Postgraduate Diploma Expedition and Wilderness Medicine (Online Delivery)

Travel for both work and pleasure is becoming increasingly prevalent.

In this emerging market, current job adverts are asking for doctors and other healthcare professionals (HCPs) with training, experience and specialization in wilderness and expedition medicine.

Examples may include adventure holidays, charity work and overseas employment - scenarios could be anything from climate research expeditions, treks and charity work to going into space.

This online course is run with the collaborative partner Diploma MSc.

On successful completion, you will become a leader in the field of Expedition and Wilderness Medicine and can go on to study the MSc in Expedition and Wilderness Medicine.

2022/23 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for delivering our courses in the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to change during the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. Whether you’re on-campus full time, part-time with online study, or full-time online, USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 1 Year March Online 8
Part-time 1 Year September Online 8
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 1 Year September Online 8

The online course lasts one calendar year and is a part-time distance learning course, with six modules per year, each of six weeks duration.

Module 1 – Preparation for Expeditions

  • To provide healthcare professionals with the skills, knowledge and methodical approach to prepare and plan a successful and safe expedition in a variety of settings.

Module 2 – Polar and Mountain Healthcare Considerations

  • To provide healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge to plan and execute a successful and safe expedition in a polar and/or mountain environment.
  • To anticipate potential complications which may arise within cold and high altitude in respect both of the expedition participants and the treatments available.

Module 3 – Healthcare Application in Ocean, River and Water Settings

  • To provide healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge to plan and execute a successful and safe expedition in an aquatic environment.
  • To anticipate potential complications which may arise within remote ocean, river and water environments in respect both of the expedition participants and the treatments available.

Module 4 – Healthcare in Desert and Tropical Environments

  • To provide healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge to plan and execute a successful and safe expedition in a desert and/or tropical environment.
  • To anticipate potential complications which may arise within the desert and/or tropical environments in respect both of the expedition participants and the treatments available.

Module 5 –  Treating Common Medical Problems in an Expedition and Wilderness Setting

  • To provide healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge to anticipate, plan for and treat potential common medical problems which may arise on expeditions and the additional challenges which exist within remote environments.
  • To consider the importance of the effective treatment of minor and/or major conditions and the impact of them on the expedition success.

Module 6 – Applying Expedition Medicine to Natural Disaster and Relief Management

  • To provide healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge to be able to transfer knowledge learnt within expedition and wilderness medicine to a natural disaster situation, providing safe medical care within a variety of environments.
  • To anticipate additional potential complications which may arise within an emergency situation. Using knowledge gained over the previous modules, use and adapt that knowledge to an emergency situation or natural disaster.


Once you have secured your place on the course, you will be invited to our online Orientation and Study Skills week.

This will give you the opportunity to participate in study skills workshops on Harvard Referencing, scientific and reflective writings, and levels of evidence in preparation for your studies.

Our courses are conducted entirely online through self-directed distance learning.

]You’ll receive guidance throughout your course with tutor-stimulated academic discussions, which are based on clinically-rich case scenarios.

These usually occur within groups of 10-15 students, allowing you to clearly communicate with both your tutor and fellow students.

You will also participate in a combination of module activities that may be group and/or individual based, dependent on the module.

These innovative teaching methods enable you to envisage the translation of your studies into your everyday work and practice.

Due to the online nature of the course, you will be expected to regularly log in and participate in the course - ideally on a daily basis. Students are recommended to spend around two hours per day on their studies.



Each of the six modules has the same assessment format:

  • Academic Forum - 40%
  • Reflective Journal - 10%
  • Module activity - 20%
  • Case-based examination - 30%


As part of your online studies, you will have access to the Learning Resources Centre materials at the University of South Wales.

FINDit is the University’s portal which allows you to search for over 13,000 full-text journal articles, news articles, conference proceedings and approximately 160 databases via one search box- the majority of these materials are accessible online.

Interactive study skills modules are available to study via Blackboard to enable you to utilise the library services fully.


Dr Karl New, course lead
• Dr Meinir Jones, programme lead

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

Since our courses are conducted entirely online, they are accessible to both UK and international registered healthcare professionals.
Applicants will typically hold a first degree or equivalent (including international qualifications) in a relevant professional healthcare field, such as a medical or nursing degree. Registered healthcare professionals without these recognised qualifications will be considered on an individual basis and a wide range of prior experience may be taken into account.
In some cases, applicants may be asked to submit a piece of work for assessment in order to confirm that they are able to work comfortably at postgraduate level, and demonstrate the requisite clinical and professional knowledge.

Documents Required

• A copy of your updated CV including your address and date of birth.
• A copy of your undergraduate degree certificate.
• The name and email address of someone who is able to provide a reference, this can be a work colleague, employer or former tutor.
• A detailed personal statement explaining why you would like to undertake the course.
• A copy of your proof of English competency (see below).


International Entry Requirements

Proficiency in the English language is also essential to completing our courses. If English is NOT your first language, we ask for proof of competency during the application process. We are able to accept an IELTS overall score of 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 for each band) or an equivalent qualification.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

August 2023 - July 2024 Fees

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment. Below we’ve listed what types of additional costs are associated with this course:

This course is run in partnership with Diploma MSC who have over 10 years` experience in delivering award-winning, online, Postgraduate Diploma, MSc and MBA distance education courses.

Click here to apply to study this course via Diploma MSC.

The course has direct relevance to the demands of working roles and will assist in career enhancement and support specialisation.

It is envisaged that most students will be accepting expedition-related roles or aspiring to such positions.

A postgraduate qualification gives you a competitive advantage that will set you apart from other applicants.