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Masters Degrees (Headache)

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Programme description. The University of Edinburgh is recognised globally for its research, development and innovation, and has been providing students with a world-class education for more than 425 years. Read more

Programme description

The University of Edinburgh is recognised globally for its research, development and innovation, and has been providing students with a world-class education for more than 425 years. The suite of pain management programmes offered by the Department of Anaesthesia, Critical care and Pain Medicine, continues this tradition by integrating current clinical research with high-level academic and professional input.

As a multidimensional phenomenon, it is essential that pain is managed through planned multidisciplinary initiatives and inputs that aim to ease patient suffering and improve quality of life. Through a solid, theoretical understanding of the biological, psychological and social concepts that drive, develop and maintain pain, students will explore the multifaceted nature of pain and its effects. Students will gain an advanced understanding of the specialist area of pain management and will develop the core skills and knowledge required of an advanced pain practitioner.

Each course of the programme is divided into a set of themed sections in which material is presented in a blend of short online lectures, practical case studies, directed readings, podcasts and webinars. This is supplemented by discussion boards that provide directed assessment tasks while input from expert guest lecturers and tutors offer students opportunity for collaborative critical discourse and debate of current issues.

This part-time, fully online programme attracts an international and multi-professional student cohort and offers a unique opportunity to have direct contact with others working in pain management across the world. Within this context, students will gain the knowledge, understanding and evaluative skills to provide advanced clinical care so as to improve outcomes for people living in pain.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Health Academy.

Online learning

By studying at the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, students will join a rich tradition of education – one of the oldest institutions in the UK - but also one of the most progressive and dynamic.

The University of Edinburgh has a growing portfolio of established and highly regarded online distance learning postgraduate programmes, with thousands of students currently taking advantage of this mode of education. As a postgraduate student at the University of Edinburgh, you will become part of a supportive online community, able to take advantage of the University’s strong academic tradition, while studying together students and tutors from across the world.

The University of Edinburgh offers a number of outcome awards from its suite of pain management programmes. For those wishing to complete a short option, there are continuing professional development (CME/CPD) courses and for others, who may wish to pursue a longer programme option, there are University awards of Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert), Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) and Master of Science (MSc) – all delivered online using methods that are fully supported by the University’s award-winning online learning environments.

The key differences between the University awards are the number of credits needed to achieve each award:

  • Postgraduate Certificate: this is 60 successfully completed credits of study
  • Postgraduate Diploma: this is 120 successfully completed credits of study
  • Master of Science: this is 180 successfully completed credits of study

Postgraduate Certificate - Level 1 (60 credits)

The Postgraduate Certificate level courses allow students to gain a solid, theoretical understanding of the biological, psychological and social concepts that drive, develop and maintain pain.

Through six core courses covering, assessment and measurement of pain, mechanisms of pain, and the pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of pain, students will explore pain's multifaceted and dynamic nature. In the final core course, students will examine selected conditions seen in clinical practice.

Postgraduate Diploma - Level 2 (60 credits)

(not all Level 2 courses will be offered every year) On successful completion of the Postgraduate Certificate courses, the 60 credits at Postgraduate Diploma level allow students to select courses that focus on areas of pain management that are congruent with students' career goals and clinical or personal interests.

Through a number of course options, including, but not limited to, courses in cancer pain, medical pain, acute pain, neuropathic pain and pain in ageing populations, students will gain an advanced understanding of key areas in pain management. At this level, students may opt to begin to take courses in the areas of either headache management or veterinary medicine to gain a named PGDip or MSc award.

Master of Science - Level 3 (60 credits)

On the successful completion of 120 credits, students are able to proceed to the Master of Science level of the programme. There are a number of options at this level:

  • Fully taught option – successfully complete 60 credits from the Level 2 courses, or,
  • Successfully complete a written dissertation (60 credits), or,
  • Successfully complete a project (60 credits)

Degree Awards with a Headache or Veterinary Designation?

We also offer Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) and Master of Science (MSc) awards in the focussed clinical areas of headache management and veterinary medicine.

Alongside the core pain programme content, students have the option to take a number of courses in specific clinical areas to gain the award of PGDip/MSc Clinical Management of Pain (Headache) or PGDip/MSc Clinical Management of Pain (Veterinary). To gain a named award (i.e. a Headache or Veterinary designation), students must complete at least one third of the credits of the award in the focussed area.

