Neonatal Online Training and Education Programme (NOTE)

A joint venture by the European School of Neonatology (ESN) and the University of Southampton.

NOTE is the only remote-learning, academically-accredited postgraduate neonatal education platform for doctors, advanced neonatal nurse practitioners and professions allied to medicine (PAMs) in Europe. It is a joint venture by the European School of Neonatology (ESN) and the University of Southampton. The faculty have been delivering high quality postgraduate neonatal education to doctors and advanced neonatal nurse practitioners since 2001.

Find out more about the NOTE Programme

  • Background

    The NOTE Faculty are pleased to offer a new international online Masters (M) level educational programme in neonatal medicine. As part of a collaboration between the European Society for Paediatric Research (ESPR) and the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Southampton successful participants have the option of receiving academic credit at Masters (M) level. The aim of the programme is to provide high quality postgraduate neonatal education within a unique global Neonatal Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

  • Master-Level Academically Accredited Option

    Master-Level Academically Accredited Option
    Participants who opt for this route will be eligible for academic accreditation, at Masters level, by the University of Southampton. If sufficient modules are successfully completed it will be possible to progress to a full MSc degree. The clinical neonatal modules have been commissioned and developed by NOTE and the research/governance modules have been developed by the University of Southampton.

    Modules currently available include:

    • Clinical Neonatal: Neonatal Respiration; Neonatal Nutrition; Neonatal Neurology; Neonatal Haemodynamics; Neonatal Clinical Pharmacology; Neonatal Infection, Inflammation, Immunology and Immunisation
    • Research/Governance: Research Methods and Evidence Based Practice (RMEBP)
    • An Open Based Module (which can be applied to and generated from clinical practice).

    It is anticipated that additional modules in both categories will be developed over the next two years.

    Possible exit awards are:

    • Postgraduate Certificate – successful completion of 3 modules
    • Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) – successful completion of 6 modules
    • Full MSc degree – in addition to successful completion of the PGD, a dissertation module must be successfully completed.


    Currently students who are undertaking these modules include Paediatricians, Neonatologists and Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (ANNPs) from many parts of the world.

    Typical entry requirements include:

    • A first degree (2:2 class or above) or equivalent in a relevant subject from an approved institution of higher education.
    • A current professional registration with a relevant professional/statutory body.
    • A current job contract in a clinical or clinically related area.
    • At least two years neonatal clinical experience.
    • At least one satisfactory professional or academic reference.
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPD) Option

    Continuing Professional Education (CPD)
    The second option is for experienced clinicians who wish to participate in the neonatal postgraduate clinical modules as part of CPD. This route involves studying the same online clinical neonatal modules alongside the students taking the academically-accredited route. On successful completion of each module a certificate will be awarded by the ESN and the NOTE Faculty but no formal academic credit will be awarded. The content, route of delivery and the assessment criteria are the same as those described for the Masters programme.

    Eligibility for the CPD route includes:

    • A current professional registration with a relevant professional/statutory body.
    • A current job contract in a clinical or clinically related area.
    • At least two years neonatal clinical experience.
  • The Programme

    The Programme
    Experience of online learning is not essential as there will be an induction module for all participants. Irrespective of the route of access, each module will be delivered in English over a period of approximately 10 weeks. The total study time for each module is 250 hours of which up to 50 hours will be online contact; the remaining 200 hours is self directed study. Each module has predefined learning outcomes and a range of multimedia will be used to enhance the teaching and learning. Participants will work in small learning groups with supervision and support from 2 online tutors. Synchronous and asynchronous online communication will promote collaborative discussion and debate of authentic clinical cases. Summative assessment is integrated throughout each module and will take the form of MCQ questions, evaluation of online participation and a written assignment.

  • NOTE Summer Guest Lectures on Neonatal Infection, Inflammation, Immunology & Immunisation, May - July 2024

    If you are interested in attending, please register >>here on the ESN course platform.

  • NOTE online module 'Neonatal Infection, Inflammation, Immunology, & Immunisation', May 2024


  • Applications

    If you're interested in applying for either the MSc Neonatology or the CPD option then please contact the Programme Lead, Susan Smith, via We will get back to you as soon as possible.

