Postgraduate Diploma Acute Medicine and Urgent Care

Postgraduate Diploma Acute Medicine and Urgent Care


The Postgraduate Diploma Acute Medicine and Urgent Care programme is designed specifically for clinicians to build on their existing knowledge, skills and experience and develop mastery in the clinical and service aspects of Acute Medicine.

  1. The Rila Institute of Health Sciences administers the programme, which is validated by the University of Plymouth School of Medicine & Dentistry
  2. This means that when you successfully complete all parts of the programme, you will receive the University of Plymouth qualification of a Postgraduate Diploma in Acute Medicine and Urgent Care, andmay, if you wish, attend the graduation ceremony.
  3. There will also be the eligible for continuing your studies after the PG Diploma to gain an MSc qualification
  4. 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 Acute Medicine and Urgent Care:

  1. Rila Institute of Health Sciences has developed a Postgraduate Diploma Acute Medicine and Urgent Care to be offered to students from UK and overseas.
  2. The programme has been designed specifically for physicians either already employed or wishing to work in Acute Medicine and Urgent Care.
  3. The course runs over approximately 1 year for the Postgraduate Diploma. For exact course dates and locations please check website.
  4. The course integrates several components of learning. Understanding of these core topics is assessed through a series of online Higher Order Thinking Questions.
  5. 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 Acute Medicine.
  6. The blended form of learning also includes regular webinars facilitated by Rila Specialist clinicians; also Rila provide a series of case studies for the candidate to work through at their own pace.
  7. 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 Acute Medicine.
  8. Situational Judgement Tests and Learning will provide experience in core domains for a clinician e.g. Professionalism, Patient Focus, Effective communication, Working under pressure, Working within a Team
  9. Assessment is partly by continuous assessment of the reading topics and mini-tests, both taken on the eLearning platform.
  10. There will also be a final summative examination held in the international regional centre or UK, which the candidate MUST attend.

Structure of the Postgraduate Diploma:

  1. There are 3 modules comprising the Postgraduate Diploma level award.
  2. 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.
  3. Workshop/lecture, held in the international regional centre at the start of the each programme. This will provide tutorials, lectures and practical demonstrations.
  4. You will also have an opportunity to meet other doctors on the course and medical staff from the UK and overseas.
  5. There are usually workshops and interactive webinars during the course, depending on your programme of study and a final examination held at the international center or in UK.

Course Syllabus:

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 Acute Medicine and Urgent Care

Topics include:

ALS, ATLS, PLS, Child Protection, Medicolegal issues, General approach to emergencies, Abdominal disorders ABCD emergency symptoms, Gastroenteritis, Dangerous diagnoses, Alcohol related pathology, Urgent Mental Health, Diabetes, The chest wall, Back pain, Chest pain, Wrist injuries, Difficulty breathing, Hand injuries, Asthma, Elbow injuries, Bradycardia, Shoulder pathology, Falls in the elderly, Seizures, Spinal trauma, Non-traumatic eye disorders, PV bleeding, Traumatic eye disorders, Upper GI bleed, Burns, Skin lacerations, Ankle injuries, Skin disorders, Knee pathology, Throat disorders, Hip pathology, Bites & stings, Monoarthropathies, Genitourinary emergencies, Facial & Dental injuries, Haematological emergencies

Module 3: Clinical Practice in Acute Medicine and Urgent Care

Clinical skills related to the following procedures. These are presented as a series of specially selected key video clips to enable you to understand the procedure and the steps required. Assessment of clinical skill competency is not within the remit of this award. You are strongly recommended to access hands-on clinical sessions with a local clinical specialist to further enhance your skills outside of the programme.

• Advanced life support (ALS)

– Simple airway adjuncts including LMA insertion

– Cardiac pacing

• Advanced trauma life support (ATLS)

– Surgical chest insertion

• Paediatric life support (PLS)

• Cardioversion – chemical and electrical

• Key ECG interpretation

• Peak flow measurement and interpretation

• Management of non-traumatic pneumothorax

– Needle aspiration

– Seldinger chest drain insertion

• Venous cannulation +/- ultrasound guidance

• Arterial blood gas sampling

• Fluorescein staining with slit lamp examination

• Removal of foreign bodies – using needle tip or cotton wool bud

• Administering local anaesthetic for:

– Primary wound closure

– Arterial blood gas sampling or arterial line insertion

– Nerve blocks

• Wound assessment and management

– Skin glue

– Steristrips

– Basic suturing techniques

i. Interrupted sutures

ii. Horizontal mattress sutures

iii. Vertical mattress sutures

• Basic procedural sedation with airway management

• Prepare and administer non-invasive ventilator support

• Understand the difference between BiPAP and CPAP and their respective values.

• The Optiflow nasal cannula

Time allocation for the Postgraduate Diploma:

  1. 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:

  1. A specific area of the Rila Institute of Health Sciences website is dedicated to the Postgraduate Diploma in Acute Medicine and Urgnt Care.
  2. You will be issued with a user name and password.
  3. You MUST have computer access to the internet and it will be your responsibility to ensure that this is the case.
  4. The website will provide facilities such as Forums, a Bulletin Board, online Chat Room etc.
  5. You will be provided with information on how to use the web site.

Admission 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 the following criteria:

  • Be in possession of an MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) or
  • an equivalent medical degree from a World Health Organization recognised institution.

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:

  1. You are strongly recommended to complete the formative assessments related to each topic and the mini exams. Try and attain at least 50% marks.
  2. The final examination, to be held in the central location, is mandatory for all students.
  3. The final examination MUST be passed, for the Postgraduate Diploma (Modules 1, 2 and 3) to be awarded.
  4. The final examination consists of a paper based format of Higher Order Thinking Assessments (Single Best Option, Extended Matching Questions, and Clinical Quiz).
  5. The examiners are senior specialists overseen by an external examiner(s). All are appointed by the University of Plymouth.


The Postgraduate Diploma is accredited/validated as follows:

  • Validated by the University of Plymouth Peninsula School of Medicine & Dentistry, United Kingdom – the awarding institution

Organisations involved

  1. University of Plymouth with whom the candidates are registered and who control the quality assurance and the award of the final diploma.
  2. UK and overseas based specialists provide the content, curriculum and clinical guidance, and host the final examination.
  3. Rila Institute of Health Sciences, London, which is a collaborative organisation of the University of Plymouth, provides all administrative and logistical support to the course.

Programme handbook and Extenuating circumstances
Full details of the PG Diploma and the process for extenuating circumstances and withdrawal can be found in the Programme Handbook.

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

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