Part Time
Postgraduate Credit (non-award bearing)

The number of breast cancer cases in the UK alone is predicted to rise 2% by 2035. Delivered entirely online, our course is designed to provide surgeons the world-over with access to high-quality education in oncoplastic breast surgery.

Using training techniques developed over seven years by a specialist team at Norwich Medical School, our gold award-winning course is comprised of six core modules. Each module will allow you to acquire selective CPD accreditation and can also be used to build towards a full Master’s award in Breast Oncoplasty.

This challenging and rewarding programme has a flexible structure designed around the working lives of busy surgical practitioners. It is facilitated by our dedicated Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), which hosts a thriving online community of students and senior specialists from all over the world.


As a Specialist Professional Development (SPD) student you’ll take part in fully-online, tutor-mediated discussions, centered around realistic cases, within our VLE.

This innovative course is based around six advanced modules, covering all areas of oncoplastic breast surgery and a host of relevant transferrable skills. The course is designed to complement your day-to-day clinical practice, so each session is delivered asynchronously, meaning that you won’t need to log-on at set times.

For each module you will be expected to actively contribute to the online forum, which will focus on clinical discussions of cases. Each module comprises several topics spanning the knowledge base in that specialist area, each bringing with it new expertise and insights, which will prove directly applicable to your own clinical practice. As such, each forum discussion will take on a life of its own, fueled by the shared reading, personal experience, and tutor guidance. This will then form the basis for further learning.

Your online learning will be supported by continual formative assessments of your surgical knowledge, critical thinking and decision-making.

This course is ideal for senior breast and plastic surgery trainees, as well as practicing breast surgery consultants with demonstrable experience in core breast oncology.

Course Structure

Our course is comprised of six 16-week-long online modules, providing advanced learning in the following specialist areas:

  • Benign breast disease
  • Malignant breast disease
  • Research and service evaluation
  • Oncoplastic breast conservation
  • Oncoplastic breast reconstruction
  • Management and service improvement

Each module is delivered in two-week topics, with learning outcomes mapped to the UK ISCP breast surgery curriculum. You will also be required to undertake approximately 10 hours of independent study each week, including:

  • Reading core texts and the latest clinical papers
  • Discussing an online clinical case with your peers to draw out learning opportunities and evidence-based practice
  • Completing formative assessments to aid your learning, including multiple choice questions and script concordance tests
  • Constructing a personal management plan for the clinical case to demonstrate your understanding of the topic

You will need to demonstrate a minimum of 80% online engagement to receive CPD accreditation for each module.

You will also have the option to take a summative written assessment for each module; complete it successfully and you’ll be awarded 20 university credits. Acquire 60 credits and, in addition to your CPD accreditation, you’ll also be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate. Successfully complete assessments for 6 modules and you’ll acquire 120 credits and receive a Postgraduate Diploma. If you then decide to complete a 60 credit Master’s dissertation project, you’ll achieve 180 credits in total, and a Master’s degree.

Teaching and Learning


All teaching will take place online, using range of teaching techniques, including peer-group (PBL) discussion and specialist formative testing.

Our e-tutors are all highly experienced senior clinicians working both in the UK and internationally, so you will be able to maximise your exposure to global discussions and comparisons of best practice.

Independent study

You will complete the course in parallel with your clinical duties in breast or plastic surgery. We allocate time for background reading and will provide you with access to the UEA online library to facilitate your evidence-based learning.


Each module is undertaken in isolation without an assessment component, allowing you to gain CPD evidence for your portfolio. However, if you do want to obtain formal university credits to contribute towards a postgraduate qualification, you will need to successfully complete a written assessment for each module.

At present, the summative assessment is a written paper based on short clinical scenarios and key feature questions, designed to allow you to demonstrate your understanding of learning outcomes and clinical management. It can be taken in your home country. However, from January 2019, we are planning to use written reflective essay-style assessments, which will be submitted and marked online.

The research and management modules will require the online submission of a piece of written work, which will be marked according to the UEA postgraduate senate scale, the national scale for higher education marking.

Study abroad or Placement Year

Students on this programme will be considered for unpaid observership positions in oncoplastic surgery in the UK.

You may also be eligible to undertake local breast surgery fellowships in your country of residence, where available. It will be your own responsibility to arrange and pay for your travel and accommodation for any trip, and to ensure you have any required visas in place.

After the course

Past students have cited a swift progression to more senior positions having completed our full Master’s course. They’ve also reported additional benefits, such as confidence in multidisciplinary teams and improved communication with peers, senior colleagues and patients.

You can expect to apply the knowledge and skills you’ll gain immediately in your clinical practice.

Career destinations

The course develops critical thinking and decision-making skills, which are the key skills for consultants in specialist medicine.

Course related costs

Core recommended textbooks are cited throughout the modules, which can be obtained locally through medical libraries, but you may wish to purchase your own.

If you choose to undertake the summative assessment for each module, and if this is in the form of a face-to-face written paper, you will need to cover any travel and accommodation costs associated with this.

Course Modules 2019/0

The course offers the flexibility to select modules based on your professional interest rather than students being required to register up-front for the full academic qualification (PG Certificate, Diploma or Masters).  Modules may be studied in any order and you may also choose to study two modules in parallel (option available from July 2018).


Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject MBBS or overseas equivalent
  • Degree Classification Pass, merit or equivalent
  • Special Entry Requirements MRCS examination or equivalent

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit fully from postgraduate study – which are conducted in English - we require evidence of proficiency in English.  Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 7.0 (minimum 7.0 in each section )

  • PTE (Pearson): 65 (minimum 65 in each section)

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests. 

Fees and Funding

The fee for a single module (not including the dissertation) for 2017/18 is £1000, which includes all tuition and assessment associated with the module. Modules undertaken as CPD only (without formal assessment) will be the same cost as the fully assessed module.

  1. Completion and passing of 3 modules can lead to a PG Principles of Breast Oncoplasty

  2. Completion and passing of 6 modules can lead to a PG Diploma in Breast Oncoplasty

  3. Completion and passing of 6 modules plus the dissertation can lead to a Masters of Breast Oncoplasty

The dissertation component, should you wish to complete a Masters qualification, lasts a complete year and can only be undertaken once the required number of taught modules has been successfully passed. The dissertation fee of £3000 includes formative e-tutor support and assessment of your dissertation thesis.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University. Students apply for one stand-alone module initially by applying online. Students wishing to take additional modules in the future can then do so through the UEA Learning and Teaching Service, without needing to reapply.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515