PGDip in Paediatric Infectious Diseases | University of Oxford
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PGDip in Paediatric Infectious Diseases

About the course

The Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Paediatric Infectious Diseases is a part-time course designed to provide a variety of different teaching methods, both face-to-face and online, directing students through the syllabus required in the EU for clinical training in the subspecialty. The course is appropriate for those outside the EU. 

Worldwide, two-thirds of the deaths of children under five years of age are caused by infectious diseases, and the prevention and treatment of infections in children is the number one priority for global health. Thus, the department believes that professionally-oriented education in paediatric infectious diseases is essential in the training of clinicians and clinical academics who will provide the future leadership in this key area for global health. 

The Postgraduate Diploma is a two-year, part-time course taught via a blend of online and residential components, providing you with an in-depth understanding of both the theoretical and practical aspects of paediatric infection. It also places the practice of paediatric infectious diseases in the broader context of applied sciences, such as pathogenesis, population biology and epidemiology. 

The course will appeal to doctors who have experience in paediatrics, including trainees in paediatrics who have a specialist qualification equivalent to the Membership Examination of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (MRCPCH), specialist trainees in paediatric infectious diseases or relevant medical subspecialties, and clinical research fellows. 

The syllabus covers the following topics:

  • infectious syndromes
  • therapeutics and infection control
  • epidemiology, immunity and immunisation
  • bacterial infections
  • viruses
  • imported tropical disease and mycobacterial infection
  • congenital and neonatal infection, sexually transmitted diseases and parasitic disease
  • the immunocompromised host
  • fungal infections
  • PENTA-ESPID Tr@inforPed Paediatric HIV Infection Course

The majority of the teaching takes place online through a virtual learning environment (VLE), with online teaching discussions, interaction with tutors and other students, and access to an extensive resource library. This enables students from around the world to participate in the programme. In addition to the online teaching, you are also required to attend three residential courses during the two years – two in Oxford and one in Rome. 

To complete the PGDip in Paediatric Infectious Diseases, you will need to: 

  • complete three 4,000-word written assignments, a short oral presentation, and an examination consisting of multiple choice questions;
  • attend two Infection and Immunity in Children (IIC) residential courses, held in Oxford;
  • attend the PENTA-HIV (Tr@inforPedHIV) residential training course in paediatric HIV medicine, held in Rome;
  • complete the online PENTA-ESPID (Tr@inforPedHIV) module and online case discussion in paediatric HIV medicine;
  • participate in seven ESPID Online Case Rounds; and
  • participate in six online multiple choice sessions.

The course is a result of a close collaboration between the University of Oxford Department of Paediatrics, the Department for Continuing Education and the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID).

The international panel of tutors is led by Andrew Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity at the University of Oxford, and Honorary Consultant Paediatrician at the Children’s Hospital, Oxford. 

Graduate destinations

Most part-time students commencing this programme are already in full-time employment. The PGDip aims to prepare trainees for work in the sub-specialty of paediatric infectious diseases.

Related courses

Changes to the course

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.

Entry requirements for entry in 2017-18

Within equal opportunities principles and legislation, applications will be assessed in the light of an applicant’s ability to meet the following entry requirements:

1. Academic ability

Proven and potential academic excellence

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in an appropriate subject. All applicants should have an appropriate medical qualification equivalent to MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery).

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA normally sought is 3.6 out of 4.0.

If you hold non-UK qualifications and wish to check how your qualifications match these requirements, you can contact the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC).

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

All applicants should also hold a specialist qualification equivalent to the Membership Examination of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (MRCPCH).

Other appropriate indicators will include:

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including references and an official transcript. See 'How to apply' for instructions on the documents you will need and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview(s)

Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process.  

A fifteen-minute telephone interview will be arranged for all those who appear to fulfil the basic requirements for entry to the course. Performance at interview will play a significant role in the assessment of the selection criteria. Telephone interviews will be held after each application deadline. They will be conducted by a minimum of two interviewers. 

The purpose of the interview is to:

  • establish your level of interest, motivation and potential to benefit from the course of study;
  • clarify any uncertainties about course requirements; and
  • ensure that you are fully informed of the standard of achievement and level of commitment required by the course of study.

Publications

Publications are not expected.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

Evidence of work experience in paediatrics is a requirement of entry. Applicants should be registered in a national clinical training programme, where applicable. Applicants will need to have good working knowledge of email, internet, word processing and Windows applications.

2. English language requirement

Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the higher level required by the University.

3. Availability of supervision, teaching, facilities and places

The following factors will govern whether candidates can be offered places:

  • The ability of the Department for Continuing Education to provide the appropriate supervision, research opportunities, teaching and facilities for your chosen area of work
  • Minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to Oxford's research and taught programmes.

The provision of supervision, where required, is subject to the following points:

  • The allocation of graduate supervision is the responsibility of the Department for Continuing Education and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff
  • Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Department for Continuing Education.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include sabbatical leave, maternity leave or change in employment.

4. Disability, health conditions and specific learning difficulties

Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.

Decisions on admission are based solely on the individual academic merits of each candidate and the application of the entry requirements appropriate to the course.

Further information on how these matters are supported during the admissions process is available in our guidance for applicants with disabilities.

5. Assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgment of at least two members of academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and additionally must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent departmental persons or bodies).

Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

6. Other information

Whether you have yet secured funding is not taken into consideration in the decision to make an initial offer of a place, but please note that the initial offer of a place will not be confirmed until you have completed a Financial Declaration.

