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Respiratory Medicine - MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Start date
Full-time, part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

MSc tuition fees for 2024/25

UK: £10,530
International: £29,340

More details on fees and funding

This taught programme provides you with an overview of common conditions in respiratory medicine, their diagnosis and management, and the balance of public health, community and secondary care input to the overall service delivery in the speciality. It is taught using a mixture of lectures, tutorials, hands on practical sessions and workplace-based elements. It will provide speciality training for budding respiratory specialists in primary or secondary care, either medical or allied healthcare professionals.

Scholarships for 2024 entry

The University of Birmingham is proud to offer a range of scholarships for our postgraduate programmes. With a scholarship pot worth over £2 million, we are committed to alleviating financial barriers to support you in taking your next steps.

Each scholarship has its own specific deadlines and eligibility criteria. Please familiarise yourself with the information on individual scholarship webpages prior to submitting an application.

Explore our scholarships

Respiratory conditions are one of the most common causes of death and poor health worldwide. Improving care quality and expanding the respiratory workforce is therefore important to improve lives.

This programme can be accessed through the 60 credit PG Certificate; 120 credit PG Diploma or the 180 credit Masters. If you wish to study this programme to Postgraduate Diploma level then you will need to complete additional modules of the programme but will not need to complete a dissertation, which is only available to those studying for the Masters.

The specific aims of the programme are to:

1. Provide an in-depth understanding of the common conditions and concepts relevant to community based respiratory medicine including:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Asthma
  • Cough
  • Sleep apnoea

2. Equip you with a comprehensive understanding and practical knowledge of acute respiratory problems, and complex lung conditions managed in a secondary care setting including:

  • TB and other respiratory infections
  • Non-invasive ventilation
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Lung cancer
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Allergy

3. Provide you with the knowledge and practical skills to plan and deliver efficient and successful clinical services through case-based learning and supervised clinical protocol design.

In addition to the specific aims above, students will learn how to interpret lung function tests, and to conduct quality improvement and service design.

Why study this course?

  • The University of Birmingham is linked to University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB - one of the largest Foundation Trusts in the UK) and clinical placements for the modules provide the opportunity to study with leading clinicians at UHB.
  • Birmingham is also one of the most diverse cities in the UK, which brings with it the challenge of managing disease in different communities, whose health beliefs may differ. From a learning perspective this means opportunities to see different models of care at work, from intense hospital-based work to integrated and virtual care models in the community setting.
  • The University of Birmingham/UHB partnership is integral to Birmingham Health Partners, which also works with Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospital, so we can also access teaching from leading paediatricians where students' studies require it.
  • The University of Birmingham has cutting edge facilities for precision medicine, for example through the Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM) which is an increasingly important area in respiratory medicine, in lung cancer, asthma and more. You may have the opportunity to hear about, or see, clinical trials in these areas during placements at UHB.


We cater for all learners with an adaptable mix of teaching styles such as lectures, seminars, small group work and workplace-based attachments in our renowned NHS partner (UHB) to facilitate clinically relevant learning.

In the core modules you will experience face-to-face days on campus, days in clinical practice with world-leading experts (eg Professor David Thickett, Adel Mansur) and supervisory meetings for the written assignment as required. 

Masters students will take 120 credits from the lists below and complete a 60-credit dissertation. Postgraduate Diploma students will take modules from the taught options below but will not undertake a dissertation. Those studying for a Postgraduate Certificate will study the core modules.

Core modules

There are three compulsory core modules, all 20 credits each.

Respiratory Medicine in Secondary Care

This module comprises three face-to-face training days, plus case based learning in clinical practice, a written assessment which focuses on case based presentations allied to evidence review OR may be a service delivery plan, plus an SAQ examination.

Respiratory Medicine in the Community

This is also available as part of other MSc programmes, thus is a great opportunity to meet colleagues from other disciplines. Face-to-face training occurs on the following topics: COPD, lung cancer, ILD, TB, NIV, service design and management. Case based learning and assessment similar to the other core module, except with MCQ rather than SAQ assessment.


