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Courses & Teaching Overview An Introduction to Dermoscopy
Diploma in Practical Dermatology Diploma in Clinical Dermatology
MSc in Dermatology MPhil and PhD


DPD Students

Dr M Darlison, UK

Dr Darlison completed the diploma in 1993, before the course was web based.
"The DPD is the most enjoyable of diplomas I have taken. I enjoyed the written work because we were given such helpful papers and cassettes each fortnight. The two study weekends were very useful, with ward rounds, demonstrations, case studies and quizzes. The three dissertations helped us study some topics in greater depth and the test at the end concentrated the mind. I have the diploma on my wall."

Dr Christie Freeman, Canada

"I found the web-based curriculum to be a very effective way to learn and participate in discussions with tutors and students from around the globe. Since obtaining my diploma I have received permission from my province's college to practice as a GP-dermatologist. I see dermatology consultations referred from physicians in my community 3 days per week. I never would have been able to change my career in such a profound and positive way had it not been for the DPD course."

Dr Samantha Gittins, UK

"I am a GP in Northumberland, England and completed the DPD in 2005-06. It is no exaggeration to say it was a life changing experience. Undergraduate dermatology training was at best scarce and I panicked when a patient presented a skin problem. Since completing the DPD I relish those consultations as a welcome break from a chronic disease workload. In the ever changing GP environment, to have an extra skill is so important and I feel that is what this course has given me. Its unique learning environment has led me to make friends from around the world which I have kept way beyond the completion of the course."

Dr Paul Grinzi, Australia

"As a GP registrar, I quickly came to realise how much dermatology there was in general practice, and how little I had been previously taught. My mentors had told me that they had learnt through 10, 20, 30+ years of experience. I didn't want to wait that long! Cardiff's Diploma in Practical Dermatology provided the perfect platform to learn about many common (and some not so common!) aspects of dermatology - within a most supportive and fun-filled online community. I needed to defer the course in 2006/07 and rejoined the course with the 2007/08 cohort. The support of the course staff and tutors allowed this transition to occur seamlessly. Upon completing the diploma, I feel much more confident with my dermatological knowledge and have even had the opportunity to start teaching others on this subject. The benefits weren't just work-related though - I've made some fabulous friends through the course from all over the globe."

Dr Andrew Herd, UK

"My name is Andrew Herd. On sending myself to Coventry 22 years ago as a GP I did not realise how much dermatology contributed to primary care. So by self-education and gaining a postgraduate award on the subject, I started a clinic for our patients and became one of 2 GPwSI in Coventry and attend two secondary care clinics monthly. From the DPD handbook I saw the intense workload involved and was grateful for participating as it boosted my confidence in skin conditions and IT. The online banter was wonderful and I was awarded for being the most entertaining student of 2006-2007 and achieved the DPD also."

Dr John Horan, Ireland

"I work as a GP in the south-west of Ireland. While I found that I was seeing a myriad of dermatological presentations, I noticed that I had limited clinical knowledge on the subject. This is why I applied for the DPD course. While I found that it was more work than I had expected, by the same token I found that I achieved a lot more from it, and can safely say that it is one of the most valuable courses I have taken. I would recommend it to any Physician in Primary care. Instead of being uncomfortable with dermatology patients, I now frequently follow these patients up, where you can literally see the fruit of your labour."

Dr Isba Javed, UK

"The dermatology diploma at Cardiff is by far the most innovative and fun learning experience that I have experienced. I am a GP in South West London and have found that the variety and frequency of dermatology in general practice is exponentially increasing. I decided to do this course as I have always been fascinated by skin disease and its consequences. Since enrolment I found that it has been great at increasing my practical knowledge and allowed me to provide an invaluable service for my patients and colleagues. My IT skills have also improved immensely and I highly recommend this course to all those who want to learn dermatology in a truly innovative way."

Dr Simon Jarvis, UK

"My name is Simon Jarvis. I have been a GP in Warrington, Cheshire for just over 20 years. My interest in skin disorders started as an SHO in dermatology in Leicester in 1982 and I subsequently became a clinical assistant in Warrington for several years. Despite this useful experience I was very aware of my lack of formal postgraduate training so I eventually decided to enrol for the DPD course. I am very pleased that I did. The course has been demanding but very rewarding. The educational content and organisation of the course has been exemplary. My confidence and interest in managing skin disorders in general practice has been greatly enhanced."

