The Programme


Learning Objectives


Learning methods


Technical requirements

The Programme

There is a single entry point for this each year in September.

The Postgraduate Diploma comprises a taught course of 8 modules. These will be covered in 3 modules per semester during 3 semesters – this is accompanied by a clinical 'observership' programme in a specialist tertiary referral centre. For students enrolled onto the full MSc programme they will conduct in parallel a dissertation project, either based on research or clinical cases.

The MSc in Clinical Endocrinology is designed to cover a complete curriculum for Specialist Endocrinology. The Centre for Endocrinology at Barts and the London School of Medicine has an international reputation in this area, both in clinical practice and in research. The curriculum incorporates elements of the UK specialty training curriculum for endocrinology and diabetes mellitus, including aspects which are assessed at the knowledge-based examination required for RoyalCollege Certification. In addition there will be a focus on up to date developments in the field and expert opinions and presentations.

The programme will follow a modular structure. Students will learn about theory and basic science underpinning the discipline in each module, then focus on the pathologies that arise in each system and the clinical approaches to evaluation and treatment. There will be extensive use of blended learning and the 'flipped classroom'; so that self-directed learning using novel and cutting-edge learning techniques is complemented by a regular tutorial programme. There are opportunities to pursueindividual and group work.

The course will include data from real clinical cases, guided reading and journal clubs. There will be opportunities to explore the presentation of endocrine subjects in the media and 'hot topics' for each module. The taught programme will becomplemented by a clinical observation programme and the development of a personal portfolio of experience.

The final part of the programme involves preparation of a dissertation based on independent research or clinical cases under the supervision of a tutor.

Students may choose to pursue the taught aspects of the course only and complete a postgraduate diploma rather than a full MSc if they wish.

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General Aims of the Programme
Aims of the course include:

  • To enhance awareness of the basic sciences and research techniques underpinning the practice of clinical endocrinology.
  • To develop understanding of the clinical sciences relevant to specialist clinical practice in endocrinology.
  • To develop knowledge of common and important disorders in endocrinology at a level appropriate to underpin clinical experience and support independent practice.
  • To develop the problem-solving skills which will enable independent practice as specialists.
  • To develop professional competencies of medical graduates in allied areas to understand the pathophysiology, investigation and management of endocrine disorders.
  • To develop related skills such as correct use of statistics, use of databases, literature searches, reviewing evidence, critical appraisal of scientific literature, writing papers and articles.
  • To ensure that key relevant aspects of the curriculum outlined by the Joint Committee for higher medical training and covered in the Royal College knowledge-based assessment in endocrinology are covered in the curriculum for our proposed course.

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  • Learning Objectives of the Programme

    At the completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate their achievement of the specific learning outcomes detailed in each of the modules of the course which relate to each of the endocrine systems of the body. The achievement of the learning outcomes will be assessed by formative assessment during each of the modules and by summative assessment both at the end of each module and with an end-of-course written examination.
  • Describe the basic sciences and research techniques underpinning the practice of clinical endocrinology and diabetes.
  • Search and interpret the literature to apply results from the relevant clinical sciences to the management of the endocrine patient.
  • Review evidence, apply the correct use of statistics and critically appraise the scientific literature to draw conclusions about endocrine physiology, pathology and clinical care.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the common and important disorders in endocrinology and diabetes outlined in the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board for higher training in this field and outlined in the learning objectives in each of the modules. Achievement at a level appropriate to underpin clinical experience and support independent practice will be evaluated by formative assessment during online tutorials, discussion groups and message boards.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of, and skills in and appropriate attitudes towards the diagnosis, investigation and management of patients with disorders of the hypothalamus and pituitary, thyroid, parathyroids, bone metabolism, reproductive endocrinology, growth and development, energy balance, the adrenal glands,endocrine-related cancers and diabetes mellitus.
  • Utilise problem-solving skills in the clinical and research settings which will enable independent practice as a specialists.

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  • Course Structure

    The Postgraduate Diploma / MSc  in Endocrinology and Diabetes (distance learning) is designed both as a complete curriculum in Endocrinology and Diabetes for new entrants into these fields and as an update and extension for those already in it. The course should provide clinicians with a framework for the theoretical and clinically applied aspects of their discipline.

    All students initially register for the postgraduate Diploma. The Postgraduate Diploma comprises a taught course of 8 modules.  These will be covered in 2 modules per semester over 4 semesters – with total duration of 16 months total study. All of the modules are core to the Diploma and are studied in fixed order, commencing with a 'generic skills and core knowledge' module which provides a foundation on which the subsequent modules build. There are no optional modules or alternative pathways, to ensure that we cover all of the relevant subject areas comprehensively.

    On successful completion of the taught course, students who are eligible and who wish to, may apply to transfer to the MSc course. This involves an additional independent research project. The project proposal, supervisor, host institution and funding arrangments are organised by the student in their own institution but must be approved by QMUL. The project will have additional oversight from a QMUL supervisor and will be completed by a dissertation and viva examination.


