts connected to skin: Oral, Ocular and Aural
  • Genital Dermatology
  • Skin Problems in Different Skin Types

Topics Covered in Module 5
Credit value: 15

  • Urticaria
  • The Psyche and the Skin
  • Sunshine and Skin
  • Uncommon Infections
  • Cosmetic Dermatology and Non-Invasive Treatments

Topics Covered in Module 6
Credit value: 45

  • Harmless lumps and bumps
  • Pigmented lesions
  • Cancerous lumps and bumps
  • Cutaneous manifestation of internal malignancy
  • Rarer familial cancer syndromes
  • Dermoscopy techniques
  • Skin cancer and Immunosuppression


There is a total of 120 credits available for the Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Dermatology.

Weekly quizzes
MCQ style questions, based on clinical cases. The quizzes are submitted on the online learning environment teaching package.

Written coursework
1 x 1500 word piece of coursework to be submitted at the end of the second semester.

Final examination
A four hour written exam based on clinical cases. 

This programme is designed and intended for educational purposes only. Completion of the course and possession of the Diploma does not endorse the practitioner to consider themselves a specialist in dermatology. The current British Association of Dermatologists guidelines outline the essential requirements for fulfilling the role of GPwSI in Dermatology. The Department of Dermatology in BartsHealth Trust strongly supports these guidelines.

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