Diploma in Obstetrics and Women’s Health

CPD Credits40

Provide the best possible care for women

Available to book from Spring 2021.

This online diploma is aimed at doctors who want to provide the best possible care for women, from adolescence to old age.

We will focus on delivering the highest quality obstetrics and women's healthcare. 

You will receive expert, up-to-date tuition on all matters relating to women's health, such as:

  • Antenatal and postnatal care
  • The welfare of the foetus and neonate
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Family planning
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Screening for gynaecological malignancy

Supporting your career development: The benefits to you

When you complete all modules of the Diploma in Obstetrics and Women’s Health, you will have a sound knowledge and comprehension of obstetrics and gynaecology, including the scientific foundation of the specialty, management of clinical problems and practical procedures.

What to expect

The Diploma in Obstetrics and Women’s Health is an online course that leads to a RCPI postgraduate qualification in obstetrics and gynaecology.

There are 19 online modules consisting of formal teaching material, case studies and journal reviews.

Assuming you complete two hours of course-work per week, the diploma takes about six months to complete.

The course material will be made available in our e-learning environment RCPI Brightspace.

How you will be assessed

Each module concludes with an end-of-module assessment.

In order to be awarded the professional Diploma in Obstetrics and Women’s Health, you must complete all modules and pass all end of module assessments.

Entry Requirements

Prospective learners should:

  • have a primary Medical degree approved by the programme committee
  • be proficient in the English language

Developed by leading experts

The educational content of this diploma has been developed by some of Ireland's leading Obstetricians and Gynaecologists:

  • Dr Michael O’Connell, Consultant Obstetrician Gynaecologist, Coombe Women’s and Infants University Hospital, Dublin
  • Dr David Crosby, Chief Resident in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cork University Maternity Hospital

Got questions?

If you would like to speak to us about this diploma course please do not hesitate to contact us at courses@rcpi.ie or phone +353 1 863 9700

Dr Michael O'Connell

Trained in University College Cork, Dr O'Connell completed specialist training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in both the UK and Ireland. He is particularly interested in the training of junior doctors and has held many roles in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland including Vice President and National Specialty Director.

Dr O'Connell is currently a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital and will take up post as Master on 1 January 2020. The Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital is a voluntary, tertiary-referral university teaching hospital and is the largest provider of women and infants' healthcare in the State.

He is currently Clinical Lead for Digital Strategy and Innovation at RCPI and is also the Clinical Director for Integration for the Coombe and the Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise. He is internationally recognised for his work in India and the Middle East, and has published widely in areas such as maternal disease in pregnancy, labour and delivery, and preterm labour.

Dr David Crosby

Dr. David Crosby (MB, BCh, BAO, MA (Hons), MD, MSc, DOWH, MRCPI, MRCOG) graduated from University of Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and is currently working as the Chief Resident in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Cork University Maternity Hospital, Ireland, having undertaken the role of assistant master at the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland in 2018/2019.

Following completion of his Clinical Research Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology in Merrion Fertility Clinic and National Maternity Hospital Dublin in 2018, he was awarded a Doctorate of Medicine (M.D.) from University College Dublin (UCD) for his thesis entitled “Dysregulation of Inflammatory Pathways Affects Embryo Implantation and Subsequent Pregnancy”. For this work, he was awarded the British Fertility Society Young Clinician Award 2019 and was granted competitive funding from the Clinical Primer Scheme, ISSF Wellcome Trust Grant, UCD.

He has over 25 publications in peer reviewed journals and has presented research to national and international audiences.

He has developed an interest in leadership and quality improvement by becoming a Quality Improvement Scholar in Residence with the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the International Society for Quality in Healthcare and will complete an MBA degree in 2019.

He was formally involved in medical education while working in National Maternity Hospital as the UCD undergraduate clinical tutor, and he continues to teach at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

The modules to complete

There are 19 online modules to complete as part of this diploma. They are outlined below.

Module 1 - Physiology of Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the body undergoes changes that ensure optimal fetal wellbeing as well as protecting the mother during child birth. This module gives an outline of the physiological changes in pregnancy with a description of associated signs and symptoms. Knowledge of the normal changes of pregnancy aids in recognition of pathophysiological changes.

Module developed by Dr Ike Uzochukwu and Dr Irum Farooq

Module 2 - First Trimester

The first trimester lasts for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and is a crucial time in the baby's development. In this module we will discuss the general principles of antenatal care that should be provided in the first trimester as well as an overview of screening options available during this period.

Module developed by Dr Ed Corry, Dr Sorca O'Brien and Dr Sarah Milne

Module 3 - Ultrasound in Pregnancy

This module provides a brief overview of the significance of ultrasound in pregnancy and covers the topics of Ultrasound in Early Pregnancy, Fetal Biometry and Fetal Biophysical Profile.

Module developed by Dr Davor Zibar and Dr Farah Nazir

Module 4 - Labour and Delivery

This module provides a brief overview of the normal and abnormal aspects of labour, how it is monitored and how delivery is achieved.

Module developed by Dr Amy Fogarty

Module 5 - Maternal and Fetal Infections

This module provides an overview of the diagnosis and management of maternal and fetal infections in pregnancy.