    Taught Course Module Titles

    module number Topic / Title

    Endocrinology: Core Knowledge and Key Skills


    Hypothalamus and pituitary




    Calcium and Bone


    Reproduction, pregnancy and paediatric endocrinology


    Clinical Chemistry, Gut and Metabolism


    Genetics, Oncology, Neuroendocrine Tumours  


    Adrenal Cortex and Medulla

    Each module accounts for 15 credits
    In parallel
    9 Clinical Endocrinology Dissertation
    Dissertation accounting for 60 credits














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    Learning methods

    The curriculum will be covered in a 'taught course' of 3 terms divided into modules. Three modules will be covered in each of the first and second term and two modules in the third term, thus there are 8 taught modules alongside (for students completing the full MSc programme) a 60-credit dissertation module.

    Each taught module accounts for 15 credits and each module takes 4 weeks to cover the taught materials including one or more module assignments. Teaching will make use of blended learning methods and the 'flipped classroom' model. This means that you will study a number of elements using online materials including lectures, podcasts, guided reading exercises and so on, with regular face-to-face tutorials in which various activities incorporating individual and group work will help you to consolidate your learning.

    In parallel with the taught course, you will have a programme of clinical observation sessions across several domains including general endocrinology, specialist endocrinology, endocrine investigations and therapies and regular clinical academic meetings.

    You will complete a reflective portfolio log-book in which your experiences are mapped to each of the modules.

    Following on from the above modules you will work on and complete a dissertation for the remainder of the programme. The project title and research / dissertation format will be agreed between yourself and the course organiser and may take the form of independent clinical research or a dissertation based on clinical cases.

    Occasionally, students may choose to omit the dissertation, completing the programme at the stage of postgraduate diploma.

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    Assessment of the Postgraduate Diploma

    Formative Assessment

    Students will have the opportunity to receive feedback at the regular tutorials and also during the clinical observation aspects of the programme. Formative assessment may be available as part of some of the online tasks that form part of the blended learning strategy, for example marks for quizzes and also direct feedback from programme tutors.

    Summative Assessment
    Assessment of the taught course will comprise assessment of module-specific assigments and assessment of module-specific portfolio sections. The assignment techniques will comprise a mixture across the modules of written submissions, submissions using multimedia, case presentations, and verbal presentations. You will be clearly told which assignments and tasks form part of summative assessment and assignments for each module must be completed by the end of that module block.

    The other aspect of assessment comprise your personal reflective portfolio log-book which will contain records of attendance,reflections and pieces of written work completed as part of programme.

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    Technical Requirements

    The online resources from the course will be delivered via the QMPlus virtual learning environment (VLE) which is hosted by Queen Mary, University of London.

    Hardware requirements
    QMplus is accessible to both PC and Apple Macintosh computers. That said, it is assumed that you will have a relatively up to date computer. For PC users, this should be running at least Windows XP and for Apple Macintosh users, Mac OS X. Many of the learning activities are lectures to watch – make sure you are planning to use a computer with speakers or that you have headphones and a headphone jack to plug them in.

    Internet connection

    You will require a broadband connection to the internet. Your course contains multimedia materials which, by their nature, have relatively large file sizes. A fast internet connection is therefore required to be able to access these materials.

    As well as having an internet connection, you will also have to ensure that you can connect to the systems at Queen Mary. This means ensuring that there are no firewall restrictions on your internet connection that will prevent you from connecting to Queen Mary systems.


    If you are a regular internet user then it is likely that you will already have many of the necessary software components installed on your computer. You may, however, have to change configurations or perhaps even install some new software to allow you to access your course content. To do this you will require administrator access to your computer. This shouldn't be an issue if you are using your own computer but if you are using a computer supplied by your place of work, you may have to negotiate with your technical support to ensure that your computer can be appropriately configured.


    The virtual learning environment requires Java to be installed on your machine. The browser checker mentioned above will check for a Java installation on your computer. If you do not have Java, it can be downloaded for free from:

    Please note that Java is different from Javascript.

    Adobe Flash Player

    You will also need Adobe Flash Player installed. It will be helpful if you can have access to the most up to date version of the Flash player.

    PDF Reader

    You will need a PDF Reader , such as the Acrobat PDF reader which you can download for free from the Adobe website and you will need Microsoft office or compatible software such as Microsoft Word or Powerpoint.

    Office software

    Some documents may be made available to you in Microsoft Office formats either Microsoft Word or Powerpoint.



    about us


    Queen Mary University of London is one of 24 leading UK universities represented by the Russell Group. Queen Mary's Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry has an unrivalled tradition of excellence in research and teaching. Barts Hospital was established in 1123 and 'The London' was the first medical school in England, founded in 1785. Today, we are in the top five research-led medical and dental schools in the UK. Barts and the London has an international reputation for excellence in endocrinology and Barts Health is now the largest NHS Trust in the UK.

    The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise results showed Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry joining Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College and University College London in the top 5 medical and dental schools in England for quality of research. In the same exercise, the School was ranked first in London, ahead of University College, Imperial College and King's College.

    Endocrinology was assessed together with the Inflammation and Cardiovascular research groups of the William Harvey Research Institute. Within the assessment group we were ranked 3rd in the country with 65% of staff being rated 3*/4*.



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