DermatologyMedicine Education

Short Courses in the UK to Become a Dermatologist

Short course available options in the UK universities are from Cardiff University, Queen Mary University of London, University of South Wales, etc. including specialization in Clinical Dermatology, Post Diploma, and Master’s in Dermatology.

Becoming a dermatologist is a prestigious and rewarding career path, but it typically involves several years of rigorous education and training. However, for those seeking a quicker route to enter this field, there are some short courses available in the UK that can expedite the journey to becoming a dermatologist.

What’s Short Courses

Traditionally, the path to becoming a dermatologist in the UK involves completing a medical degree, foundation training, core medical training, and specialized dermatology training, which can take over a decade. Short courses offer an alternative route for individuals who are looking to fast-track their career without pursuing the full spectrum of medical training.

Related Article: Dermatologist Study Course Options in the UK

It’s essential to note that these short courses are often designed for individuals who already possess a strong medical background or relevant qualifications. They are not suitable for those who have no prior medical experience. Let’s delve into the short course options available in the UK for aspiring dermatologists.

Postgraduate Diploma Courses:

  • Cardiff University: Diploma in Dermatology (1 year, part-time, online) – This course is designed for healthcare professionals working in primary care or secondary care who want to develop their knowledge and skills in dermatology.
  • Queen Mary University of London: Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Dermatology (1 year, part-time, online) – This course is also designed for healthcare professionals who want to deepen their understanding of dermatology and its practice.
  • University of South Wales: Postgraduate Diploma in Skin Cancer Management (1 year, part-time, online) – This course focuses specifically on the diagnosis and management of skin cancer.
  • University of Plymouth: Postgraduate Diploma in Tropical Dermatology (1 year, part-time, online) – This course is tailored for healthcare professionals working in or travelling to tropical countries, where skin diseases can be more common and challenging.
  • University of Hertfordshire: Postgraduate Diploma in Dermatological Ultrasound (1 year, part-time, online) – This course teaches you how to use ultrasound for the diagnosis and management of skin conditions.

MSc Courses:

  • King’s College London: Clinical Dermatology MSc (1 year, full-time) – This master’s degree is designed for medical graduates who want to specialize in dermatology.

Some universities in the UK offer Master’s programs in Dermatology that can be completed in a relatively short time frame, typically one to two years. These programs are designed for medical graduates or professionals with relevant healthcare qualifications.

A Master’s in Dermatology delves deeper into the field and often includes coursework, clinical rotations, and research components. It is an excellent choice for those who want to gain a more profound understanding of dermatology while earning a postgraduate degree.

Short CPD Courses:

  • St John’s Institute of Dermatology: St John’s offers a variety of short CPD courses on a range of dermatology topics, from acne and eczema to skin cancer and psoriasis. These courses are typically a few days long and are open to healthcare professionals at all levels.
  • British Association of Dermatologists (BAD): The BAD also offers a number of short CPD courses, both online and in person. These courses cover a wide range of topics and are typically aimed at practicing dermatologists.

Diploma in Dermatology

A Diploma in Dermatology is one of the most common short course options for individuals with a medical background who wish to specialize in dermatology. This course typically spans one to two years and is offered by various institutions and universities across the UK.

The curriculum of a Diploma in Dermatology covers a wide range of topics, including the diagnosis and management of common dermatological conditions, dermatopathology, dermatosurgery, and cosmetic dermatology. It provides a comprehensive understanding of dermatology and equips students with the necessary skills to work as dermatology practitioners.

Short Courses in Aesthetic Dermatology

Aesthetic dermatology focuses on cosmetic procedures and treatments aimed at enhancing a patient’s appearance. While not a traditional dermatology specialization, it is a rapidly growing field within dermatology.

Short courses in aesthetic dermatology are designed for healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and dentists, who want to expand their skill set in this area. These courses cover topics such as injectable treatments (e.g., Botox and dermal fillers), laser therapy, and chemical peels. They typically span a few days to a few weeks, allowing professionals to quickly acquire expertise in cosmetic dermatology procedures.

Online Dermatology Courses

In the digital age, online education has become increasingly popular, and dermatology is no exception. There are several online courses and programs that provide comprehensive dermatology training. These courses are often self-paced, allowing students to learn at their convenience.

Related Article: What is “Skin of Color” in Dermatology Education? Dermatologist Specializing in African American Skin

Online dermatology courses cover a wide range of topics, from basic dermatological principles to advanced clinical skills. They are suitable for individuals who may have existing commitments, such as full-time jobs, and cannot attend traditional in-person classes.

Considerations Before Pursuing Short Courses

While short courses offer an expedited pathway to becoming a dermatologist, there are some critical considerations to keep in mind:


Most short courses in dermatology require applicants to have a medical degree or relevant healthcare qualifications. It’s essential to check the specific entry requirements for each course you are interested in.

Professional Recognition

Not all short courses in dermatology lead to formal professional recognition or certification as a dermatologist. Depending on your career goals, you may need to further specialize or pursue additional training to achieve full dermatologist status.

Continuing Education

Even after completing a short course, it is vital to engage in continuous learning and professional development to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in dermatology. Short courses may provide foundational knowledge, but ongoing education is essential for career growth.


Short courses in dermatology can be an attractive option for individuals with prior medical qualifications who wish to expedite their career as dermatology practitioners. These courses offer a more streamlined path compared to traditional medical training, allowing individuals to focus specifically on dermatological knowledge and skills.

However, it’s crucial to carefully research and consider the specific course offerings, entry requirements, and outcomes before enrolling in a short course. Additionally, aspiring dermatologists should be prepared to engage in continuous learning and professional development to excel in the field, even after completing a short course. Ultimately, the choice between traditional and accelerated pathways to becoming a dermatologist depends on individual circumstances, goals, and commitments.

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