Skip to main content


Dive Medicine

Module titleDive Medicine
Module codeHPDM159
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Malcolm Hilton (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

10 days, June

Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

The optional Dive Medicine module will give you the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge needed to function as a medic providing support to diving expeditions.

Module aims - intentions of the module

In this module, you will develop the skills and knowledge required to understand diving medicine.  You will develop your understanding of the risks, hazards, technical skills and medical knowledge needed to function safely as a medical provider in this environment. The course covers diving and gas physics review, medical diagnosis and treatment of diving related injuries, management of emergencies, hyperbaric treatment protocols, along with hyperbaric chamber operations and is an excellent introduction to diving medicine.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate an understanding of physiological challenges associated with saturation diving.
  • 2. Acquire awareness of knowledge gaps and ongoing critical research
  • 3. Critically appraise published research and operational protocols

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Demonstrate knowledge of the incidence, presentation and approach to typical problems encountered in dive medicine.
  • 5. Develop a clear understanding of the role and application of recompression in dive medical problems.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Demonstrate a mature knowledge base and skill level to enable safe inclusion as an active team member in a diving team
  • 7. Demonstrate a mature clinical and logical decision making approach to expedition work.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, an example of an overall structure is as follows:


  • Introduction to DMT
  • Diving Physics and Gas Laws
  • Abnormal Gas Levels
  • Oxygen Toxicity
  • Non-Pulmonary Barotrauma and Vertigo
  • Pulmonary Barotrauma
  • Decompression Sickness (DCS)
  • Casualty Assessment and Neurological Examination
  • USN Treatment Tables
  • Saturation DCS, Emergency and Treatment Gasses
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Recompression Chamber Operations

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching35Residential course: seminars, master-classes, practical exercises. Practical exercises are scenario based and of evolving complexity and duration, using the reality of the environment to add fidelity.
Guided Independent Study115Reading and preparation for scheduled sessions and coursework.


Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
2000 word assignment1002000 words1-7Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
2000 word assignment 100%2000 word assignment1-7Typically within six weeks of receiving original feedback

Re-assessment notes

Please refer to the TQA section on Referral/Deferral:


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Oxford Handbook of Expedition and Wilderness Medicine. 2nd Edition Chris Johnson, Sarah R Anderson, Jon Dallimore, Chris Imray, Shane Winser, James Moore and David A. Warrell—

Oxford University Press,

May 2015.

ISBN: 978-01-996-88418-0



Daugherty's Field Guide to the Diver Medic (2013)

Coastal Aquatics Pubns;

ISBN-10: 9993120596



US Navy Dive Manual Revision 7 (2017)

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Dive medicine, hyperbaric, barotrauma

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date