Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research

Course details

The Postgraduate Diploma is normally completed between 1-3 years.  

The Postgraduate Diploma consists of two compulsory modules and four optional modules selected from an extensive list of subjects. This provides students with an opportunity to learn how the principles of health research can be translated into practical actions in selected areas. 

Students who transfer to this programme of study from the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Research, with three successfully completed modules, are required to undertake three additional option modules to fulfil the requirements of the Postgraduate Diploma.

These are modular part-time programmes, particularly suitable for academically gifted medical and dental trainees with the potential to be the independent researchers of the future.

Find out about Moses Mulimira's experience on the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research. Our Student Spotlights feature students' experiences both on and after their courses, and highlight the day-to-day life of study on the Evidence-Based Healthcare programmes.

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Programme details

The programmes are delivered through the Department for Continuing Education, with the expertise in curriculum design and teaching drawn from the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, the Clinical Academic Graduate School and the Department of Statistics.


Compulsory modules:

Option modules:

Three further modules may be chosen from List B.

One further module either from List B or List C.

List B:

List C:

The majority of modules are run over either an eight, or fifteen week learning cycle.  Most modules are either delivered fully online or in a blended format, however, some modules are only delivered with a blended format that includes a 5 day attendance in Oxford, and some are only run entirely online.  In any given year, not all delivery formats for a module may be available.

Blended format: an initial period of self-directed study is spent on introductory activities using a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This is followed by a week spent in Oxford for supported face-to-face teaching, and then a further period of Post-Oxford activities (a mixture of self-directed and supported distance learning also delivered through the VLE). The final week of each module is for self-directed personal study, shortly followed by the assignment submission.  

Fully online format: These are delivered through the VLE with the first week allocated to self-directed introductory activities. There is then either:

- a number of units to work through which are released week by week. Each unit includes a mixture of supported and self-directed learning with discussion forums, tasks and activities. Students then have five weeks of self-directed personal study with use of a revision forum and the requirement to submit an assignment electronically the following week.  Courses usually run over a 15 week period.


- an intensive week of 5 consecutive days of synchronous and asynchronous teaching sessions, and then a further period of activities (A mixture of self-directed and supported distance learning also delivered through the VLE). The final week of each module is for self-directed personal study, shortly followed by the assignment submission.   Courses usually run over an 8 week period.

Part-time attendance details

As a part-time student, you will be required to attend a minimum of two modules (one of which must be a compulsory module) ‘in person’ in Oxford. Each ‘in person’ module requires you to attend a week (5 days) in Oxford for supported face to face teaching. Your other 4 modules can be made up of a mix of ‘in person’, or fully online modules. For additional note: All students are required to attend a minimum of one module in each academic year on course. This can either be ‘in person’ or fully online.

Assessment methods

To complete the Postgraduate Diploma students must:

  • attend six modules, as detailed above
  • successfully complete six written assignments, usually of no more than 4000 words, one on each of the chosen modules

Course aims

In addition to the skills acquired during the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Research graduates of the Diploma will be able to:

  • demonstrate an ability to apply health research techniques appropriately for the solution of research questions;
  • be able to apply health research solutions in a novel manner when analysing health research problems.

Who should apply?

Candidates will:

  • has successfully completed the final year of the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery or Bachelor of Dental Surgery or equivalent; or
  • has an appropriate degree or equivalent professional qualification in a profession allied to medicine with at least two years post-qualification experience.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate an approach to their study which includes demonstrable skills of critical analysis, wide contextual knowledge and the ability to manage their own time.

Additionally candidates should:

  • have a good working knowledge of email, internet, word processing and Windows applications (for communications with course members, course team and administration)
  • show evidence of the ability to commit time to study and an employer's commitment to make time available to study, complete course work and attend course and University events and modules

Successful candidates will normally provide evidence of all of the following:

  • A professional interest in Health Research, evidenced by prior experience, qualification and work
  • Motivation and ability to complete the course
  • A clear and well argued understanding of the benefits of the course to the candidate’s current employment and future prospects

IT requirements

This course uses the Department’s online assignment submission system. In order to prepare and submit your course assignments you will need access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification. Students of this course may use the student computing facilities provided in Departmental buildings.

Fees and funding

Fee rates for the academic year 2024-25*

*Rates for 2025/26 to be confirmed

These rates (in pounds sterling) are for the academic year 2024/25 and will increase annually.

  • Annual award fee: £8,455*
  • Module fee per module: £2,570*

The annual award fee is due for every academic year (or part-year) attended; module fees are due in advance as invoiced. Fees must be paid in accordance with the Terms and Conditions for the programme.

Illustration for full programme (completing in two years, with six taught modules):

  • 2 annual award fees: £16,910*
  • plus 6 module fees: £15,420*

Total = £32,330*


  1. See the Oxford University website for Home/EU and Overseas classification of students for fees purposes.
  2. The Illustration is based on the fee rates for the academic year shown; however, fee rates for attendance in future years will increase, so students attending for more than one year should expect the total to be higher than is shown in the Illustration. The exact amount will depend on the fee rates set annually, and upon the years you are in attendance; these are normally published well before the start of each academic year, but for your own budgetary purposes you may wish to estimate a 9.9% annual increase on fee rates.


Details of funding opportunities, including grants, bursaries, loans, scholarships and benefit information are available on our fees and funding page.

How to apply

Applications for this course should be made via the University of Oxford Graduate Admissions website. This website includes further information about this course and a guide to applying.

For those on the Oxford University Clinical Academic Graduate School Advanced Clinical Fellowship Programme, please ensure that you have registered with OUCAGS before you apply by emailing

Contact us

If you would like to discuss your application or any part of the application process before applying please contact



Central accommodation for visitors and students at the Department for Continuing Education