Postgraduate study

Clinical Management of Pain (Online Learning) PgProfDev

Awards: PgProfDev

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study

Online learning

Funding opportunities

The programme has enhanced my practice in a significant way. I've been able to secure more specialist jobs and I've also been able to offer patients much more advanced and evidence-based care.

Cecile Hosang MSc Clinical Management of Pain Graduate 2018
Cecile Hosang               MSc Clinical Management of Pain Graduate 2018

This suite of part-time, fully online programmes offers clinical health care professionals a wide range of pain management educational opportunities. With a flexible and broad selection of options, from single courses through to Masters of Science degrees, we offer students the unique opportunity to have direct contact with international students, lecturers, tutors and experts in pain management from across the world, widening students’ understanding of pain in a variety of clinical contexts.

How will I learn?

Each course in the programme consists of themed areas including a blend of:

  • short online lectures
  • practical case studies
  • directed readings
  • podcasts
  • webinars
  • interdisciplinary e-lectures

The interaction between students, clinicians and academics is promoted through facilitated discussion forums, providing the opportunity for collaborative critical discourse and debate of current issues.


Assessments and course tasks are designed to provide students with authentic learning opportunities, and offer the ability to draw on students’ clinical experiences and expertise, regardless of where in the world students are located.

One of our graduates, Mandy More, explains:

I particularly enjoyed the fact that the latter assignments in years 2 and 3 were practical tasks that provided materials that could be used in your place of work. I produced a Post-Concussion Syndrome advice leaflet and an online Pain in Sport course that have been used regularly by colleagues...My final project will feature in this year’s Charted Society of Physiotherapist’s poster session and the write up is currently being sent for peer review for publication, something I would never have envisioned when I started.

Boost your career

By combining quality pedagogical learning design, exceptional student support and the clinical and academic excellence of the University of Edinburgh, our graduates will acquire the expertise required to boost their career as pain management practitioners.

If you are a healthcare professional with an interest in pain and you wish to pursue quality personal and professional development, then we may well have a programme of study that suits you.

There is the sense that what we are doing actually matters. Although the course is academic and wide-ranging, it is applicable at every stage.

Helena Bridge, Osteopath

Our programmes are affiliated with the University's Global Health Academy.

Our programmes are delivered completely online, allowing for a curriculum design approach that caters to different ways of learning. We embrace the role that technology can play to enhance teaching, learning and assessment, and the programme has been designed with the learner in mind.

Online learning is an excellent way to study for an internationally recognised qualification without needing to attend classes on campus. Each student will be supported as an active member of a vibrant online community where learning outcomes are facilitated by tasks and materials that foster active, relevant and collaborative learning, all supported by the purposeful use of digital media and online technology.

Watch our video to learn more about studying online.

Online learning brochure

Download and read our PDF brochure to find out more about our world-class online postgraduate portfolio.

How online learning works

Study at times and in locations that suit you. A variety of platforms are used to deliver content and enable you to collaborate with other students and academic staff.

Balancing work, family, personal and study life

Some students are concerned that they will have difficulty in balancing their study commitments with work and or personal life.

Watch our video to hear from some of our past students as they talk about balancing their studying with the rest of their lives.

The work-life-studies balance is a bit tricky (I'm sure it is for most) at times but I honestly think that the quality of education would suffer if it was less work... as some clever person once said: nothing worth having comes easy.

Michaela Beham-Kacerovsky, Anaesthetist

I have thoroughly enjoyed the course so far and it is already having a positive impact on both my clinical practice as well as future career development and opportunities. I currently have a job that allows me a day off per week and the workload for this course is challenging at times but certainly quite manageable.

Nick Critchley, Physiotherapist

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.

For others who may wish to pursue a longer programme, there are University awards of:

  • Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert: 60 credits)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip: 120 credits)
  • Master of Science (MSc: 180 credits)

These are all delivered online using methods that are fully supported by the University’s award-winning online learning environments.

Core courses

The programme consists of six, 10-credit core courses which provide the foundation for the elective courses that follow.

Option courses

On successful completion of the core courses, students can then select courses that focus on areas of pain management that are congruent with their career goals and clinical or personal interests.

Through the various course options, students will gain an advanced understanding of key areas in pain management.

Master of Science qualification

To gain the Master of Science qualification, students can elect to complete either a dissertation, a clinical project or can take further elective courses, depending on their clinical and career goals.

For further information about the requirements for each of the awards we offer, please see our programme website.

