About the course
The Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Paediatric Infectious Diseases is a part-time course 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 primarily online (with some 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
- 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. Tutors will lead online discussions of the syllabus topics during timetabled weeks (on average three to four weeks per topic) which will be followed by study weeks to allow you to carry out self-directed study. 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 IIC in Oxford and one PENTA TrainforPedHIV course. The PENTA TrainForPedHIV course takes place every other year. Students commencing the PGDip in September 2021 will therefore need to complete the 2022 HIV course in order to meet the requirements of the PGDip prior to the 2023 Examination Board for this cohort. Alternatively, students commencing the PGDip in September 2021 who have already completed 2020 TrainForPed course may have this participation counted towards their PGDip.
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.
The allocation of graduate supervision for this course 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.
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.
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.
Changes to this course and your supervision
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. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic (including Covid-19), epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.
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 illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.
Other courses you may wish to consider
If you're thinking about applying for this course, you may also wish to consider the courses listed below. These courses may have been suggested due to their similarity with this course, or because they are offered by the same department or faculty.
Courses suggested by the lead department
All graduate courses in this area offered by the Department for Continuing Education
Entry requirements for entry in 2021-22
Proven and potential academic excellence
As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the equivalent of the following UK qualifications:
- an appropriate medical qualification equivalent to MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery)
All applicants should also hold a specialist qualification equivalent to the Membership Examination of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (MRCPCH).
For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA normally sought is 3.6 out of 4.0.
If your degree is not from the UK or another country specified above, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements.
GRE General Test scores
No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.
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.
- Publications are not expected.
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.
If your ability to meet the entry requirements has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (eg you were awarded an unclassified/ungraded degree) or any other exceptional personal circumstance (eg other illness or bereavement), please refer to the guidance on extenuating circumstances in the Application Guide for information about how to declare this so that your application can be considered appropriately.
English language requirement
This course requires proficiency in English at the University's higher level. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence that you meet this requirement. The minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level are detailed in the table below.
|Test||Minimum overall score||Minimum score per component|
|IELTS Academic (Institution code: 0713)||7.5||7.0|
TOEFL iBT, including the 'Home Edition'
(Institution code: 0490)
*Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
†Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)
Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course. Our Application Guide provides further information about the English language test requirement.
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
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.
Any offer of a place is dependent on the University’s ability to provide the appropriate supervision for your chosen area of work. Please refer to the ‘About’ section of this page for more information about the provision of supervision for this course.
How your application is assessed
Your application will be assessed purely on academic merit and potential, according to the published entry requirements for the course. 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. Whether you have secured funding will not be taken into consideration when your application is assessed.
Admissions panels and assessors
All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgement of at least two members of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and must also be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent within the department).
Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.
After an offer is made
If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, you will be required to meet the following requirements:
If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a Financial Declaration in order to meet your financial condition of admission.
Disclosure of criminal convictions
In accordance with the University’s obligations towards students and staff, we will ask you to declare any relevant, unspent criminal convictions before you can take up a place at Oxford.
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.
The University expects to be able to offer up to 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships across the collegiate University in 2021-22. You will be automatically considered for the majority of Oxford scholarships, if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant January deadline. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential.
For further details about searching for funding as a graduate student visit our dedicated Funding pages, which contain information about how to apply for Oxford scholarships requiring an additional application, details of external funding, loan schemes and other funding sources. Please ensure that you visit individual college websites for details of college-specific funding opportunities using the links provided on our college pages.
Further information about funding opportunities for this course can be found on the department's website.
Annual fees for entry in 2021-22
Annual Course fees
|Home (UK, Republic of Ireland,|
Channel Islands & Isle of Man)
|Overseas (including EU)||£9,129|
Course 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 course fees). 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.
Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below.
This course involves participation in two instances of the Infection and Immunity in Children (IIC) course 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 to £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 £1,250 per annum.
In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.
For the 2021-22 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,175 and £1,710 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. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2021-22, you should allow for an estimated increase in living expenses of 3% each year.
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.
Matriculation confers membership of the University on students. Students who enrol on this course will not be matriculated and will not become a member of an Oxford college. Although not formally members of the University, non-matriculated students are expected to observe the same rules and regulations as matriculated students. Further information about matriculation is available on the Oxford Students website.
How to apply
The set of documents you should send with your application to this course comprises the following:
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.
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:
A minimum of 500 words to a maximum of 1,000 words
Your statement should 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 are no restrictions on font size or line spacing, although the document should be clearly legible and written in English.
If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.
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.
Start or continue an application
Step 1: Read our guide to getting started, which explains how to prepare for and start an application.
Step 2: Check that you meet the Entry requirements and read the How to apply information on this page.
Step 3: Check the deadlines on this page and the deadline information in our Application Guide. Plan your time to submit your application well in advance - we recommend two or three weeks earlier.
Step 4: Check if you're eligible for an application fee waiver. Application fee waivers are available for:
- UK applicants from low-income backgrounds who meet the eligibility criteria;
- residents in a country listed as low-income by the World Bank (refer to the eligibility criteria);
- current Oxford graduate taught students applying for readmission to an eligible course; and
- additional applications to selected research courses that are closely related to your first application.
Step 5: Start your application using the relevant link below. As you complete the form, consult our Application Guide for advice at each stage. You'll find the answers to most common queries in our FAQs.