Postgraduate Certificate in Paediatric Infectious Diseases

Course details

The Postgraduate Certificate in Paediatric Infectious Diseases is a part-time course with teaching delivered primarily online, along with a couple of residential components. 

The course draws on world-class research and teaching in paediatric infectious diseases and offers a unique opportunity to gain an understanding of the principles that underpin paediatric infection, the ways in which those principles have developed, and to translate this understanding into good clinical and research practice.

The course will appeal to doctors who have experience in paediatrics, including trainees in paediatrics who have an interest in specialist knowledge in the field of paediatric infectious diseases, for example those training for the RCPCH paediatric infectious diseases special interest (SPIN) module. It is also suitable for GPs with an interest in paediatric infectious diseases.

The Certificate offers a one-year alternative to the Postgraduate Diploma. However, students who successfully complete the Certificate and wish to continue their studies may apply for the second year of the Diploma.

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Who is this course for?

The programme will provide in-depth knowledge and is aimed at general paediatricians or other paediatric specialists (i.e. ED, PICU) who have a special interest in infectious diseases.

  • Trainees in paediatrics who have a specialist qualification equivalent to the Membership Examination of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (MRCPCH)
  • Specialist trainees in paediatric infectious diseases or relevant medical subspecialties, for example those training for the RCPCH paediatric infectious diseases special interest (SPIN) module
  • Clinical research fellows

Applicants should have an appropriate medical qualification equivalent to MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery), demonstrable work experience, and motivation and ability to complete the Programme.

The course in detail

Worldwide, two thirds of the deaths in children under five years of age are caused by infectious diseases, and the prevention and treatment of infections in children is the number one priority for global health. 

Reflecting this imperative, we recognise that investment in research and intervention programmes related to leading causes of childhood morbidity and mortality, including acute respiratory infections, measles, infectious diarrhoea, malaria, HIV, and TB is vitally important. We believe that professionally-oriented education in paediatric infectious diseases is essential in the training of clinicians and clinical academics who will provide the future leadership in this key area for global health. 

The Postgraduate Certificate also places the practice of paediatric infectious diseases in the broader context of applied sciences, such as pathogenesis, population biology and epidemiology. The programme focuses on clinical (applied) aspects, underpinned by basic science to provide both breadth and depth. 


  • Infectious Syndromes
  • Diagnostics, Therapeutics, Infection Control and Prevention
  • Important Viral Infections

​The course directs students through the syllabus required in Europe for clinical training in the subspecialty. The programme is appropriate for both those in the UK and Overseas.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Paediatric Infectious Diseases course is supported by the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID), the Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS (PENTA), and the IIC Course: Oxford




Course aims

The programme will provide students with:

  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the well-established principles of paediatric infectious diseases, and of the way in which those principles have developed
  • An ability to apply underlying concepts and principles outside the context in which they were first studied, including, where appropriate, the application of those principles in the real world of paediatrics
  • Knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in paediatric infectious diseases and ability to evaluate critically the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems
  • An understanding of the limits of your knowledge, and how this influences analyses and interpretations based on that knowledge

At the end of the programme students will know and understand how to:

  • Use your broad knowledge of paediatric infectious disease in your practice and have learned where to find the necessary resources when you have reached your limit of knowledge
  • Understand how to find evidence-based information to facilitate rational decision making in diagnosis and management of children with infection
  • Effectively communicate information, arguments, and analysis about paediatric infection, in a variety of forms, to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Undertake further training, develop existing skills, and acquire new competences that will enable you to assume significant responsibility within organisations
  • Qualities and transferable skills necessary for your future career in paediatrics and infectious diseases

Course structure

The course is normally completed within one year and follows this schedule (dates may change):

  • from September – a one-year online modular course in Paediatric Infectious Diseases which covers the full syllabus outlined above with online tutor support and student discussion forums
  • June/July –  a residential course in Oxford with Infection and Immunity in Children (IIC).

Students will also be strongly encouraged to engage in the following:

  • September* – PENTA course for PentaTr@ining: ‘HIV and Other Congenital Infections’ consolidating 3-day residential workshop held in Rome.
  • from April to July* – online course: PentaTr@ining: ‘HIV and Other Congenital Infections’ with PENTA consisting of 6 in-depth and interactive module
  • Monthly ESPID Online Case Rounds
  • Online Self-Assessment Questions (SAQ'S), offered as part of examination preparation

*The PENTA course runs every other year.

Assessment methods

Assessment is via formative and summative elements.

Mandatory Formative elements:

  • attend one Infection and Immunity in Children (IIC) residential course, held in Oxford

Optional Formative elements:

  • attend the bi-annual PentaTr@ining: ‘HIV & Other Congenital Infections’ course in Paediatric medicine, held online;
  • attend the bi-annual PentaTr@ining: ‘HIV & Other Congenital Infections’ consolidating 3-day residential course in Rome
  • participate in the monthly ESPID Online Case Rounds; and
  • participate in the online quizzes, Self-Assessment Questions (SAQ’s) as part of examination preparation.

Mandatory Summative elements:

  • Year 1:
    • Two 4,000-word written assignments based on the modules taught in Michaelmas and Hilary term;
    • An examination consisting of multiple-choice questions taken from the modules covered in the first year
    • You will have the opportunity to deliver a 5-minute oral presentation to tutors, assessors and fellow peers during Year 1, which is strongly encouraged.

Each of the summative assessments contribute equally to the final mark achieved for the PGCertificate.


Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, Director

Professor Sir Andrew Pollard (BSc, MBBS, PhD London, MA FRCPCH, FMedSci) is the academic lead for the Postgraduate Certificate. He is Professor of Paediatric Infection at Oxford University Department of Paediatrics.

Dr Dominic Kelly, Deputy Director

Dr. Kelly is a BRC funded consultant in paediatrics and vaccinology. 

Dr Stéphane Paulus, Deputy Director

Stéphane is a consultant in paediatric infectious diseases at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Oxford.


The tutors on this course are all leading academics in the field.

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.

All the Department's Online Short Courses are developed by our Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning (TALL) unit. To learn more, please see the TALL website.

Recommended reading

The core textbooks for the course are:

  • Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. Eds: Long, S., Pickering, LK., and Prober, CG. 5th Edition. 2018.
  • Manual of childhood infections: the blue book. Sharland, M. ed.,4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (2016)

Application details


Please visit the Postgraduate Certificate in Paediatric Infectious Diseases page on the University of Oxford Graduate Admissions website for details of course fees and costs.

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.

All applications must have been fully completed before the application deadline in order to be considered. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a telephone interview.

If you would like to discuss the programme please contact:
Tel: +44 (0)1865 286946 - Email: