Chelmsford’s Anglia Ruskin University is offering the world’s first practice-based degree plastic surgery.
The University hopes that the aesthetic plastic surgery degree will increase the standards in the field of cosmetic surgery.
The MSc in Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery Practice will be taught from Anglia Ruskin’s Postgraduate Medical Institute, in Chelmsford.
Currently all UK-qualified plastic surgeons are trained by the Royal College of Surgeons to a standard so that they are able to carry out NHS surgical procedures, but not cosmetic surgical procedures.
Professor of aesthetic plastic surgery at Anglia Ruskin, James Frame, said: “Aesthetic plastic surgery is a rapidly enlarging, super-speciality that requires recognition in its own right.
“The primary intention of developing this qualification is to improve patient safety and raise public awareness through best practice.
“At present a newly-qualified, fully-accredited plastic surgeon is released, totally lacking any experience in aesthetic plastic surgery, and is able to operate in the private sector. “This degree will benefit surgeons and therefore should improve the quality of surgery that patients receive.”
British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons research found that 43,069 procedures were carried out in the UK in 2011, which is an increase of 5.8% from 2010. Breast augmentations, rhinoplasty, neck and face lifts and eyelid surgery were the most popular procedures last year.
Professor Frame added: “If aesthetic surgery is recognised as a speciality, with its own qualification, then clearly the public will benefit because it will help them to easily identify and employ a qualified surgeon. “At present there are too many under-qualified surgeons, particularly from elsewhere in the EU.
“The low price of flying abroad for cosmetic surgery can also be appealing but poor aftercare is a serious issue and the NHS spends millions of pounds each year rectifying problems caused by people undergoing cosmetic surgery outside the UK.”
The first course will begin in September and is open to all accredited UK plastic surgeons.