  • Learn about the 'NOTE experience' from former student Dr Olufunke Bolaji
    Dr Olufunke Bolaji is a former student of the NOTE programme and is happy to share her experience with you:
    What is your personal and professional background?
    I am Dr Olufunke Bolaji, a Consultant Paediatrician to the Federal Teaching Hospital Ido-Ekiti (FETHI) and Senior Lecturer at the College of Medicine, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. I obtained the MB;BS degree from the College of Medicine, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria in 2003, and Fellowship in Paediatrics from the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria in 2015. I was the Recipient of the Visiting Fellowship of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) United Kingdom, in 2016. Our hospital, the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti has a 36-bedded neonatal unit which I head. I have about 8 years' experience providing care for neonates in our neonatal unit. When I'm not working, I love to spend time with my family as well as teaching the scriptures to children in church.
    How did you learn about the NOTE programme?
    I learned about the NOTE programme through an internet search borne out of a keen desire and passion to obtain up-to-date knowledge and skill in neonatal care.
    Which NOTE module(s) were you enrolled in?
    Pulmonology, Nutrition and the university Research Methods and Evidence-Based Practice.
    Which aspects of the NOTE programme did you enjoy the most?
    Pulmonology. This is because respiratory support for neonates was virtually non-existent in our facility as at when I started the module even though we care for babies born as early as 26 weeks GA and birth weight as low as 600 grams.
    How has your participation in the NOTE programme impacted your practice?
    The NOTE programme has totally transformed my practice, especially when it comes to Respiratory Support and Nutrition.
    • Respiratory support: shortly before the end of the module, based on the knowledge acquired from the module I worked to organise a workshop on respiratory support in neonates for the healthcare staff providing neonatal care in our department. We also invited participants from the other tertiary hospital in the state and from the nearby states. The goal was to have some degree of step-down of the knowledge I had acquired. Together with the team in the neonatal unit, we were able to convince the hospital management to provide 2 CPAP machines and 1 ventilator suitable for neonates for our use in the unit. This is totally unprecedented in the history of the hospital. In addition, our unit now serves as a mini hub for 3 states around us providing surfactant and caffeine to facilities who otherwise will not have access to it. I was able to facilitate this driven by the knowledge I acquired from the course. To bring it to reality, I committed my own personal money to purchase these drugs from the only company that sells the drugs in Lagos which is a minimum of 6 hours drive away. My knowledge of the importance of these drugs has helped us to make it available to patients who can afford it in a healthcare setting where cost of care is largely out-of-pocket expenditure (these drugs are unaffordable to many patients that is why they are largely unavailable in hospital pharmacies). The Residents that work with me are now conversant with administering surfactant by INSURE as well as giving Delivery Unit Caffeine. These are "luxuries" I never had till I finished my postgraduate training in paediatrics. We have developed a protocol for caffeine use which has helped us save more babies in the past 6 months.
    • Nutrition: our practice even for the tiniest babies hitherto revolved around giving fluids and giving as much breastmilk as the baby would tolerate. Now, I know that this practice would not get us to the best outcomes. Learning about Parenteral nutrition has started us thinking about what we can adapt for our Low- and middle-income setting. The planning for a webinar with a company that markets Trophamine are underway so that we can adapt what would work for our neonates. I have also strengthened the knowledge I have on early commencement of feeds in preterm infants and have stepped down this knowledge to the doctors and nurses I work with.
    • Finally, I have become a champion for adapting best global practice and evidence for our neonates, our resident doctors are very happy to do things differently based on evidence and see results and they are excited to be able to practice some of what they read "only in books". 

    Would you recommend NOTE to others?

    Yes, and I have been recommending it to my colleagues.
  • The NOTE team

    Dr Mike Hall
    NOTE Chairperson

    Susan Smith
    MSc Neonatology Programme Lead
    NOTE Manager

  • Call for Tutors: Submit your documents today and become part of our team!

    The NOTE programme invites expressions of interest to join its team of tutors.

    As one of our online tutors you will ideally have:

    • a degree in medicine, nursing or a profession allied to medicine
    • a professional qualification in neonatology
    • extensive experience of working with neonatal patients receiving intensive care
    • a portfolio demonstrating evidence of:
      - an interest in, and experience of, neonatal education of healthcare professionals
      - experience in delivering education relating to medical topics
      - knowledge of theoretical aspects of adult education
      - experience of group teaching/facilitation
      - evidence of good written and oral communication skills
      - leadership skills
      - effective time management skills
    • completed some or all of the online MSc Neonatology modules
    • an insight into how students learn online and the specific support they need to develop their academic knowledge and their key transferable skills
    • a commitment to developing supportive and proactive online learning communities
    • an organised and systematic approach to work
    • a flexible approach to working
    • attention to detail and a commitment to reflecting on how the NOTE Faculty can continue to improve the quality of the learning experience for students
    • the ability to work successfully in a team and independently

    All teaching is in English and your proficiency in the English language should be of a sufficient standard to meet the requirements of the tutor role.

    As a NOTE tutor, you have the opportunity to join a wonderful team and work with neonatal trainees from all over the world to make a real difference in the field of neonatal education.

    On average, the expected time commitment is approximately 4 hours per week. Details of remuneration will be discussed upon application to the programme.

    For further details and to submit your documents (i.e. a letter of motivation & CV), please contact Susan Smith ( from the NOTE Secretariat.

    We very much look forward to hearing from you!

You can login to the NOTE Online Learning Platform or create a guest account by clicking on the button below:

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