The University of East Anglia’s online course in breast surgery has been named the UK’s best online distance learning programme.
The Oncoplastic Breast Surgery Masters degree won the E-Learning Award 2013, beating 200 other finalists.
The degree, launched in 2011, was the first in the UK, and the highest recognised qualification of its kind in the world to qualify surgeons in the surgery.
Oncoplastic breast surgery combines the surgical removal of breast cancer tissue with breast reconstruction surgery, in one operation. This type of surgery is integral to a patient’s recovery.
The course combines e-learning and local mentoring and skills assessment. It was developed by Professor Jerome Pareira and Professor Sam Leinster at UEA’s Norwich Medical School, in partnership with James Paget University Hospitals (JPUH).
Prof Jerome Pereira, Course Director, Consultant Breast Surgeon at JPUH and Honorary Professor of Surgery at UEA, commented on the prize: “I’m absolutely delighted that this course has been recognised with this award, as our programmes are now proving to be the solution to training limitations imposed on doctors due to the European Working Time Directive. I am grateful to my colleague Prof Sam Leinster, an internationally acclaimed medical educationalist who has played a key-role in developing these distance learning programmes.”
Andrew Simpson, the E-learning Technologist who developed the online course said: “Our virtual learning environment has proven to be a very effective tool to train the next generation of surgeons to the high standards they require. These mature students engage extremely well online and are able to apply their new knowledge to their professional work.”
Since its launch, 62 students have enrolled on the course, and the first to study it will be graduating later this year.