Frequently asked question

  • A Postgraduate Diploma is usually 9 month’s duration.
  • The course structure is a blended form of learning. There is a 1-day initial workshop, followed by participating in online activity.
  • The online knowledge is tested on a regular basis. There are several online webinars during the course.
  • The “practical skills or core competencies” to be acquired are listed in the “Clinical skills booklet.” These are gradually acquired during the course though various online media activities.
  • Costs are detailed on our website. Usually there is payment of registration fees, course fee, examination fee and resit examination fees. Discounts are not available but some bursaries occasionally are awarded.
  • Each course has several knowledge-based topics. These are grouped into modules. After completion of each topic, an online test is taken. Mini-tests are conducted every 7-8 topics. All of this is completed online.
  • The clinical supervisor is usually a consultant specialist sometimes a GP with special interest who has agreed to allow you access to educational activity in the hospital or the community. They will assist in the acquisition of the practical skills and provide time for the discussion topics. He/she will supervise your clinical training. This activity is mandatory for PGDIP Minor Surgery students.
  • There is no payment for the mentor but the individual is provided with a “Certificate of Mentorship”. This can be used for CPD purposes, annual appraisal, revalidation and as a activity when applying for higher merit awards.
  • The examination is paper-based and covers the whole syllabus. It is structured as “Single Best Option”, “Extended Matching Question” and “Diagnostic Clinical Quizzes”. There is no oral section. The online tests and mini-exams are structured similarly so there are no surprises.
  • You MUST have completed all the online tests related to each topic, the mini test and case studies (if required on your course), prior to the examination.
  • Your “Clinical Skills Booklet” must be fully completed, signed up and forwarded to Rila prior to the examination (mandatory for PGDIP Minor Surgery ONLY). It must also be brought to the examination. Please make a copy of your Booklet for your own files.
  • Non UK/EU students will require recognition of their primary qualification (MBBS) or pass the PLAB 1 & 2 of the General Medical Council to be registered to work in UK. The Postgraduate course will allow them, once successful in their registration, to apply for appropriate jobs and the course will enhance their prospects of gaining employment.

Pastoral Support, Extenuating Circumstances, and Withdrawal

Rila will provide pastoral and clinical support in regards to difficulties that a student may have. Requests for support will be co-ordinated by the Postgraduate Department including requests for counselling and pastoral support.

Extenuating circumstances are circumstances which:

  • affect your ability to attend or complete an assessment or a number of assessments
  • are exceptional
  • are outside of your control
  • can be corroborated by independent evidence
  • occurred during or shortly before the assessment in question.

If you wish to claim extenuating circumstances, please use the following link to access further information on the University of Plymouth website:


If you are considering withdrawing or interrupting your studies for any reason, please consult our Postgraduate Department. If you decide that you don’t want to continue with your studies in this academic year, it is important that you correctly withdraw or interrupt study as there are academic and financial implications that you need to consider.

If you have any questions, then upon your request, our enrolment advisor will contact you with help and/or assistance with your application.

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