Dr David Jones, UK

"I am an NHS GP in North Wales. The eyes may well be the “windows of the soul”, but the skin tells a lot more about the person. The opportunity to do the Cardiff DPD came at the right time. Its online, interactive format was ideal - it meant studying from the comfort of home with an international group of like-minded colleagues whose enthusiasm for the subject mirrored that of the course organisers and the department at Cardiff. It also provided me with a structured learning package, something which I needed rather than the casual reading of articles that had been the mainstay of my post graduate education. Computer skills, necessary to get the most out of the course, leave you not only a more skilful dermatologist at the end of the course but also a competent IT “geek”."

Dr Abdul Aziz Khalid, Pakistan

"I have worked as a Dermatology Practitioner in Okara, Pakistan for the last eight years. As a large number of dermatology patients are presented to me, it was necessary for me to improve my knowledge of dermatology. I studied for the DPD in 2007-08 and found that it is such a well-organized course, I never felt that I was learning from distance. I enjoyed the discussion forums which were so interesting and great for knowledge sharing that I always felt as if I was sitting in a class room! Now after achieving the diploma, I am serving my patients in a much better way, having maximum knowledge of modern dermatology, investigations and treatment modalities."

Dr Choi Kin, Hong Kong

"Much of my dermatology knowledge gained during my 36 years of practice is based upon the DPD course. It is so good that I still enjoyed taking it the second time in 2007 for quotability purposes."

Dr Albert Yim-Fai Kong, Hong Kong

"The DPD course has gained international popularity and evolved steadily into its present format, recognized by the Hong Kong Medical Council as a quotable qualification, encompassing interactive online modules via the internet, meticulously engineered by the department with cutting edge technology. Valuable clinical pearls and personal experiences can be liberally shared by participants and tutors unrestricted by time and location.
To any medical practitioner who is amazed and bewildered by the normal and abnormal appearances of the skin, fascinated by the long Latin terms, inspired to foster global fraternity, or determined to update their knowledge and practice in dermatology, I unreservedly recommend this challenging course. It is more than continuous professional development in medicine and computer skills; it is a rewarding investment within an affordable time frame and budget."

Dr Stephen Kell, UK

"I am a full time GP partner in a large practice in Worksop, Notts. I also work 2 sessions per week as a clinical assistant in Doncaster Dermatology department, mainly doing minor surgery. I did the DPD to improve my knowledge of general dermatology to assist with my hospital work and with the aim of becoming a GPwSI. My fourth child was born during the DPD and the flexibility offered by distance e-learning was very important to me. I really enjoyed the DPD and feel much more confident managing dermatological problems as a result."

Dr Lew Hong Chau, Malaysia

"The DPD course is the best postgraduate course I have ever come across given its distance-learning nature. Coupled with the use of information technology, assignments and interactive discussions over the internet, this has been the most innovative method of learning to date. I would love to participate in another postgraduate course relevant to GP practice if given another opportunity. Thank you!"

Dr Ewen McPhee, Australia

"The Diploma in Practical Dermatology offered me an opportunity to enhance the skill set I have in Dermatology. Dermatology accounts for a significant proportion of GP consultations, with patients having to travel a thousand kilometers to see a specialist otherwise. Being an isolated rural GP in Australia I chose the course because of its reputation for excellence in delivery of online educational content. I remember being able to share experiences with doctors from all points of the globe and having the opportunity to appreciate the different medical and social environments that GPs work in. My confidence in managing common dermatological problems has improved immeasurably."

Dr Bhartendu Mehta, Bahrain

"I signed up for the DPD course in 2007-08 as I felt a need to 'go back to basics'. Doing the DPD course has been my most enjoyable learning experience. It was not easy - in fact it was quite stressful but the effort was worth it! Along the way I made some great new friends from all over the world, friends not only from the student community but even the tutors and staff. One of my proudest moments of the course was winning the ‘Most Entertaining Student of the Year Award’!"

Dr Sonia Meade-Swanston, St Maarten

"I grabbed the opportunity to update and improve my clinical skill and theoretical knowledge in dermatology while I was in a "practice hiatus" - awaiting approval to open my own clinic in St. Maarten in the Caribbean. Dermatology had long been a favourite area of my practice. The opportunity to do the course online was welcome. Since opening my practice, I have begun to treat many more skin cases, and I have a far keener sensitivity to the issues that patients with skin diseases have. I now take a different approach to the use of topical steroids for example, and I find I need to communicate a lot with the pharmacists here, as they all seem to order only one strength... potent! Also finding suitable skin moisturisers for atopic eczema is challenging... maybe other GP's don't prescribe them? What a sense of satisfaction, when, after one week of treatment, a boy with excoriated, hyperpigmented, lichenified atopic eczema in the popliteal fossae, returns with a big smile. " 

Dr Devang Patel, Gibraltar

"I am a Medical Officer in the Royal Navy and did the DPD whilst based in Gibraltar during my GP registrar year. It has been the single most useful post-graduate course I have done; significantly improving my ability to manage skin conditions. I now WANT to see skin problems walk through my door and my trainer gladly sends them all my way! I only wish I'd done this before my first operational deployment to sea!"

