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Pain Management (Primary and Community Care) (PgCert)

These are interprofessional, e-Learning courses intended for any healthcare professional who has an interest in and/or wants to specialise in the field of pain management in primary and community care.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Pain Management (Primary and Community Care) is an inter-professional, e-learning course intended for any health care professional with an interest in and/or a wish to specialise in the field of pain management, within the area of Primary and Community Care.  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, a Foundation in Primary Care Management and / or Quality and Safety.  Details for these are provided within the Stand Alone module information area (MET257, MET500 and MET275).

The aim is to help 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 in the Primary and Community Care setting. This is however, undertaken within a broader context, which allows the student to understand their level of expertise and knowledge base and how it fits into inter-professional practice and Pain Management as a whole.

Every applicant has to apply for the Postgraduate Certificate year first. Once they have completed and passed this, they can either choose to exit with the Postgraduate Certificate award or they can apply to undertake the Postgraduate Diploma. The same applies for the Postgraduate Diploma to MSc.

Each course runs over nine months. The Postgraduate Certificate course starts with a two-week introductory period to enable you to familiarise yourself with the course and e-learning. The course team offer support Monday – Friday (9-5pm) by email, telephone and online discussion boards/forums. 

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.

Distinctive features

  • Inter-professional plus e-learning
  • Emphasis on a biopsychosocial approach.

Key facts

Next intakeOctober 2019
Duration1 year
ModePart-time - distance learning
Other ways to study this course

Admissions criteria

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entrance requirement, including English language requirements, applicants must:

  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Be working in a clinical area that is relevant to the programme they are undertaking for the full duration of their studies. (During their studies, if the student's relevant clinical employment ceases or where they are unable to attend work in the necessary clinical setting for any period of time (exceeding 3 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.)

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

All students must register initially for the Postgraduate Certificate (Pg Cert) in Pain Management (Primary and Community Care).

There is one stage to the Postgraduate Certificate course: T1. This stage lasts for nine months and consists of three 20-credit modules totalling 60 credits, at Level 7.

After successfully completing this stage, you may leave with a Postgraduate Certificate, or apply to progress to the Postgraduate Diploma stage.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

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 are 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 the student has a choice. A variety of media is used to deliver the content:

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

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, assessments and discussion boards.

Group and individual video tutorials are available to support you throughout your studies.

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.


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

How will I be assessed?

The assessment methods are written assignments, online assessments (individual and group work). There are no residential components or written examinations to attend so there would be no need for you to travel to Cardiff University for course purposes.

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 any 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 in the primary and community care setting. This is however, undertaken within a broader context, which allows the student to understand their level of expertise and knowledge base and how it fits into inter-professional practice and pain management as a whole.

After fully engaging in the course, you should have:

  • Developed a critical approach to pain management in primary care and community setting.
  • Integrated knowledge of pain from different disciplines in order to approach pain management from a biopsychosocial perspective, reflecting on the complexities of managing pain outside a secondary or tertiary care setting.
  • Challenged traditional approaches to conceptualising pain in primary care and community setting.
  • Examined current practice and evaluated traditional methods and attitudes to pain and its management commencing with rigorous screening and assessment in primary and community care, reflecting on the management approaches within this setting and when referral is required.
  • Developed an inter-professional knowledge base of pain to support any educational initiatives.
  • Consolidated and considered extending current practice through research activities.

This programme is particularly suitable for those who wish to improve their knowledge of pain management in order to help improve patient care, in the primary and community care setting. Successful completion of this programme will add value to your CV. Graduates have reported that it led directly to new job opportunities in pain management.

There are 50% bursaries currently available for 2019/20.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

EU students entering in 2019/20 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

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.