Postgraduate Diploma Medical Sciences

The Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Sciences is aimed at highly motivated biological/biomedical science graduates and graduates of courses with a significant physiology component who want to strengthen their application to Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM).

Throughout this one-year course, you will gain applied knowledge of patient history taking and basic clinical examination techniques.

You will develop a comprehensive understanding of human anatomy and physiology, disease and pathology, as well as the ability to critically consider ethical dilemmas in health research, and policy and practice.

We work closely with Cardiff University School of Medicine, and our Medical Sciences degree is a feeder stream to Graduate Entry Medicine for that institution.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Glyntaff A
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Glyntaff A
  • Case-Based Learning in Human Anatomy and Physiology
    In teams, students participate in clinical case simulations, themed by anatomical/physiological system.

  • Clinical Skills for Medical Sciences
    Students develop their clinical examination skills and explore how clinical findings lead to diagnosis and management.

  • Contemporary Issues in Healthcare
    Exploring current issues in medicine and healthcare, students will improve their skills in evaluating complex evidence and data, contribute to detailed rational and scientific discussion, and learn how to develop and defend justifiable conclusions in reasoned debate.

  • Preparation for Medicine
    Students develop awareness of the structures and functions of the NHS, improve their reflective practice (with reference to their experience in their self-organised care placement), and learn about the roles within medicine that exist for doctors in the UK.

  • The Human Basis of Pathology
    Students will explore the complex reality of pathology and natural variation across the human body, and support them in independent research and reflection.


You will take part in regular seminars, tutorials, with group work and practical workshops during some weeks.

There will be 37 hours of seminars (3%) divided between the modules Contemporary Issues in Healthcare and Medical Sciences, Preparation for Medicine, and The Human Basis of Pathology.

There will be 60 hours of tutorials (5%) with a significant emphasis on tutorial work in most modules, including case discussions in the Case-Based Learning and Clinical Skills modules.

There will be 28 hours (2%) of group-work because we believe that working in groups is an important part of your future careers. 

There will be six hours (1%) of practical classes/workshops in Preparation for Medicine.

Directed study (including online learning) should make up 380 hours (32%) of what is expected, as the teaching team place strong emphasis on directed study for Case-Based Learning.

Independent study should make up 689 hours (57%) of study, 

You'll be expected to find your own placement in a care setting as part of the Preparation for Medicine module. Your reflections on this experience will form part of your portfolio in the Preparation for Medicine module.


  • Case-Based Learning in Human Anatomy and Physiology 
    100% by written portfolio

  • Clinical Skills for Medical Sciences
    50% by time-constrained set exercises
    50% by a practical assessment OSCE (Objective Structure Clinical Examination)

  • Contemporary Issues in Healthcare and Medical Sciences
    50% by Oral Assessment of presentation
    50% by rolling practical assessment of each learning block

  • Preparation for Medicine
    50% by written reflective essay based on a placement experience
    50% on portfolio of evidence of reflective engagement with the module

  • The Human Basis of Pathology
    100% by dissertation


Applications for Graduate Entry Medicine require some form of voluntary work or placement in the care sector so you will be expected to find your own placement in a care setting as part of the course. 

Students will be able to use prior experience if they cannot find volunteer work during the PgDip on the proviso that they can provide evidence of the experience.


State-of-the art human biology teaching facilities including manikins that have been designed to simulate physiological measurement parameters such as blood pressure, and electrocardiograms.



Our staff have over a decade of experience in progressing students to graduate entry medicine, and you'll be assigned a personal academic coach from among the team.

Personalised support will come from the student’s personal academic coach. There will be at least three meetings per academic year.

A 2:1 (or higher) degree in a biomedical subject, biological sciences course or a course with a significant physiological component such as selected sport and exercise science degrees.

The applicant must be able to demonstrate a commitment to pursuing graduate entry medicine. This is to be assessed at interview.


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 2020 - July 2021 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Externally payable fees * £262.00
GAMSAT - an external exam used by some UK medical schools in their selection process. This would only be payable if applicable to schools to which a student applies.
Externally payable fees * £60.00
UKCAT - an external exam used by some UK medical schools in their selection process. This would only be payable if applicable to schools to which a student applies.
Placement * £50.00 - £120.00
Hepatitis B vaccination may be required for certain placements. Some General Practitioners will provide free of charge, though you may be charged e.g. by a local pharmacy.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) * £47.20
Where required by placement, the student pays DBS cost. The fee covers the cost of the enhanced check, online admin fees and the post office checks.
DBS Update Service £13.00
Where applicable, we strongly recommend you sign up for this service, especially if you are likely to have placements each year and wish to pursue a career post University where a DBS check is a requirement. Please note the service has to be joined within 19 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
Placement *
For placements and voluntary work, students are expected to pay their own travelling costs to and from the venue. The cost of this will of course vary and some students have also paid for accommodation close to their place of work for the duration of their placement.

Apply directly to the University for this course.

Admissions statement

Principally the Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Sciences is for those who are looking to apply to Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM).

The range of subjects studied will also place graduates in a strong position to make an application to study at full MSc level in other areas of healthcare such as Physician Associate Studies or the NHS Scientific Training Programme.