Dr Tania Ramos, Spain

"I am a Peruvian pediatrician with a special interest in dermatology. I completed the DPD in July 2013 and I must say it was the most fascinating distance-learning course I have taken in my life! Its interesting interactive learning methods made me feel confident about dermatologic disorders. The discussion forums allow students to share clinical cases, related literature and comments - as my native language is Spanish, it was also a great opportunity to practise my English. If you donít have time to do a full-time course I would recommend the DPD to you."

Dr Alana Serota, USA

"My name is Alana Serota, I am a primary care physician from Canada now living in the US. I have always loved dermatology and its intersection with all the specialties and subspecialties in medicine and surgery. The DPD has enabled me to enhance my knowledge and skills in all areas of dermatology."

Dr Brian Sharpe, Canada

"I am a Canadian family physician in full time practice in Newfoundland. I am in the middle of my career and decided to do the Diploma in Practical Dermatology course to try and put a different emphasis on my practice. Since doing the course I am seeing a lot more dermatology patients and feel more confident in diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases. Also, I have been awarded a scholarship from the College of Family Physicians of Canada because of this course. It was effort well spent and I would recommend the postgraduate DPD course to any GP with an interest in this subject."

Dr Marcia Sonneveld, New Zealand

"The old adage of "more things are missed by not looking than by not knowing" is very pertinent to dermatology. If asked what I enjoyed most about the DPD course I would have to confess to it being the online forum discussions. I became a 'forum junkie' finding them a great way to learn all manner of facts about skin diseases, including useful practical tips. Good history taking, thorough skin examination, pattern recognition and checking carefully for diagnostic clues was emphasized repeatedly during the forum discussions and I found them a useful way to prepare for the final clinical examination. Overall the DPD course was a great learning experience which I recommend to any GP with an interest in dermatology. The improvement in one's knowledge base, diagnostic skills and, confidence in managing common skin diseases will be immense. However, be prepared to make the time commitment as you will only "reap what you sow"."

Dr Vincent Stoffel, France

"I am a French GP, qualified in tropical medicine and public health, and used to working in remote areas in Africa. The DPD is an interesting tool which helps students to deal with skin conditions on a clinical base. It is particularly helpful in Africa where the availability of complementary examinations remains poor. A great but intensive year of dermatology. Thank you to everyone involved in the DPD!"

Dr Marcus Stone, New Zealand

"The DPD fills an important gap. It is a diploma for the busy GP anywhere in the world with a special interest in dermatology. The course is superbly constructed, full of resources, quite demanding but well geared to the learning objectives. You finish with a satisfying sense of achievement and a knowledge base that adds real confidence to dermatological consultations."
Marcus Stone is a partner in a private general practice medical centre in Auckland.

Dr Julie Tripp, Canada

"I am a family physician in London, Ontario and I have always had a special interest in dermatology. I found the DPD course to be enjoyable, challenging and very beneficial to my practice. The unique web-based design allowed me to learn and interact with colleagues from around the world who shared an interest in skin disease. The course is up to date and the material is evidence based and the tutors and staff at Cardiff are very helpful and available. I would recommend this course to any physician who would like to expand their knowledge in dermatology."

Dr Tz Wah Tse, Hong Kong

"It is amazing to see how the course has evolved from 1998 when I first took the DPD course, from which I learned my fundamental basis of dermatology knowledge. The course is now full of interactive action between international colleagues and with excellent quick online tutor supervision. The course content is always up to date and useful materials are always available. The online study allowed me flexibility with a very busy daily work load. You can also enjoy the study anywhere in the world where the internet is available. It is my pleasure to strongly recommend this course to other doctors who are interested in dermatology. "

Dr Ebele Ugochukwu, Nigeria

"I loved the DPD course, and it was an absolute dream come true for me; finding a dermatology course that I could do online. The course is so well organised and comprehensive, by the time it was over, my knowledge of dermatology was quite considerable. It was perfect in design so that you donít pile up your work to the last minute! It was challenging but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The course has provided me with the background to pursue my dream of getting into cosmetology. I cannot thank enough the people who came up with the idea of an online dermatology course!"