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD)

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.

You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit. Alternatively, after one year of taking courses you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a higher award on a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.

Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout a year you may only start a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme in the month of September.

Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.

Please contact the programme team for more information about available courses and course start dates.

Semester dates for the academic year 2023-2024

These are key dates in the academic year, which vary slightly year to year. For your programme these are:

  • Welcome Week: 11 – 17 September 2023
  • Term 1: 18 September - 1 December 2023
  • Term 2: 8 January – 24 March 2024
  • Term 3: 8 April - 23 June 2024

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PgProfDevClinical Management of PainUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2023/24

Our aim is to equip graduates with:

  • comprehensive knowledge of the concepts, principles and practices which underpin quality pain management
  • an ability to critically appraise the empirical evidence for the effectiveness of pain management strategies in a range of health settings
  • skills required to integrate knowledge from multiple disciplines - graduates may then adapt professional practice to meet the complex biopsychosocial needs of patients with pain

The programme will enhance your understanding and clinical knowledge of pain management, improve your academic capabilities and provide opportunities to develop your career. There are many diverse prospects for employment depending on where graduates want to work, the area of the world where they are currently based, and, previous experience and interest.

You can, however, be assured that as a graduate of the programme, your professional and career development will be enhanced in the following areas:

  • advanced clinical practice
  • clinical leadership
  • research
  • training and education

By combining academic excellence with the University of Edinburgh’s world-class reputation, graduates from our suite of programme are well-placed to continue and advance their clinical careers within the NHS or other health services, pursue advanced academic study or work in industry. Equally, graduates can expect to be academically confident and may choose to pursue academic careers in related fields.

I am coming to the end of my first year of the MSc and so far I have noticed an increase in my knowledge in clinical pain management. It is influencing my career development as I am managing patient cases more independently.

Lorena Warde, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Pain Management

The University of Edinburgh’s Graduate Attributes

Information about the mindsets and skills that make up the Graduate Attributes Framework

We would encourage you to apply for our programme if you are a healthcare graduate (including, but not limited to, medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, psychology, veterinary medicine, dentistry and occupational therapy) with clinical experience and the desire to provide better health outcomes for patients/clients with pain conditions.

Our suite of programmes will be of particular interest to health care professionals who wish to take advantage of unparalleled networking opportunities and peer learning. In addition, there is a focus on effective digital communication skills and refinement of interpersonal and team working abilities.

By enrolling on one of our programmes, you will become part of the community of the University of Edinburgh and be able to take advantage of the University’s world-class reputation, history of academic excellence and have access experienced teaching staff who have a wealth of clinical experience.

The MSc Clinical Management of Pain team were pioneers in the field of digital education and the programme was the first fully online programme offered by the University of Edinburgh. Over the past 16 years, we have grown in scale and scope with a current total enrollment of over 100 students representing 25+ countries. To date, over 120 graduates have benefited from our expertise and received postgraduate awards.

Not only will a postgraduate award from the University of Edinburgh bolster your CV/resume, you will be able to demonstrate that you have acquired a rigorous and respected academic qualification, evidenced commitment to your clinical role and demonstrated your potential to prospective employers. Equally, exceptional graduates may be motivated to pursue academic careers in related fields.

While we are already aware that the University of Edinburgh is regularly listed in the top 25 universities in the world, and that we regularly receive nominations from our students in the annual Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA) teaching awards (with nominations for Best Support Staff, Best Tutor and Best Course), it is always extremely satisfying to hear directly from our graduates about their experiences on the programme.

Below you will find some short videos from some of our recent graduates*:

These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a healthcare related subject such as medicine, dentistry, nursing, psychology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, pharmacology, osteopathy, chiropractic and other allied healthcare professions involved in the management of pain.

We will also consider your application if you have a professional qualification, such as RGN, with appropriate clinical experience.

Students from China

This degree is Band D.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:


Successful applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit before an unconditional offer can be made:

  • £250 (this contributes towards your tuition fees)

Find out more about tuition fee deposits:

Tuition fee deposits can be paid here using the University's online payment facility, ePay:

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PgProfDevClinical Management of PainUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK's governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Team - Clinical Management of Pain
  • Chancellor's Building, Room SU223
  • 49 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SB
Programme start dates Application deadlines
1 November 2023 13 October 2023
8 January 2024 8 December 2023

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Team - Clinical Management of Pain
  • Chancellor's Building, Room SU223
  • 49 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SB