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Course content

This Postgraduate Certificate programme develops students' knowledge and skills, theoretical and practical competencies in the fast-developing world of sedation and pain management, and is studied part-time over one year. Simulation training in management of medical emergencies is an important component of the programme. It is compliant with UK sedation guidelines.

About this degree

Alongside theoretical training, the programme provides clinical attachments with a programme mentor at accredited sedation clinics in or near London. Students receive training in pre-sedation assessment and how to administer sedation to patients using standard sedation techniques, and observe the criteria set for recovery and discharge of patients after sedation. Students also receive simulation training in the management of medical emergencies during sedation.

Students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules worth 15 credits each.

Core modules

  • Conscious Sedation Pre-Clinical I
  • Conscious Sedation Pre-Clinical II
  • Conscious Sedation Clinical I
  • Conscious Sedation Clinical II

Optional modules

  • There are no optional modules for this programme.


Each student writes a 3,000-word referenced essay on a sedation-related topic as part of formal assessment. Topics can include research studies, case studies, or any topic related to an interesting area in sedation and pain control.The topic must be approved by the Programme Director.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, clinical skills seminars, problem-based learning and directly supervised clinical sessions sedating patients. Students also receive simulation training in the management of medical emergencies.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Dental Sedation and Pain Management PG Cert


The programme prepares graduates to practise as:

  • Operator sedationists: as dentists they can conduct dental procedures and administer drugs for relief of pain and anxiety, conscious sedation
  • Dedicated sedation practitioners: delivering the relief of pain and anxiety through conscious sedation while conducting dental procedures (this form of sedation practice is becoming very popular and the demand is increasing)
  • Sedation trainers
  • Various graduates are now offering conscious sedation for the first time in their practices, and one graduate is now running airway certification courses.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Senior Teaching Fellow, UCL
  • Paediatric Dentist, The Eastman Dental Hospital (NHS)
  • Dental Officer, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
  • Speciality Doctor, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust


There is a huge demand for sedation practitioners and this is lilkely to grow in future, not only as private practitioners but also sedation trainers.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The programme is available to both doctors and dentists, which is unique in the UK. The programme invites guest speakers from other institutions and the Programme Director himself is a visiting professor from UWC, Cape Town, providing connections with the international sedation community.

You can find out more about the programme on the institute's Dental Sedation and Pain Management PG Cert page.

This programme trains students in standard sedation techniques. We would like to present short courses in advanced sedation techniques in the future.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Eastman Dental Institute

85% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Visit the Dental Sedation and Pain Management (PGCert) page on the University College London website for more details!





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