2020/21 Part-time Postgraduate course
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
School of Biomedical Sciences
This course is taught online so you can study where you want, when you want.
A strong foundation in postgraduate diabetes education with particular emphasis on the science underlying this global healthcare problem.
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The PgCert in Diabetes provides students with the opportunity to learn the relevant and contemporary scientific issues covering aspects ranging from the mechanisms and pathophysiology of diabetes through the science underpinning clinical diagnosis and pharmacology of diabetes.
The University regularly ‘refreshes’ courses to make sure they are as up-to-date as possible. The University calls this process 'academic revalidation’. This course is currently being ‘refreshed’, with changes being put in place for students entering from September 2019 onwards. Module selection may vary.
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The part-time PgCert in Diabetes provides an in-depth understanding of core principles underlying the scientific basis of diabetes and diabesity in clinical practice, covering key aspects in the cellular and biochemical events in insulin secretion and action, pharmacology of diabetes therapies and the clinical diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of this major chronic metabolic condition. The part-time PgCert in Diabetes will be taken over two academic semesters with students taking one 30-credit point module per semester over one academic year. In semester one, students will study the specialist diabetes module Diabetes: Science and Therapeutics (30 credit points). This will be followed by the module Evidence-Based Practice in Healthcare Science (30 credit points) in semester two. Following successful completion of both modules (60 credits) the student will exit with a Postgraduate Certificate in Diabetes.
Dr Jayne Devlin
Teaching Fellow, School of Biomedical Sciences
Part-time, fully online.
Core material will be delivered through online lectures complemented by online discussion boards, problem-based learning scenarios, independent study, and module assignments. The programme is based on 100% coursework which will be used to assess outcomes and facilitate learning and integration of knowledge. Structured coursework will include literature-based assignments, multiple-choice questions, problem-based learning, essays and other formative coursework as appropriate.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
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This module provides a comprehensive overview of the scientific background to diabetes and diabesity. It covers all the major areas of current scientific knowledge including mechanisms of insulin secretion, diabetes pathophysiology, clinical diagnosis and therapeutic strategies. It is designed to equip student with skills to critically evaluate current scientific literature describing diabetes and diabesity physiology, pathobiology and therapeutic advances and care.
A work-based module where students review, after consultation with their line manager, an aspect of their professional practice identifying evidence to support their recommendations, initiate the keeping of a professional reflective diary and submit a report of evidence to support their action research plan. Students currently not in employment will be given advice on suitable topics from the module co-ordinator.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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(a) have gained
(i) a degree in a relevant Life Sciences discipline or another related discipline from a university in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic Awards, the National Council for Educational Awards, the Higher Education and Training Awards Council or from an institution of another country which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or
(ii) an equivalent standard in a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma or an approved alternative qualification in a relevant Life Science discipline or another related discipline;
(b) provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent) and for non-native English speakers, IELTS students whose first language is not English must have a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 (with no contributing band at less than 5.5) or equivalent
or as an alternative to (a) (i) or (a) (ii) and /or (b)
(c) In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiental learning a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes, as determined by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
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The academic content of this programme will provide a new opportunity for students to specialise further in their own scientific field and will provide them with the confidence to compete for higher specialist post, as they arise in the Health Services and Industry.
Course Director: Dr Jayne Devlin
For application enquiries contact the Jacqui Neill - Admissions Office on: