MSc in Paediatric Emergency Medicine

Key learning aims

The key learning aims and learning outcomes of the programme.

Patient lying on a bed with their bandaged leg being examined

We aim to create a stimulating learning environment using ‘problem-based learning’ to produce graduates with a deep understanding of the principles and practice of paediatric emergencies, and who can improve outcomes for patients and families based on this understanding.

This approach can be broken down into three main principles:

  • The application of existing knowledge via a problem-based approach. This challenges the student to critically reflect on their clinical practice.
  • Active rather than passive learning within a real-world context, based on the current scientific literature.
  • Communication of information visually and in prose.


The key learning outcomes of the programme are to enable students to:

  • Understand the physiology and pathology behind critical illness and injury in children.
  • Develop critical and analytical skills.
  • Develop scientific writing and presentation skills.
  • Prepare for the ever-changing and expanding medical and scientific knowledge base.

Emergency conditions

Emergency conditions are varied and multi-factorial. In the developed world, respiratory disease is by far the commonest reason for children to present unwell. In the developing world diarrhoeal disease and other infectious diseases such as meningococcal and pneumococcal illness are much more prevalent.

Throughout the world, injury is the leading cause of mortality in children under the age of 16. Repeated studies have demonstrated that early recognition of clinical signs and symptoms, together with a sound knowledge of the underlying physiological and pathological processes, leads to a better understanding of the treatments required. Early intervention can significantly improve the outcome for critically ill and injured children, (Roberts I et al 1996).

Pain alleviation

Alleviation of pain is a major humanitarian function. Repeatedly it has been shown that on an International basis, children receive inadequate pain relief, particularly when related to adults. (American College of Emergency Physicians 2008).

Child protection

The continuing problem with Child Protection has been demonstrated on a national and international basis. Emergency Medicine is ideally placed to recognise and implement, together with other agencies, appropriate management of vulnerable and abused children.