This module involves a mix of lectures, small group and interactive presentations are used for teaching, as well as optional exposure to clinical environments. You will learn about clinical presentations and management of common allergic diseases, with a focus on those that can affect either upper or lower airways

Dissertation Module

Students will plan and conduct their own research project, culminating in a research dissertation that is submitted at the end of the academic year. This module runs parallel to the rest of the taught components of the course which also includes a research protocol and oral presentation as part of the assessment. Projects available include systematic reviews, secondary analysis of quantitative data, service evaluation and qualitative research methods.

Optional modules

Masters in Public Health - MPH

Clinical Oncology MSc/Diploma - Part-time

Clinical Trials – MSc / PG Dip / PG Cert

Multidisciplinary Healthcare Simulation - PGCert




  • UK: £10,530 full-time, £5,265 part-time
  • International: £29,340 full-time

Please note that international students are only eligible to study this programme on a full-time basis.

Learn more about fees and funding.

Are you an international applicant?

All international applicants to this course will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £2,000 on receipt of an offer, to secure their place.

Find out more about the deposit >>.


Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

As a UK resident you can apply for a government loan for postgraduate Masters study. This is a contribution towards the costs of study and whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs will be at the discretion of the student.

Find out more about the Postgraduate Loan

How To Apply

How to apply for our taught postgraduate programmes

Application deadlines

The deadline for international students (including EU) to apply is 30 June 2024. The deadline for UK students is 30 August 2024.

Making your application

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

2:1 in a BSc or equivalent professional qualification (e.g. nursing, physiotherapy, biomedical science or medical degree).

On a case-by-case basis, other classes of degree and/or relevant qualifications and experience of working within respiratory medicine will be considered.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

English to IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component).

If you need help with your English language skills then support is available.

The English for Academic Purposes Presessional course is for international students who have a conditional offer to study at the University, but who do not currently meet the English language requirements. The course is tailored to your level of English and allows you to meet the English language requirements for your programme without retaking IELTS. The EAP programme runs throughout the year and offers different programme lengths ranging from 42 weeks to 6 weeks. The length of course you need depends on your future course, your existing IELTS score and the English level you need for your university degree.

Find out more about the English for Academic Purposes Presessional course.

International Requirements

Course delivery

We have two teaching terms per year, the autumn term and spring term. Term dates can be found on our website. As a full-time student, you will typically take three modules in each term, followed by a dissertation.

Students who are part-time on PGCert and PGDip will choose which modules to sit in each year of the course, ensuring that at least one core module is done in year 1. Part-time MSc students will do entirely taught modules in year 1, with a smaller amount of taught areas and their dissertation in year 2. This can be agreed on starting the course. 

Hours vary according to the optional modules chosen. Some modules are full time for one week (20+ hours of contact), others are spread out across a semester typically being 4-8 hours/week. Each module represents a total of 200 hours of study time, including preparatory reading, homework and assignment preparation.

Assessment Methods

A mixture of assessment modalities is used in both core and optional modules. Multiple choice questions, short answer questions and written assignments are used for summative assessments, with shorter written work being possible to gain formative feedback on prior to the summative elements. 

Students completing this programme would likely be able to work at an advanced level in respiratory medicine, for example clinical nurse specialist or allied healthcare professional. Those who are medically qualified may have a competitive advantage against others who have only completed Deanery based training and assessment when considering consultant posts.

Previous graduates have gone on to work in clinical trials organisations and healthcare scientist posts, but a wide range of careers are possible, including specialist nursing and physiotherapy (if in receipt of the relevant primary degree), healthcare management and biomedical research.

Careers Support for Postgraduate Students

Careers Network – We can help you get ahead in the job market and develop your career

We recognise that as a postgraduate student you are likely to have specific requirements when it comes to planning for your next career step. Employers expect postgraduates to have a range of skills that exceed their subject knowledge. Careers Network offers a range of events and support services that are designed for all students, including postgraduates looking to find their niche in the job market. The Careers Network also have subject specific careers consultants and advisers for each College so you can be assured the information you receive will be relevant to your subject area. For more information visit the Careers Network website.