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1 Should I apply for the PGDip or the MSc?

Our MSc and PGDip programmes are identical in terms of the core sleep medicine modules (of which there are 8 modules), but the MSc programme additionally provides 2 further modules with a research focus and dissertation.

Our MSc and PGDip programmes are identical in terms of the core sleep medicine modules (of which there are 8 modules), but the MSc programme additionally provides 2 further modules with a research focus and dissertation. The dissertation requires students to write a systematic review and research proposal of a research area relevant to sleep medicine. Thus, the MSc provides students the opportunity to delve into one area more deeply and to embrace the more academic side of sleep medicine. Students enrolled on the MSc may have the intention to progress onto a doctoral academic programme (DPhil/PhD) to further develop their research ideas. That said, some students simply are interested in the more academic side of sleep medicine and so pursue the MSc instead of the PGDip to enhance their understanding of the research field more generally. If you are undecided as to which programme would suit you best, it is possible to initially enrol on the PGDip programme, and upon completion, convert to the MSc programme for an additional 3rd year to complete the 2 research modules and dissertation.

2 If I apply for the MSc and am unsuccessful would I have to submit a further application to be considered for the PgDip?

No. Should an MSc application be unsuccessful, but the Admissions panel considers that the candidate is suitable for the PgDip, they are then able to make an offer for the PgDip without the need for an additional application.

3 There are two deadlines advertised for this programme. Is it advantageous to apply to the first deadline?

We would always advise to apply as early as possible but all applications are considered, subject to availability.

4 What is the level of commitment required by me?

Typically, students are expected to commit around 10-15 hours per week on the programme, though this can vary depending on the requirements of the online discussion groups that week, and whether there are additional exam submissions to prepare.

5 For applications to the MSc, does the research proposal for the application need to be related to an area of sleep research?

Yes. The research proposal should aim to investigate an area of sleep research, sleep disorders, or circadian rhythms.

6 For applications to the MSc, does the research proposal for the application need to be the area of research we wish to investigate for the dissertation?

No. You may submit a research proposal that is different from the area that you will subsequently develop for the purposes of your MSc dissertation.

7 For applications to the MSc, do I need access to participants for the completion of the dissertation?

No. The dissertation comprises a systematic review of a defined research area, followed by a research proposal. The research proposal for the dissertation is intended to follow a similar format to that which could be submitted to a funding body to attract grant income, or as an application for a doctoral programme.

8 For applications to the MSc, will I carry out an actual research study?

No. The dissertation comprises a systematic review of a defined research area, followed by a research proposal which will not require data collection. The research proposal for the dissertation is intended to follow a similar format to that which could be submitted to a funding body to attract grant income, or as an application for a doctoral programme.

9 When are the live online discussion groups (seminars) likely to be?

The online discussion groups will typically take place weekly during the module dates. We run the online discussion groups on the same day each week, at multiple times to accommodate students in different time zones. Currently these are running (for both cohorts) at 10am, 4pm and 7pm (all UK time). You will be able to specify your preference for the timing of your session prior to commencement of the course. The online discussion groups are held via Zoom and are currently held on Wednesdays (cohort 2) and Thursdays (cohort 1).

10 How much of the course is online?

The course is entirely online. There is however a compulsory Residential component which requires students to attend a week-long residential school in Oxford, preferably at the end of their first year of study but before the end of the course. The programme fees cover up to £1000 towards travel to Oxford. This will be held in the first week of September each year.

11 Is the course accredited?

No, not at the moment, however we are pursuing accreditation with international Sleep bodies (e.g. European Sleep Research societies and Royal Societies.

12 Are there any bursaries or scholarships available?

No not at the moment. Any scholarships or bursaries will be advertised on the Course Website as and when they become available.

14 Can I apply for the programme if I am an International Medical Graduate?

Yes. You can check your qualifications on Naric (the National Agency for the Recognition and Comparison of International qualifications and skills) and the Course Administration will be happy to answer any questions regarding educational qualifications.

15 What date does the programme actually start?

The date will vary according to the Academic year but a safe rule of thumb is the first week of October.

16 Would I benefit from the Course?

The course is aimed at working health care professionals who have scope to introduce sleep medicine into their practice or those who wish to pursue an academic career in sleep research/circadian biology.

17 What is the pitch of the course between research and clinical medicine?

The course is taught by both academics in the field of sleep research/circadian biology and clinicians working in the field of sleep medicine. As such, the course offers a diverse curriculum which spans underpinning neurophysiological mechanisms of sleep and its disorders, to clinical approaches of assessment, diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.

18 Is it possible to balance the course requirements with a full-time job?

Yes. Many of our current students are working full-time and undertake the course in Sleep Medicine alongside their work commitments. It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that their current schedule allows adequate time to devote to the course.