The hope is that the UEA will create the best surgeons in the world
The University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich has launched the first e-learning masters degree for breast reconstruction surgery.
"80% of the work will be done online and 20% is practical," said Professor Jerome Periera.
The Master in Surgery in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery is the first in the UK to qualify surgeons in the field.
The first two-year course starts in January 2011 and will be attended by 15 students from across the country.
The course will use expertise from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the James Paget University Hospital in Great Yarmouth along with a network of specialists from across the country.
"We have a faculty of 50 highly specialised breast and plastic surgeons throughout the country who are going to augment the training of surgeons to bring them to a high standard of practice," said Prof Periera.
While some people might question the use of e-learning, there is still plenty of face-to-face contact for the students.
"Most of the theoretical aspects will be delivered online. The practical skills will be delivered by tutors who will take them through specific operations and increase their range of skills."
The new course has been developed with the full support of the Royal College of Surgeons and should give surgeons the best education available.
"Using this method, surgeons will have to cover the full range of operations.
"It means that in the final three years leading to them becoming consultants, they will be receiving the highest quality training in this field anywhere in the world."