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Pain Management (MSc/PgDip/PgCert)

n/a (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / via e-Learning: for PgDip, 18 months part-time; for MSc, 2 years part-time (distance / e-Learning)

Course Aims

The MSc Degree in Pain Management is an interprofessional, e-Learning course intended for health care professionals who want to specialise in the field of pain management. It is also aimed at educationalists to provide the appropriate knowledge and expertise on pain to teach others from various disciplines.

The course is designed to achieve the following learning outcomes:

Special Features

Course Description

Pain is a multidimensional phenomenon and as such needs to be managed through multidisciplinary initiatives. These initiatives must be based on specialist knowledge, rigorous research and an advanced understanding of the physiological and behavioural concepts involved.

The course is an e-Learning, interprofessional course. The taught component introduces the student to the multifaceted nature of caring for patients who have pain. The modules provide the student with the ability to understand the biopsychosocial aspects of pain and to evaluate the various approaches to assessing and managing patients in pain. Professional issues, including clinical governance and inter-professional practice, will be covered.

There are pathways available to suit the needs of primary, secondary and tertiary care professionals.

Some of the modules are core; others allow student choice. E-Learning assessment strategies enable students to focus on their areas of interest and are structured to allow students to evaluate the topic in relation to their practice and professional base.

Approximately forty places are offered each year and the majority of students are self-funded, though some obtain awards from charities and trusts. The course takes two years to complete inclusive of the dissertation component (9 months for the Postgraduate Certificate level; 9 months for the Postgraduate Diploma level and a further six months for the dissertation stage) spanning just over two academic years.

There are no residential components in this course as it is purely e-Learning - so there is no requirement to travel to Cardiff for course purposes. In order to undertake the course the applicant must have constant and reliable internet access (preferably broadband) and have basic computer literacy skills. The IT knowledge or ability required to undertake the course is by no means advanced but applicants must be comfortable with using the internet and Microsoft Word at a basic level and with this method of learning (e-Learning).

Students will access the modules through the medium of Learning Central which is Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (or VLE) which delivers the course materials. This is accessible via all forms of computer (desktop/ laptop/ tablet).

Course Structure

Students will access the modules through the medium of Learning Central which is Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (or VLE) which delivers the course materials.

Approximately 10-15 hours per week required on independent learning and assessment. As the programme is purely e-Learning there are no direct contact hours with the programme team. To support students in their learning, the course team are available 09.00-17.00 Monday-Friday (excluding certain holiday periods) and we guarantee to respond to student queries within two working days.


Students will be expected to submit and pass:

Available Modules

Skills Acquired

Enhanced understanding of evidence based medicine through academic appraisal of the relevant resources.

Career Prospects

Valued added to CV with many students reporting that attainment and / or current participation on the MSc lead directly to promotion. Many students were also stimulated to pursue academic careers via further study up to PhD.

Entry Requirements

Suitable for healthcare professionals with an interest or practice base in acute, chronic and palliative pain management.

Suitable applicants should also:

PLEASE NOTE: all students enrolling for this programme must be in relevant paid employment, i.e. in a relevant clinical area. If you are unsure of the required detail of this specification please contact the programme team for advice.

English language requirements

Applicants must satisfy the Cardiff University General Entrance Requirements including the English Language requirements*.

*Applicants who do not meet the qualification criteria listed under the English language requirements in the above link should contact the course team to discuss whether alternative evidence of English language competence may be sufficient (e.g. evidence of successful completion of a first or subsequent degree entirely in the medium of English, for a minimum of one year).

Please note: Students should have taken the IELTS no more than two years before the proposed date of entry to the University. For more information, please visit the English Language Programmes website.

Available Funding

We have been very fortunate in obtaining substantial bursaries from Napp Pharmaceuticals Limited. If you would like to enrol on the course please contact or to find out more information about the Napp sponsored bursaries, please contact

Foundation in Primary Care Management - Stand Alone Module

A stand-alone/occasional 20 credit module for GPs and Pharmacists with a special interest in pain and primary and community health care professionals will be available for entry on two occasions in the 2015/16 academic session. Please see the module page for more information.

Tuition Fees 2016/17

Fees quoted are for the academic session 2016/17. For programmes lasting more than one year, tuition fees for subsequent years of study are subject to an increase of no more than 4.5% per year.

  UK & EU International
Full-time n/a n/a
Part-time MSc: £3,875 MSc: £5,625
Deposit Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy. Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Sharron Heathcote  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2074 3215 



School Website:

More information