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD)

Postgraduate Professional Development is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course, without the time - or financial - commitment of a full Masters degree, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate. We offer short, focussed, academic credit-bearing courses that provide education on key subjects in pain management.

You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses through our Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) scheme. These credits are recognised in their own right as postgraduate-level credit, or may be put towards gaining a higher award, such as a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc at the University of Edinburgh or another academic institution.



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This higher degree is aimed at clinical professionals from all backgrounds involved in the delivery of acute, chronic, and integrated pain services in primary or secondary care. Read more

This higher degree is aimed at clinical professionals from all backgrounds involved in the delivery of acute, chronic, and integrated pain services in primary or secondary care. Combining cutting-edge research with an international reputation for clinical excellence, the UCL Pain Management MSc is ideal for anyone wanting to improve the lives of people living with pain while also accelerating their own career.

About this degree

Students will learn:

  • Research methods and ethical principles underpinning pain research
  • Health economics and social impact of pain
  • Clinical governance of pain services
  • Pathophysiology of pain
  • Pharmacology of pain and therapeutics
  • Managing pain in cancer patients including post-chemotherapy pain
  • Management of headache and abdominopelvic/urogenital pain
  • Managing pain in children and adolescents
  • Strategies for the self-management of pain
  • Neuromodulation for chronic pain
  • Pain management with mental health, substance misuse and multiple morbidity
  • Community pain management strategies

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, eight core modules) is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, four core modules) is offered.

Core modules

  • Introduction to Pain: Economics, Evidence Delivery (15 credits)
  • Acute Pain (15 credits)
  • Chronic Pain (15 credits)
  • Pain in Cancer Patients (15 credits)
  • Headache, Paediatric Pain & Abdominopelvic Pain (15 credits)
  • Strategies for the Self-Management of Pain (15 credits)
  • Neuromodulation (15 credits)
  • Pain in the Community (15 credits)

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Dissertation/report

Successful completion of the MSc requires a 5,000 to 8,000-word dissertation on a topic that is relevant to the candidate's own clinical practice and has been covered, at least superficially, at some point in the programme. The options for the dissertation will be discussed with each student but can include, where possible, joining clinical research at the UCLH Pain Management Centre, study in-depth of topics, preparing for higher (doctoral) research, etc. Students will have two supervisors and a mentor.

Teaching and learning

This programme is delivered via a specially-designed online learning environment with additional workshops and discussions to support students on the journey towards making a real difference for people living with pain. 

Assessment is based on reflective practice, video presentation, and short written assignments. 

Placement

Clinical placement is not a required component of the programme. However, for students wishing to see practice in the UK or specialist pain management practice at UCLH, short clinical placements can be arranged. The Pain Management Centre at UCLH is busy and accommodates a large number students and specialist trainees. Therefore, please consider your goals for any placement in advance. 

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Pain Management MSc

Funding

For a comprehensive list of funding opportunities available at UCL visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

In addition to the funding options available from UCL Scholarships and Funding, a small number of bursaries are available to reduce the programme fees by up to £4,000. Candidates interested in applying for a bursary should indicate this in their application. Applicants will then be asked for further information if their application is successful.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

This programme is the ideal solution for:

  • Nurses and allied health professionals wishing to pursue senior (Band 7+) roles in the NHS
  • General practitioners involved in the delivery of chronic pain services
  • Junior doctors wishing to develop and demonstrate clinical interest in pain management and/or the pain component of training in anaethesia
  • International doctors wishing to develop their expertise in pain management
  • Osteopaths and chiropractors with an interest in pain management.

Employability

Combining academic excellence with UCL's reputation as London's global university and our strong links to industry, the prospects for graduates of this programme are excellent. Whether you wish to continue with patient care in the NHS or private sector, pursue doctoral research, or work in industry and innovation, this programme will equips students not only with the knowledge and skills but also the networking links and opportunities to take their career to the next level.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This exciting programme will provide graduates with the knowledge and opportunities to accelerate their careers in pain management. This is ideal for anyone pursuing a senior clinical position, health management role, or research and development or industry career.

Beginning with the socio-economic impact and moving from acute to chronic pain states before arriving at more complex pain conditions and interventions, this programme develops the knowledge and core skills required of an advanced pain practitioner.

