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Pain Management - MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Course Description

This higher degree is aimed at clinical professionals from all backgrounds involved in the delivery of acute and chronic 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 care of people living with pain while accelerating their own career.

Degree information

Students will learn:
-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. There are no optional modules for this programme.

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)

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 an online learning environment with additional workshops and discussions to support students on their journey towards making a real difference for people living with pain.


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.

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 enables students to improve the lives of people living with pain. 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 the world's first module on neuromodulation, students will be prepared to shape the future of pain management - anywhere in the world.

The programme is delivered flexibly at the student's own pace primarily via an online learning environment. Recognising that the subject matter is often academically and emotionally demanding, optional workshops with programme tutors are available on campus and via video conferencing. In addition, online small-group tutorials supplement the online learning content. This flexible design allows students from all over the country, and world, to share their experiences and learning styles to enrich each other academically. This is the only UK-based pain management degree offering a blended mode of 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 in the field should they wish.

Visit the Pain Management - MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the University College London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second-class UK Bachelor's degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants should also be registered/licensed healthcare professionals with a demonstrable interest in pain management.

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