Pain Management (MSc)

This is an interprofessional, e-Learning course intended for healthcare 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 MSc Degree in Pain Management is an inter-professional, e-learning programme 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.  In addition, 3 of our modules can be studied on a stand-alone basis to provide any healthcare professional with an introduction to Research, Statistics and Evidence Based Practice, Foundation in Evidence Based Pain Management and / or Quality and Safety.  Details for these are provided within the Stand Alone module information area (MET257, MET500 and MET287).

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.

This two-year course begins by introducing you to the multifaceted nature of caring for patients who have pain. The modules are designed to provide you 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. The course is suitable for the needs of primary, secondary and tertiary care professionals.

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 40 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 (nine months for the postgraduate certificate stage; nine months for the postgraduate diploma stage and a further six months for the dissertation stage).

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. 

Distinctive features

  • Inter-professional plus e-learning.
  • The first postgraduate Diploma/MSc in Pain Management course to be developed.
  • Emphasis on a biopsychosocial approach.
  • Suitable for primary, secondary and tertiary care.
  • A new primary care pathway is available within the MSc Pain Management to reflect the move of chronic pain services closer to people’s homes and this is facilitated and managed by an inter-professional, expert primary care faculty including leading GPs with a special interest in pain within the UK.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration2 years
QualificationMSc
ModePart-time - distance learning
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

In addition to satisfying the requirements of the Cardiff University General Entrance Requirements, including English Language requirements, at the discretion of the relevant Board of Studies, applicants will:

  • Hold a UK higher education qualification, minimum of a BSc (Hons) grade 2:2 or above, from a UK institution with relevant degree awarding powers as detailed by the Department of Education and Skills.

OR

  • Hold a non-UK qualification equivalent to CQFW credit level 6 or above as defined and detailed by the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (NARIC).

OR

  • Be able to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Head of School or nominee, equivalent skills that are sufficient to meet the demands of the programme of study in question.

AND

  • Be able to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Head of School or nominee, that they have held for a minimum of two years a position of responsibility of relevance to the proposed programme. The student has to be working in a clinical area that is relevant to the course they are undertaking. If the student's relevant clinical employment ceases or where he/she is unable to attend work in the necessary clinical setting for any period of time (exceeding three months), then they are required to notify the programme team immediately in order that appropriate arrangements can be made. In the case of temporary absence but continued relevant clinical employment, leave of absence (Interruption of Studies) and/or extensions shall be considered. In the event that a student's relevant clinical employment ceases then the University reserves the right to withdraw the student from the programme. Please refer to the University regulations on 'Fitness to Practise' for further information.

This part-time MSc consists of three stages – stage T1 (first taught stage), stage T2 (second taught stage) and stage R (research dissertation stage):

  • Stage T1 (first taught stage)

This stage lasts for nine months, and consists of three 20-credit modules totalling 60 credits, at Level 7.

  • Stage T2 (second taught stage)

This stage lasts for a further nine months, and consists of a further three 20-credit modules totalling 60 credits, at Level 7, to achieve a total of 120 credits to complete the taught stages.

  • Stage R (MSc research dissertation stage)

The dissertation stage lasts for a further six months, to a total for the MSc of two years, and will include a dissertation of 60 credits at Level 7, to achieve a combined total of 180 credits at Level 7 to complete the MSc programme.

The total normal duration to complete the full MSc programme is two years (stages T1, T2 and R), from the date of initial registration on the MSc.

You may leave at the end of stage T1 with a postgraduate certificate, if you have obtained a minimum of 60 credits and have completed any required modules.

You may leave at the end of stage T2 with a postgraduate diploma, if you have obtained a minimum of 120 credits and have completed any required modules.

The dissertation is normally not more than 20,000 words. The subject of each student’s dissertation shall be approved by the Chair of the Board of Studies concerned or his/her nominee.

The dissertation, in combination with the taught stage, is weighted 50% for the purpose of calculating the final mark:

Stage                                                    Weighting

Taught modules (stage T1 and T2)       50%

Dissertation (stage R)                            50%

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2018/19 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2018.

