Postgraduate Diploma in Cardiology
The Postgraduate Diploma Cardiology programme is designed specifically for Primary Care Physicians to build on your existing knowledge, skills and experience and develop mastery in the clinical and service aspects of Cardiology.
- The Rila Institute of Health Sciences administers the programme, which is validated by Plymouth University
- This means that when you successfully complete all parts of the programme, you will receive the Plymouth University qualification of a Postgraduate Diploma in Cardiology, and may, if you wish, attend the graduation ceremony.
- You will enrol as a student of the Rila Institute of Health Sciences and will be registered with the University.
Should you not complete the full programme, then you will be provided with a transcript recording the individual elements of the programme successfully completed.
General information – Postgraduate Diploma Cardiology:
- Rila Institute of Health Sciences has developed a Postgraduate Diploma in Cardiology to be offered to students from UK and overseas.
- The programme has been designed specifically for primary care physicians and other healthcare professionals working in cardiology e.g. specialist nurses, wishing to gain experience in the management of clinical and service aspects of Cardiology.
- The course runs over approximately 9 to 12 months for the Postgraduate Diploma. For exact course dates and locations please check website.
- The course integrates several components of learning. There are reading topics available on-line. Understanding of these core topics is assessed through a series of online Higher Order Thinking Questions.
- The reading topics i.e. resource learning material, which are specifically commissioned by Rila Institute of Health Sciences, cover the essential elements in developing core knowledge and skills in Cardiology.
- Workshop/lectures are held at the start of the course in the international regional centre, but usually in the UK. This is structured to include lectures and a one day workshop relevant to developing a sound basis for Cardiology.
- Workshops/lectures will also be held during the course.
- Assessment is partly by continuous assessment of the reading topics and mini-tests, both carried out on line. There will also be a final examination held in the international regional centre or UK.
Structure of the Postgraduate Diploma:
- There are 3 modules comprising Postgraduate Diploma level award.
- In each period of 5-7 days a particular topic (detailed in the programme calendar) is studied by way of a specially written article. Each topic is assessed by way of Higher Order Thinking Questions, for which there is a deadline date. A number of timed mini-exams are conducted online, and the student is strongly recommended to participate in this activity.
- Workshop/lecture, held in the international regional centre at the start of the each programme. This will provide tutorials, lectures and practical demonstrations.
- You will also have an opportunity to meet other doctors on the course and medical staff from the UK and overseas.
- There is a usually workshops during the course, depending on your programme of study and a final examination held at the international center or in UK.
- You will be expected to participate in the online clinical activity. For those following the Diploma this activity, mainly in Module 3, will be graded by the online facilitator. You must attain a “satisfactory” grade.
Postgraduate Diploma comprises Modules 1, 2 and 3
Module 1: Core generic knowledge & skills
- Determinants of health
- Lifestyle factors in health
- Identification of risk factors
- Nutrition and health
- Breaking bad news.
Module 2: Advances in Cardiology
- Cardiovascular epidemiology, lifestyle measures (CVD prevention), cardiovascular physiology and anatomy, chest pain assessment, diagnostics (ECG, ECHO, Stress ECHO, Carotid ultrasound, nuclear and CT imaging), acute coronary syndrome, coronary angiography, cardiac surgery and rehabilitation, heart failure, stable angina, cardiovascular prevention (drug therapies), hypertension, diabetes & CVD (Cardiodiabetes), valvular heart disease, endocarditis/cardiomyopathies/pericardial disease, arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, temporary/permanent pacing, electrophysiology, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and cardiac disease and pregnancy.
Module 3: Clinical Practice in Cardiology
Clinical skills related to the following:
- Assess the character, rate and rhythm of the arterial pulse
- Measurement of blood pressure and potential pitfalls.
- Assess the jugular venous pulse
- Describe the site/character of the apical pulse
- How to detect heaves, thrills and bruits
- Cardiac murmurs and their characteristics
- How to perform an ECG
- ECG interpretation and cardiac rhythm analysis
- ECHO report interpretation
- 24 hour ECG report interpretation
- 24 hour blood pressure report interpretation
- Exercise ECG treadmill report interpretation
- Myoview and Stress ECHO report interpretation
- Coronary artery angiography report interpretation
- The role of CT calcium scoring and CT angiography
- Interpretation of cardiac risk factors results and risk modelling
- Clinical detection of cardiac failure and differentiation between right and left heart failure.
- Physical signs of cardiac tamponade
- Approximately one half to one full day a week is recommended as being the suggested allocation time for the each of the programmes.
Minimum Requirements for the web learning aspects:
- A specific area of the Rila Institute of Health Sciences website is dedicated to the Postgraduate Diploma in Cardiology.
- You will be issued with a user name and password.
- You MUST have computer access to the internet and it will be your responsibility to ensure that this is the case.
- The website will provide facilities such as Forums, a Bulletin Board, online Chat Room etc.
- You will be provided with information on how to use the web site.
Participants admitted to this programme will need to meet following criteria:
Provide a satisfactory reference from a senior health care practitioner or line manager with knowledge of your work and experience, and who is able to support your suitability to participate in the programme.
Plus, fulfil one of the following three criteria:
- Be in possession of an MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) an equivalent medical degree from a World Health Organization recognised institution or
- Be in possession of a BHMS (Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine & Surgery) from an accredited institution or
- Be in possession of a non-standard qualification and have an acceptable level of experience e.g. Nurses (working as Nurse Practitioners, Consultants, or Specialists), or an Optometrist.
Note that if the medical degree or other qualification was not taught in the English language a score of 5.5, in all elements, in the British Council IELTS test, or equivalent (e.g. Test of English as a Foreign Language) will usually be required
Award of the Postgraduate Diploma:
- You are strongly recommended to complete the formative assessments related to each topic and the mini online exams. Try and attain at least 50% marks.
- The final examination, to be held in the central location, is mandatory for all students.
- The final examination MUST be passed, for Diploma (Modules 1, 2 and 3) to be awarded.
- The final examination consists of a paper based format of Higher Order Thinking Assessments (Single Best Option, Extended Matching Questions, and Clinical Quiz).
- The examiners are consultants and an external examiner(s) are appointed by Plymouth University.
- A failure of a re-sit in the final examination, results in the student being unable to be awarded the Diploma. The student will have to re-register for the course. A re-sit for the final examination requires an additional fee payment. For further details click here.
Recognition of the Diploma:
- You, as a Medical Practitioner or healthcare professional, with the Diploma, will have greater confidence and knowledge to better manage your patients.
- Furthermore, you, as a Medical Practitioner or healthcare professional, will be further recognised and appreciated, by clinical colleagues, as having a special interest in Cardiology.
- The Postgraduate Diploma are academic qualifications.
The Diploma is accredited/validated as follows:
- Validated by Plymouth University – awarding institution
- Plymouth University with whom the candidates are registered and who control the quality assurance and the award of the final diploma.
- UK and overseas based specialists in Cardiology, provide the content, curriculum and clinical guidance, and host the final examination.
- Rila Institute of Health Sciences, London, which is a collaborative organisation of the University, provides all administrative and logistical support to the course.