Dr Harender Saroha, UK

"I am a GP in a large practice in Derby. I did the DPD to gain a formal qualification in a speciality which always interested me. Although it can be very demanding at times, I found the tutors very encouraging. The opportunity to work in teams was an immensely useful experience. I am pleased to have done the diploma and I can already see a huge impact on my practice. I wish I had done it sooner! I would strongly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in gaining more knowledge in dermatology. "

Dr Donna Chow, Singapore

"The DPD course equips GPs with a good introduction to the world of dermatology. The reading materials are well written, comprehensive and provide a good practical approach to treat patients with dermatological problems. However, do anticipate spending a good deal of your time preparing written assignments, case histories and attempting the weekly multiple choice questions! There are also ample opportunities for you to showcase your new found knowledge at online forums where your fellow colleagues will put up interesting cases for discussion. At the end of the year you will find it has been a worthwhile investment of your time to complete this course.

DCD Students

Dr Marisa Taylor, United Kingdom

"I know many testimonials usually say ‘Oh it was great’ and to those who may be disappointed that I have only high praises for the DCD - I apologise. The DCD is a well thought-out course that covers all the key areas that a well-equipped Dermatologist should know, with a bevy of lectures and workshops delivered by text book authors and experts in the field.  The clinical rotations served to cement my Dermatology knowledge.  During my time in the DCD (2005-2006) I had a rare opportunity to be a part of a multicultural group in a relaxed, supportive atmosphere that encouraged us to be more sensitive and knowledgeable world citizens.  The best part of it is that I now have lots of international friends! It has been truly my honour to meet and interact with the teaching and administrative members of the Cardiff team. They have done a stupendous job in elevating the course to what it is today and I highly recommend it."

Dr Musheera M Ali, United Kingdom

"The diploma in clinical dermatology is a comprehensive course delivered in a friendly and interactive learning environment. In my opinion, the excellent reputation of this course is attributed to the high standard of teaching, state of the art facilities and supportive staff. The DCD programme was an enriching experience not only in the academic sense but also gave me an opportunity to meet interesting people from diverse backgrounds and make long lasting friends. This course has helped me immensely in advancing my understanding of dermatology. I have no hesitation in recommending it to all aspiring dermatologists."

An Introduction to Dermoscopy

Dr John Shewring, Wales

"This was an excellent course which has totally changed my day-to-day practice in lesion recognition. The modules were well written and practical, with clearly defined learning points which provided a steep learning curve in the use of the dermatoscope. From a clinical governance aspect I would say that any GP that is using a dermatoscope needs to have done this course."

Dr Paul Proctor, England

"I was completely new to dermoscopy and I have been very pleasantly surprised about how useful it can be in assessing skin lesions. I feel that I personally needed a course with this amount of detail in order to gain enough confidence to use dermoscopy as a GP. In particular I was impressed that the course had a good balance of background information and more importantly how to deal with the practicalities of decision making in day-to-day practice."

Dr Neil Shroff, UK

“I am an accredited GPwSI in Skin Cancer and Skin Surgery based in Nottingham. I have thoroughly enjoyed the dermoscopy course which underpins what I do in skin cancer clinics. The course has given me a much better grasp of the principles through the comprehensive learning modules, with the back-up from distinguished, enthusiastic course mentors as well. Dermoscopy lends itself well to primary care in order to detect melanomas as well as other skin cancers, and also it helps filter out patients with benign skin lesions that needlessly end up in the clinic. I recommend this course not just to GPs, but to dermatologists, plastic surgeons and our other colleagues”

MSc in Practical Dermatology Students

Dr Ben Kay, UK

“The MSc in Practical Dermatology course offers DPD graduates the opportunity to take their learning to the next level and gain a Masters qualification. I work as a full-time UK NHS GP and gained the DPD qualification in 2006 which transformed my dermatology practice. I decided to apply for the MSc PD to further establish my interest and expertise as a GP in this exciting field.

Having really enjoyed the case history component of the DPD, I found the MSc PD was immediately familiar, being based on writing and researching five good case histories on a topic relevant to primary care dermatology. Students then take this to another level by exploring the literature and current evidence behind their chosen topic leading to a 20,000 word thesis. I chose to research the topical treatment of superficial basal cell carcinoma in primary care which gave me real insight into the problems facing GPs treating this skin cancer.

The course is an MSc by research (compared to a taught MSc) and as such is a very different experience to the DPD where there is always new teaching material and a pending deadline. For the MSc PD you quickly have to get used to self-directed study which can be quite daunting. However, the supervision system works well and help is only an email/forum posting away.

If you enjoyed the DPD and want to gain a more academic qualification then this course offers you the opportunity to achieve an MSc whilst working as a busy doctor. However don't expect the course to feel like an extension of the DPD as it is a very different experience!”