Successful applicants will normally provide evidence of all the following:

  • a demonstrated interest in paediatric infectious diseases, evidenced by prior experience, interest and work;
  • a senior supporter from their home institution or country who is a member of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Disease or a national paediatric infectious disease body such as the British Paediatric Allergy Infection and Immunity Group. This supporter will also normally be a referee for the individual;
  • the ability to commit time to study and an employer's commitment to make time available to study, complete course work and attend course and University events and residential components; and
  • motivation and ability to complete the course.

Resources

The department is committed to supporting you to pursue your academic goals. 

The Rewley House Continuing Education Library, one of the Bodleian Libraries, is situated in Rewley House. The department aims to support the wide variety of subjects covered by departmental courses at many academic levels. The department also has a collection of around 73,000 books together with periodicals. PCs in the library give access to the internet and the full range of electronic resources subscribed to by the University of Oxford. Wifi is also available. The Jessop Reading Room adjoining the library is available for study. You will have access to the Central Bodleian and other Bodleian Libraries.

The Graduate School provides a stimulating and enriching learning and research environment for the department's graduate students, fostering intellectual and social interaction between graduates of different disciplines and professions from the UK and around the globe. The Graduate School will help you make the most of the wealth of resources and opportunities available, paying particular regard to the support and guidance needed if you are following a part-time graduate programme. The department’s graduate community comprises over 600 members following taught programmes and more than 70 undertaking doctoral research.

The department provides various IT facilities, including the Student Computing Facility which provides individual PCs for your use. Many of the department's courses are delivered through blended learning or have a website to support face-to-face study. In most cases, online support is delivered through a virtual learning environment. 

Depending on the programme you are taking with the department, you may require accommodation at some point in your student career. Rewley House is ideally located in central Oxford; the city's historic sites, colleges, museums, shops and restaurants are only a few minutes’ walk away. The department has 35 en-suite study bedrooms, all with high quality amenities, including internet access.

The Rewley House dining room has seating for up to 132 people. A full meal service is available daily. The department operates a Common Room with bar for students. 

Funding

There are over 1,000 full graduate scholarships available across the University, and these cover your course and college fees and provide a grant for living costs. If you apply by the relevant January deadline and fulfil the eligibility criteria you will be automatically considered. Over two thirds of Oxford scholarships require nothing more than the standard course application. Use the Fees, funding and scholarship search to find out which scholarships you are eligible for and if they require an additional application, full details of which are provided.

A range of scholarships are available to students on the programmes offered by the department, along with bursary funds to assist students on low incomes. Full information on these opportunities can be found on the departmental funding pages.

Costs

Annual fees for entry in 2017-18

Fee status

Tuition fee

College fee

Total annual fees

Home/EU
(including Islands)
£4,800N/A£4,800
Overseas£7,880N/A£7,880

The fees shown above are the annual tuition fees for this course for entry in the stated academic year; for courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on likely increases to fees and charges. College fees are not generally payable for non-matriculated courses although a small number of courses may permit college affiliation for which a charge will be made.

Tuition fees are payable each year for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay tuition fees).

For more information about tuition fees and fee liability, please see the Fees section of this website. EU applicants should refer to our dedicated webpage for details on the impact of the result of the UK referendum on its membership of the European Union.

Additional information

This course involves participation in two instances of the ‘Infection and Immunity in Children’ course (IIC) in Oxford, an internationally known residential course run jointly by the University of Oxford and the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID), and also participation in and attendance at the online PENTA-ESPID HIV course and the associated residential component in Rome (3 days).

The IIC course fee is approximately £675-£800 for each instance, however students in training posts can apply for a bursary towards the course fees. Please consult the IIC website for more information about trainee bursaries. The costs for undertaking the online PENTA-ESPID HIV course and the residential component in Rome are approximately €700 for the 3-day residential and online course combined, and €500 for the online course only (it is a requirement of the Postgraduate Diploma that students undertake both the residential and online components, but they do not necessarily have to be undertaken at the same time). These fees are set by the respective course organisers. You will also need to meet your own travel and accommodation costs in attending these courses.

The Department for Continuing Education offers a contribution towards these costs to Home and EU students in the form of a reduction in the annual tuition fee of £1250 per annum.

Living costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2017-18 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between £1,002 and £1,471 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our Living costs page. If you are studying part-time your living costs may vary depending on your personal circumstances but you must still ensure that you will have sufficient funding to meet these costs for the duration of your course.

Colleges

This is a non-matriculated course and students studying non-matriculated courses do not become members of an Oxford college. More information about matriculated and non-matriculated courses can be found on the Matriculation page.

How to apply

The set of documents you should send with your application to this course comprises the following:

Official transcript(s)

Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.

More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.

CV/résumé

A CV/résumé is compulsory for all applications. Most applicants choose to submit a document of one to two pages highlighting their academic achievements and any relevant professional experience.

Statement of purpose/personal statement:
One page

Your statement should be written in English and explain your motivation for applying for the course at Oxford, your relevant experience and education, and the specific areas that interest you and/or you intend to specialise in.

There is no specific word limit, and there are no restrictions on font size or line spacing, although the document should be clearly legible and written in English.

This will be assessed for your motivation for applying to this particular programme of study; your relevant academic, research, or practical experience; and the areas of study within the subject that interest you.

References/letters of recommendation:
Three overall, academic and/or professional

Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.

If you are a current or recent master’s student, one of your referees should be your supervisor or course director from the master’s course.

Professional references are accepted if these are relevant to the course.

Your references will support your academic ability and suitability for the course. You should ask your referees to provide any other information they consider to be relevant to your application. If they have knowledge of your recent study, it would be helpful if they could indicate the standard attained.