With innovative modules on managing pain in the community and UCLH's international expertise on headache and abdominopelvic pain, students are exposed to unique learning opportunities. 

Recognising the growing specialist field of neuromodulation, we have developed among the world's first modules dedicated to the subject. This gives students the knowledge to develop their own services or care for patients with devices already in place.

The programme is delivered via a specially-desinged online learning environment. Recognising that the subject matter is often academically and emotionally demanding, optional workshops with programme tutors are available at the Bloomsbury campus and via video conferencing. In addition, online small-group tutorials supplement the online learning content.

Our flexible design allows students from all over the country, and world, to share their experiences and learning styles to enrich each other's academic experience. This is the only UK-based pain management degree offering students the choice of fully online or blended delivery.

UCL and UCL Hospitals (UCLH) Pain Management Centre has an international reputation for both cutting-edge research and innovative clinical services. Students on this programme will benefit from teaching from global experts at an institution that consistently delivers world-class research output. Graduates can expect to be academically confident and ideally placed to pursue doctoral (PhD) level study with UCL upon completion.



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Our Orofacial Pain MSc is an innovative programme designed to provide advanced training and clinical practice in this emerging discipline. Read more

Our Orofacial Pain MSc is an innovative programme designed to provide advanced training and clinical practice in this emerging discipline. Orofacial pain and headaches are a significant financial burden to the NHS with patients presenting as challenging cases often baffling practitioners. Led by world-renowned experts who have extensive published research, this course will provide training in the field of Orofacial Pain to benefit patients in the UK and internationally. 

Key benefits

  • Internationally renowned centre of excellence for teaching and research in dental and health sciences.
  • Led by world-renowned experts who have extensive published research, including Professor Tara Renton, Consultant in Oral Surgery and Clinical Lead for Orofacial Pain Services at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and at INPUT (Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust), a nationally recognised pain management centre.
  • Clinical attachments to multidisciplinary orofacial pain services, which include neurology (led by Professor Peter Goadsby), oral surgery, ENT, psychology, psychiatry, neurosurgery and pain management at King’s College Hospital and Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital.

Description

The course will provide comprehensive understanding, experience and advanced skills in the diagnosis and management of patients with orofacial pain, and will enable you to appreciate the relationships with other medical and dental specialties.

You will develop:

  • Enhanced knowledge on key underlying neurological and molecular mechanisms involved in acute and chronic pain.
  • Understanding of pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods used to manage acute and chronic pain.
  • Advanced knowledge about anatomical, physiological, biological, pathophysiological and medical processes involved in orofacial pain.
  • Improved understanding of the social, physical, psychological, physiological, cultural and behavioural implications of orofacial pain.
  • Knowledge about orofacial pain conditions and their classification, with a specific focus on:

Bio-psychosocial model of pain

  • The environmental, psychological and psychiatric pain constructs
  • Acute orofacial pain conditions
  • Masticatory musculoskeletal pain
  • Neurogenic orofacial pain
  • Temporomandibular disorders
  • Headache disorders – differential diagnosis
  • Orofacial motor disorders including orofacial dystonias and bruxism
  • Intraoral, intracranial, extracranial and systemic disorders.
  • Expertise in examining and evaluating the patient.
  • Competency in diagnosing and managing the orofacial pain patient.
  • Ability to coordinate the appropriate care of orofacial pain patients, either as a single clinician or within a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Expertise in evaluating the treatment outcomes of patients with orofacial pain.
  • Ability to develop and successfully carry out research projects within the field of orofacial pain.

Course format and assessment

Teaching

We will teach you through lectures, tutorials, hands-on training and supervision in clinic. Course material will be available through our online learning environment, King’s E-learning and Teaching Service (KEATS), where you will find information, interactive questions, assignments, bibliographic databases and reading material.

Assessment

Three modules in year one are assessed by written examination and one by 50% case presentation and 50% written examination. In year two, two modules are assessed by 50% case presentation and 50% written examination. The research project is assessed by written dissertation and oral examination.

Career prospects

The Orofacial Pain MSc may contribute to a specialism in oral medicine, oral surgery or restorative dentistry.

Sign up for more information. Email now

Have a question about applying to King’s? Email now



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