Pain Management Postgraduate Diploma

Team: Pain Management Team
In partnership with: University of South Wales

Our online 1 year Postgraduate Diploma in Pain Management covers the wide range of the conditions pertinent to pain management and meets the educational needs of both primary and secondary healthcare professionals. Course Code: QPDP014

Next Intake: 2019 Sept

Pain Management Diploma Course Information

Diploma MSc is a collaborative partner of the University of South Wales. On successful completion of this course, you will receive a University of South Wales Postgraduate Diploma.

Our online 1 year Postgraduate Diploma in Pain Management covers the wide range of the conditions pertinent to pain management and meets the educational needs of both primary and secondary healthcare professionals. The course is worth 120 credits and comprises 6 modules of 20 credits each.

Our Diploma in Pain Management has been developed for Doctors, Nurses, Allied Health Professionals, Practice Nurses and those with related undergraduate degrees (Clinical Nurse specialists, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Dentists, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Podiatrists, Rehabilitation specialists) or equivalent professional qualifications and background experience. Having a specialist knowledge in Pain Management is an increasingly important asset and extra responsibility of medical personnel. Our Pain Management Diploma is designed to help healthcare professionals specialise in their career and aid the need for more pain management professionals.

On completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the care of patients in Pain Management.
  • Critically evaluate current research in inter-disciplinary & multi-disciplinary Pain Management
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of self-care promotion for acute and chronic pain
  • Deliver management strategies for the investigation and treatment of patients with pain conditions.

Course Structure

The online course lasts one calendar year and is a part-time distance learning course. It consists of 6 modules per year, each of 6 weeks duration.

Aim of the module:
  • To develop an advanced understanding and knowledge of the underpinning causes and associated experiences of pain.
Synopsis of module content:
  • History and epidemiology. Biopsychosocial model with gender consideration
  • Chronic versus acute pain e.g.distinctions
  • Pain science e.g. physiology of pain systems and syndromes. Taxonomy of pain systems
  • Current evidence/research
  • Severe pain syndromes
  • Patient considerations (spiritual/social/ethical/occupational)
  • Global impact on a person in pain (spiritual/social/ethical/occupational)
On completion of this module the student should be able to demonstrate:
  1. Application of the biopsychosocial model to the varied presentations of pain
  2. Apply knowledge of complex pain mechanisms to the differentiation between, and impact of, acute and chronic pain
Aim of the module:
  • Enhance the knowledge and understanding of different types of pain with an emphasis on clinical importance.
Synopsis of module content:
  • ISP taxonomy of different types of pain
  • Acute vs. chronic. Importance of early recognition and prevention of chronicity. Clinically important aspects of acute and chronic pain; difference between nociceptive and neuropathic pain.
  • Cancer/Visceral
  • Headache/Neuropathic
  • Fibromyalia/musculoskeletal
  • Understanding of pain changes in the light of new evidence
  • On completion of this module the student should be able to:
    1. Critically discriminate between different types of pain
    2. Demonstrate knowledge of the complex clinical considerations that need to be taken into account in different types of pain
Aim of the module:
  • To develop a critical knowledge of the clinical principles and practice of pain assessment and management.
Synopsis of module content:
  • Assessment
  • Measurement
  • Diagnosis and Prognosis
  • Treatment modalities - Primary Care (British Society Guidance 26/8)
  • Alternative treatment modalities
  • Clinical management (British Society Guidance 28/30)
  • Roles, responsibilites and management
  • On completion of this module the student should be able to:
    1. Critically analyse the assessment and treatment of patients with different pain presentations.
    2. Critically appraise treatment modalities in different clinical scenarios
Aim of the module:
  • To develop an understanding of different treatment approaches to pain within the context of overall approach to pain management.
Synopsis of module content:
  • Physiology/Pharmacology /Medication
  • Psychology/Cognitive Behaviour
  • Manual therapies
  • Patient Education/Self-Management/ Preventative Education
  • Functional Rehabilitation
  • Surgery and Post Surgery Care
  • Deployment of different modalities for maximum effect
  • On completion of this module the student should be able to:
    1. Critically analyse current evidence related to multi-disciplinary approach of treating different types of pain
    2. Critically evaluate the risk and benefits of different approaches to pain management
Aim of the module:
  • Students will have an understanding and appreciation of pain across the life-span and experience.
Synopsis of module content:
  • Older People
  • Infants and children
  • Disabilities including those with limited communication skills
  • Pregnancy
  • Vulnerable populations
  • Pain in individuals with substance abuse
  • Looking at how pain will present itself in all groups
  • Considering similarities and differences
  • Physical and psychological disorders
  • How pain changes
  • How to communicate in pain and cognitive impairment
  • Working with vulnerable populations (mental health issues, homelessness, learning disabilities, delirium, dementia)
  • Social aspects of pain (stigma, social isolation, labelling stigma, labelling isolations)
  • Enhancing communication with different social groups
  • On completion of this module the student should be able to:
    1. Demonstrate ability to manage pain in a variety of complex situations and /or populations
    2. Demonstrate ability to communicate with populations who have complex/specific or changing needs
Aim of the module:
  • To draw on the knowledge and understanding of previous modules to critically evaluate the development of inter-disciplinary pain services
Synopsis of module content:
  • Evidence supporting inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary of pain
  • Organisational services The consequences and influence rising from organisations
  • The management team in a clinical setting
  • The role of evaluating organisations, clinical settings (the way care is organised)
  • The realistic expectations of the practitioner and carer
  • Emerging ideas of services
  • How emerging updated guidelines and impact of services.
  • On completion of this module the student should be able to:
    1. Critically analyse the benefits of inter and multi-disciplinary pain management in a clinical setting and the consequences within healthcare schemes
    2. Demonstrate expertise in organising approaches to pain management