Year one

Year two

Module titleModule codeCredits
Patient Case Studies: OptionsMET27020 credits
Clinical Management: OptionsMET27120 credits
Professional Issues: OptionsMET27220 credits
Dissertation: Pain ManagementMET13160 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

A wide range of teaching and learning styles are used throughout the course, which is delivered via e-learning format through Cardiff University’s virtual learning environment (VLE) Learning Central The course consists of a number of compulsory modules and sub-topics where you have a choice. 

A variety of media is used to deliver the content:

  • Written modules
  • Voice over PowerPoint presentations
  • Talking heads
  • Presentations
  • Interactive modules.

Dissertation topics are chosen by the student, but have to be approved by the programme team, on behalf of the Chair of the postgraduate taught Board of Studies.

Studies at MSc dissertation level will largely consist of guided independent study and research, making use of the extensive learning and research facilities available. A project supervisor will be allocated to support and advise you on researching and writing up your specific dissertation topic. A formative module on Research Methods will be delivered online via Learning Central.

How will I be supported?

The course is delivered entirely as distance-learning via Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Learning Central, where you will find course materials, links to related materials and assessments, discussion boards, announcements, Turnitin and Gradecentre.

All modules make extensive use of this VLE (Learning Central), through which you will find all the course material. Students are encouraged to make regular contribution through the discussion boards on Learning Central, where they will be supported by the programme team and a panel of experts.  Students will be able to plan and reflect on their learning through their own personal blog.

All students are allocated a personal tutor, for help and support with academic and pastoral needs, who will be in regular contact to discuss progress and to provide advice and guidance as needed. Extensive written feedback is given on all assessments.

Feedback

Formative feedback will be communicated through electronic and written means in a timely manner.  Summative feedback on assessment will be delivered within the timeframe set by the University.

Students are allocated a personal supervisor during the dissertation period. They will give written feedback on dissertation drafts and provide the student with the opportunity to discuss any queries they may have.

How will I be assessed?

The assessments have been chosen to ensure that the learning outcomes are appropriately tested and provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate they have met them. Specific module assessment methods for each module shall be determined by the relevant Board of Studies and are detailed within the relevant Module Description.

There are a variety of formative and summative assessment methods used, such as:

  • Assignments
  • Wiki development
  • Blogs
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Group work
  • Development of guidelines / PowerPoint presentations.

The MSc dissertation stage will be assessed based on the final dissertation. Expectations for the format, submission and marking of the dissertation will follow the current Senate Assessment Regulations, supplemented where appropriate with additional requirements of the Programme/School/College and any specific requirements arising from the nature of the project undertaken.

What skills will I practise and develop?

By fully engaging in this course, you will have the opportunity to develop a wealth of skills and abilities you can apply to any professional setting.  In addition to greater conceptual understanding of current knowledge, issues and methods, you will practise and develop abilities in critical analysis, the application of evidence based medicine and in dealing with complex issues systematically and creatively. Your studies should also help you develop your problem-solving and decision-making abilities by enabling you to utilise evidence effectively and communicate important concepts to colleagues and others.  Through the research focused elements you will have the opportunity to develop and enhance skills in literature review, critical evaluation, research design, research methodologies, data collection, data analysis and research principles.

The course aims to facilitate students to develop their knowledge to an advanced level in their area of expertise and or interest within the field of pain assessment and management. This is, however, undertaken within a broader context, which allows the student to understand how their level of expertise and knowledge base fits into inter-professional practice and pain as a whole.

After fully engaging in the course, you should have:

  • Developed a critical approach to pain management in a range of health settings.
  • Integrated knowledge of pain from different disciplines in order to approach pain management from a biopsychosocial perspective.
  • Challenged traditional approaches to conceptualising pain.
  • Examined current practice and evaluated traditional methods and attitudes to pain and its management.
  • Developed an inter-professional knowledge base of pain to support any educational initiatives.
  • Consolidated and considered extending current practice through research activities.

Many students have reported that attainment or current participation on the MSc led directly to promotion.  Many students were also stimulated to pursue academic careers via further study up to PhD.

Master's Excellence Scholarships

Scholarships available worth £3,000 each for UK/EU students starting a master’s degree in September 2018.

Find out more

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

You will need a reliable computer with high speed Internet access (and up-to-date virus and malware protection) and appropriate software.