Postgraduate study

Clinical Management of Pain (Online Learning) MSc, PgProfDev

Awards: MSc, 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

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 is a way to study for an internationally recognised qualification without needing to attend classes on campus. It is aimed at those who wish to study for a postgraduate qualification alongside work or other commitments.

Online programmes are of equal value to on-campus programmes. The only difference is the way the course is delivered. Our online learning platform enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or work place.

As an online student you have access to the University's excellent resources and you become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.

The Clinical Management of Pain programme is entirely online with a study commitment of approximately 15-20 hours per week*. You will study alongside and share your knowledge and experience with students from around the world through active discussion boards, blogs, group work and videos. The programme is flexible and there are no specific times you need to attend class. It is designed to complement the work commitments and diverse geographical locations of our students.

Evaluation of the programme is through a mixture of coursework and online participation. The programme has a variety of types of assessments, including essays, online activities, blogs, group work and tests. The assessments are designed to fit with the learning outcomes of each course.

*Revised 10 December 2019 to provide more comprehensive information on online learning commitments.

Studying online at Edinburgh

Find out more about the benefits and practicalities of studying for an online degree:

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.

Examples:

  • To achieve PGDip Clinical Management of Pain (Headache) or PGDip Clinical Management of Pain (Veterinary), students must take at least 40 of the 120 credits required in the named focus area
  • To achieve MSc Clinical Management of Pain (Headache) or MSc Clinical Management of Pain (Veterinary), students must take at least 60 of the 180 credits required in the named focus 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.

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
MScClinical Management of PainUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20

Our suite of pain management programmes is aimed at healthcare professionals - anywhere in the world - who want to improve the care of people living with pain. Our programme provides a multidisciplinary approach to pain management, training healthcare professionals to treat pain more effectively*.

*Revised 10 December 2019 to add learning outcomes.

There are many and 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.

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 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

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

While we are already aware that the University of Edinburgh regularly is listed in the top 25 universities in the world, and we are satisfied that our programme director, authors and tutors have spent long periods of time, ensuring their lecture material is suitable for online learning, it is still wonderful news to have our efforts acknowledged when we receive positive feedback from our current students.

The programme has also been recognised by the EUSA Teaching Awards in 2017, 2018 and 2019 with nominations from our students in Best Support Staff, Best Tutor and Best Course categories.

This video provides some feedback from our graduates*.

*Revised 10 December 2019 to provide introduction to video.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in medicine (MBChB or equivalent), nursing, dentistry, psychology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, pharmacology or any other allied health care profession 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.

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 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

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, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, 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.

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:

Tuition fee deposit

Successful applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £250 before an unconditional offer can be made. This will be offset against tuition fees upon entry to the programme.

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
MScClinical Management of PainUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgProfDevClinical Management of PainUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees

The University of Edinburgh offers a small number of competitive scholarships to outstanding candidates.

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 your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

*Revised 10 December 2019 to provide information on postgraduate loans.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and 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 date Application deadline
14 September 2020 28 August 2020

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