Meet the Course Director

Clinical Psychiatry Image

Dr. Tzvetanka Ivanova-Stoilova, MD PhD FRCA FFPMRCA
Current post: Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

  • 40 years of experience in the field of Pain Management
  • Director of Pain Clinic/Consultant Anaesthetist
  • ABUHB lead for Interventional Pain Procedures
  • Fellow of the Faculty of Pain Medicine to the Royal College of Anesthetists
  • Clinical Teacher with Cardiff Medical School
  • Author of more than 60 peer-reviewed publications

I have always been involved in the teaching of pain medicine to anaesthetic trainees from the Welsh School of Anaesthesia. I am a lifelong learner and I truly believe that medical professionals should work together and learn from each other for the best outcome for our patients.


Online Postgraduate Diploma in Pain Management

The course puts assessment at the heart of learning by using clinical scenarios to facilitate problem-solving, critical analysis and evidence-based care. The scenarios act as both the focus for learning and assessment thus embedding assessment within the learning process.

Each of the 6 modules has the same assessment format. Due to the online nature of the course, students are expected to login and participate in the course regularly throughout the module (ideally on a daily basis).

Students are split into groups of 10-15 students and are assigned a dedicated expert tutor who:

  • Facilitates clinical case discussions with the group.
  • Monitors, assesses and marks each student throughout the module.
  • Students use the skills gained during the lectures to engage with the different activities (see below).

Each week, students are presented with 2/3 clinical cases with associated questions.  These cases are designed to promote discussion within a specific clinical area. Students:

  • Complete the questions.
  • Discuss the cases and issues surrounding the cases in a discussion forum.

Students discuss the cases within their tutor groups, facilitated by their tutor.  They use an online discussion forum to write well referenced, scientifically written postings.

The individual portfolio or journal is a learning log/diary. The purpose is for the student to reflect on their personal progress throughout the module. Students would typically include the following:

  • Initial expectations of the course, reasons for undertaking the course.
  • Module and/or personal learning objectives.
  • Description of events/issues/learning points within their personal practice.
  • Examples of change in personal practice due to knowledge gained throughout the module.
  • A description of what has been learned during the module.

Students are asked to think reflectively about what they are learning from each module, how this differs from their current practice, and how they can apply what they have learned through the course to their everyday practice as a health professional. Referencing would not typically be found in a learning portfolio nor would a simple list of points learned.

The group activity is designed to encourage group dynamics catering to the multidisciplinary nature within the field of Pain Management. Students are required to produce the following:

  • A group submission.
  • An individual submission.

Students are also marked according to their contribution to the group submission.

The group is given a specific task to accomplish over the 6 weeks of the module e.g. Develop an appropriate screening method for your clinic. Students are required to write well referenced, scientific reports.

  • 30 single best answer (SBA) questions.
  • One hour online assessment.
  • Questions are based on the clinical aspects of the module and their discussion topics.

Teaching Methods

Each module has the same format. Using an online platform and one tutor per 10-15 students, the self-directed distance learning is guided by tutor stimulated discussion based on rich case scenarios. Group projects are undertaken alongside independent projects. Reflective practice is recorded in a reflective portfolio to help students consider how the learning can be translated into everyday work and practice.

Teaching starts with an induction day. Students may attend the event in the UK (Glyntaff campus, University of South Wales) and also online via a webinar.

They are a pre-course organiser, giving students the tools required to undertake the online course such as:

  • Scientific writing
  • Levels of evidence
  • Harvard referencing
  • Reflective writing

The day gives an opportunity to meet face to face with tutors/other students prior to the online course.

Students are not required to attend the induction day however those who attend do benefit as they get a "jump start" to the course. Students who are not able to attend, should request a skype/telephone call to orientate them onto the course and are advised to review the slides.

Entry Requirements

Registered health professionals working within a clinical setting, both UK and overseas, with a related Healthcare Science degree (including international qualifications) are eligible to apply for the PG Diploma in Pain Management course.

Applicants without the above academic criteria but relevant/suitable experience can apply. Applications will be judged on the individual specifics of background and qualifications including ability to work at Postgraduate level (applicants may be asked to submit a piece of work for assessment to confirm that they are able to work comfortably at Postgraduate level and demonstrate requisite clinical/professional knowledge).

Applicants should submit copies of the following with their application:

  • Qualification certificates
  • One written reference
  • English language qualification (IELTS 6 or equivalent) please see University of South Wales for further details

How much is the course?

Total Course Fees for UK/EU & International Students for September 2019: £3900

Please Note: These are the fees for a single year.

Fee payments may be made via the following options:

Date Option A Option B Option C
Deposit payable on acceptance £480 £480 £480
1st September 2019 £3,420 £570
1st October 2019 £1,140 £570
1st November 2019 £570
1st December 2019 £1,140 £570
1st January 2020 £570
1st February 2020 £1,140 £570

Deposits are non-refundable

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