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.
By studying at the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, students will join a rich tradition of education – one of the oldest institutions in the UK - but also one of the most progressive and dynamic.
The University of Edinburgh has a growing portfolio of established and highly regarded online distance learning postgraduate programmes, with thousands of students currently taking advantage of this mode of education. As a postgraduate student at the University of Edinburgh, you will become part of a supportive online community, able to take advantage of the University’s strong academic tradition, while studying together with students and tutors from across the world.
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 focused area.
- 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 - the 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 maybe put towards gaining a higher award, such as a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc at the University of Edinburgh or another academic institution.
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 the 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 the industry. Equally, graduates can expect to be academically confident and may choose to pursue academic careers in related fields.
Why Study With Us?
Our programmes aim to:
- provide flexible learning in an international context
- provide a sound understanding of the principles and practices that underpin the biopsychosocial approach to the management of pain
- provide graduates with the informed and evidence-based ability and skills to manage pain more effectively in both clinical and non-clinical contexts
- make a key contribution towards improved outcomes for patients living with pain
- develop a multidisciplinary and international student cohort and provide a unique and challenging learning experience
- provide access to much high quality, interactive online resources/e-journals and online textbooks
- provide a qualification from one of the world’s leading academic institutions
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.
English language requirements
All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:
- an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration
- IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
- TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)
- PTE(A): 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
Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.
Scholarships and funding
UK nationals, those with settled status, and some EU nationals not resident in the UK could be eligible for a postgraduate loan towards fees - and in some cases living costs.
About the School
Together we form a unique grouping in the UK where vets, medics and biomedical scientists work together and study the common causes of disease that affect our populations.