Module developed by Dr Oxana Hughes and Orla Cunningham

Module 6 - Medical Disorders of Pregnancy

When pre-existing maternal risk factors are present, the gestational period can become complex and challenging. Mothers with pre-existing medical conditions will need to be monitored to reduce the chance for complications during pregnancy.

In this module we will look at the following disorders that can add complications to the management of the maternal patient: Diabetes, Thyroid disorders, Asthma, Epilepsy and Hypertension/Eclampsia.

Module developed by Nicola Maher, Alison DeMaio and Kate Glennon

Module 7 - Multiple Pregnancy

This module serves to provide an overview in the diagnosis and management of multiple pregnancy including maternal and fetal complications.

Module developed by Dr Niamh Keating and Dr Somaia El Sayed

Module 8 - Preterm Labour

This module provides an overview of preterm labour, starting with the definition and working through risk factors, management and preventative strategies.

Module developed by Dr Rebecca Moore and Dr Aoife Freyne

Module 9 - Rhesus Disease

Rhesus disease, is a condition that occurs when a woman with Rh-negative blood type is exposed to Rh-positive blood cells, leading to the development of Rh antibodies. In pregnancy Rhesus disease is a condition where antibodies in maternal blood destroy fetal blood cells. It's also known as haemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN). This module provides an overview of Rhesus disease, its complications and management.

Module developed by Dr Ciara McCormack and Dr Ann McHugh

Module 10 - Antepartum Haemorrhage

Antepartum haemorrhage (APH) is defined as bleeding from or into the genital tract, occurring from 24+0 weeks of pregnancy and prior to the birth of the baby. The most important causes of APH are placenta praevia and placental abruption, although these are not the most common. This module looks at the most common causes of antepartum haemorrhage and their management.

Module developed by Dr Fiona Reidy and Dr Lucia Hartigan

Module 11 – Prescribed drugs in pregnancy and breastfeeding

The prevalence of medication use during pregnancy is widespread and on the rise. There is a delicate risk-benefit estimation concerning the health of both the mother and the fetus that must be considered in the use of drugs during pregnancy. This module discusses the most commonly used drugs in pregnancy and breastfeeding and their effects on the mother and child.

Module developed by Dr Nicola O’Riordan

Module 12 - Menstrual Problems

Most women have menstrual periods that last four to seven days. A woman's period usually occurs every 28 days, but normal menstrual cycles can range from 21 days to 35 days. This module looks at causes, diagnoses and management of the most common menstrual problems.

Module developed by Dr Amy O’Higgins

Module 13 - Urinary Problems and Uterovaginal Prolapse

Urinary incontinence (UI) is a common presenting complaint in gynaecology outpatients. Urinary incontinence is defined by the International Continence Society as ‘the complaint of any involuntary leakage of urine’. These issues can affect women of all ages and can significantly affect psychological and social wellbeing. This module looks at the most common female urinary problems and discusses various management pathways.

Module developed by Dr Maebh Horan and Dr Lavanya Shailendranath

Module 14 - Cervical Screening

The purpose of cervical screening is the detection and removal of abnormalities in the cells of the cervix before they become cancerous. It is essential that cervical screening is offered in an organised manner. Women must be screened regularly, every three to five years, to ensure that population-based screening can have maximum impact on the incidence and mortality from cervical cancer in women in Ireland.

This module explores the benefits and limitations of screening programmes, the process of cervical screening as well as interpreting the results.

Module developed by Dr Clare O’Connor and Dr Cathy McNestry

Module 15 – Subfertility

Subfertility generally describes any form of reduced fertility with prolonged time of unwanted non-conception. This module discusses the causes, management and treatment of the most common types of subfertility and infertility.

Module developed by Mei Yee Ng and Cathy Monteith

Module 16 - Abdominal and pelvic pain

Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) can be defined as intermittent or constant pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis of a woman of at least 6 months in duration, not occurring exclusively with menstruation or intercourse and not associated with pregnancy. 1 in 6 will be affected with CPP in their life time. This module explores the most common causes of CPP and their management.

Module developed by Dr Maebh Horan and Dr Lavanya Shailendranath

Module 17 - Abdominal Masses

Pelvic masses may originate from gynaecologic organs (cervix, uterus, uterine adnexa) or from other pelvic organs (intestine, bladder, ureters, skeletal muscle, bone). The type of mass tends to vary by age group. This module looks at two of the most common presentations of abdominal masses in women; uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts.

Module developed by Dr Maebh Horan and Dr Lavanya Shailendranath

Module 18 - Vulval Disorders

This module describes the differential diagnoses and management of vulval disorders.

Module developed by Dr Fiona O’Toole

Module 19 - Hirsutism

This module discusses hirutism which is defined as excessive male pattern hair growth. A clinical diagnosis of this condition can be made based on the presence of excess terminal hair growth (dark, coarse hairs) in androgen-dependent areas (e.g., upper lip, chin, midsternum, upper and lower abdomen, upper and lower back, and buttocks).

Module developed by Dr Sarah McDonnell