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Medical Illustration (PgCert)

n/a (Full-time) / n/a (Part-time) / 14 months (Distance / E-Learning)

Course Aims

The aims of the course are to extend students’ knowledge and understanding of medical illustration and to develop the students’ evaluative, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

This programme is accredited by The Institute of Medical Illustrators.

Student photographing a patient at the slit-lamp

Special Features

The distinctive features of the programme include:

Course Description

Student undertaking photography

The Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) in Medical Illustration is one of only two part-time distance learning courses in the UK on offer to practising clinical photographers and graphics designers working in healthcare. The course is 14 months in duration, with two routes, one for clinical photography and the other for graphics for healthcare sciences.

The course is structured on a modular format, with students completing five modules; two core, two discipline specific, and one optional specialist module. The two core modules, Methods of Inquiry and Professional Practice in Medical Illustration start during the concentrated periods of study in Cardiff in January and July. The discipline specific and the optional specialist modules are distance learning, with material being provided through Cardiff University’s web-based Virtual Learning Environment and supported by regular contact with an experienced personal tutor based in Cardiff.

The core and discipline specific modules carry 10 credits each. These modules encourage students to evaluate medical illustration practice and become reflective practitioners. Topics explored include legal and ethical issues, for the clinical photographers standardised representational photography and patient management, whilst the graphics route covers design considerations for screen and print.

The optional specialist module allows students to study in depth one of a number of specialist areas such as photography in dermatology, ophthalmic imaging and website design. The 20 credits assigned to this work encourages the students to research and evaluates a topic in detail.

Student undertaking still-life photography

The course is credit rated for 60 credits and some or all may count towards further postgraduate study. The PgCert and successful students are eligible for full Institute of Medical Illustrators (IMI) membership and admission to the voluntary Register of Medical Illustration Practitioners. The course starts in January each year and all applications should normally be made before the preceding October.

Course Structure

This is a 14 month distance learning course with two study periods in Cardiff of eight days duration (five days in January and three days in July). Module timetables are available from the Postgraduate & Cont Ed Unit.

Vitiligo with conventional and UV photography

Core Modules:

Discipline specific modules:



Specialist optional modules:



Further modules details can be found be on the School of Healthcare Studies web pages.

Skills Acquired

On completion of the course, a student should be able to:

Entry Requirements

Students admitted to the course should be in possession of:

Overseas students are admitted on the basis of their country’s professional qualifications and their past work experience.

Tuition Fees:

  • UK & EU Part Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
    per 60 credit module

Next intake: January each year

School Contact

Name: Amy Lake  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2068 7538 



More information

Funding Available

There are current funding opportunities for this course. Click here.