Dental Sedation & Pain Management PG Cert

A part-time, one year Postgraduate Certificate programme to develop students’ theoretical and practical competencies in the fast-developing world of sedation and pain management.  The emphasis is on providing safe and effective conscious sedation as an operator-sedationist or dedicated sedation practitioner, in keeping with current best practice and in line with contemporary UK and international sedation guidelines.

This course is also available as CPD only for dentists and doctors who wish to update their knowledge and skills in sedation.


The Dental Sedation & Pain Management Postgraduate Certificate is a part-time degree programme taken over one year.

Students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits. The programme consists of four core modules worth 15 credits each.

Contact days

Course begins on 9 May 2017. There are 16-17 contact days over the year, including a compulsory induction and enrolment day. Teaching takes place in two blocks.  In between these blocks, students undertake 4-5 days of clinical training in separate clinics in London.  The dates for the clinical days and an additional full day of simulation training are confirmed after the programme commences.

Teaching and assessment

The programme is delivered through lectures, clinical skills seminars, problem-based learning and directly supervised clinical sessions sedating patients.  Students also receive simulation training in the management of medical emergencies.  Assessment is through log books, problem-based learning, written examination papers, oral examination and a 3,000 word essay. In addition, assessment of students’ clinical skills and attitudes will be undertaken during the clinical attachments.

Professor James Roelofse is the Programme Director.

Career enhancement

The programme prepares graduates to practise as:

  • Operator sedationists: as dentists they can conduct dental procedures and administer drugs for relief of pain and anxiety, conscious sedation.  It is estimated that 75% of dentists in the UK want conscious sedation for their patients; availability is only 50%.
  • Dedicated sedation practitioners: deliver the relief of pain and anxiety, conscious sedation, as a dentist conducts the dental procedures.  This form of sedation practice is becoming very popular and the demand is increasing.
  • Sedation trainers.
  • Various graduates are now offering conscious sedation for the first time in their practices, and one graduate is now running airway certification courses.


Year One

Conscious Sedation Pre-Clinical I

15 credits.

Basic sciences (e.g. physiology, anatomy and pharmacology) related to sedation.  Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs used for sedation and pain management for standard sedation techniques.  Indications and contraindications to sedation.

Assessed through an unseen two-hour written examination.

Conscious Sedation Pre-Clinical II

15 credits.

The advantages and challenges of dental sedation.  The evaluation of a patient’s suitability for sedation and formulation of treatment plans for their safe and effective management. Treatment of pain.  The use of local anaesthetic agents.  The implications for sedation of the patient on chronic medication.

Assessed through a one-hour MCQ written examination and a fifteen-minute oral examination.

Conscious Sedation Clinical I

15 credits.

The advantages (and disadvantages) of oral, transmucosal, intramuscular, intravenous, inhalation and non-pharmacological methods of anxiety and pain management.  The complications of sedation, and how to manage them.  Management of the airway, including how to diagnose and manage the difficult airway.  Presentation and discussion of clinical case scenarios.  An introduction to paediatric and advanced sedation techniques.

Assessed through an unseen two-hour written examination.

Conscious Sedation Clinical II

15 credits.

Practical training in pre-sedation assessment, administration of titrated doses of intravenous midazolam, and administration of nitrous oxide/oxygen.  Simulation training on the management of medical emergencies.

Assessed through an essay (3,000 words)

Application deadline

The deadline for the May 2017 programme is 10 March 2017. Apply via UCL's application system.


Visit the UCL website to see 2016/17 fees.

Entry requirements

Applicants must possess an undergraduate medical or dental qualification (e.g. MBBS, BDS, or equivalent from a recognised institution) and have a minimum of two years experience post-qualification.

Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate that they meet the required standard by either having recently passed one of the UCL recognised English language tests at the 'good' level, or through work or education experience in English.

Applicants must have full and current registration with the UK General Dental Council or UK General Medical Council, but do not need to be in clinical practice. Access to patients is provided by the programme.

Students must have appropriate permission to study in the UK.  The UK Home Office does not provide visas for part-time programmes over six months in length.

How to apply

Applicants should apply online through UCL's online application system.  Before doing so, please ensure you have reviewed the above information and have the correct documentation ready.


Applicants are required to submit the contact details (address and email address) of two appropriate referees: one of your references must be academic and the other should be from an employer or colleague. References may not be from family members or friends.

Upload supporting documentation

As part of the application process, you will be asked to upload various documents.

CV Applicants must provide a clear, current and accurate copy of their CV.
Transcript Applicants must provide a copy of their current full GDC registration certificate.
Transcript 2 Graduates of non-UK institutions will need to provide a scanned copy of their academic transcripts or degree certificate.
English Language Test Applicants whose first language is not English need to provide their UCL-approved English language certification.

Apply now>>

What happens next

After you have submitted your application online, and once your references and have been received, your application will be held by the Institute.  Selection commences after the application deadline.

If your application has been successful, University Admissions will issue a formal offer letter confirming your fee status and specifying a deadline by which you must confirm acceptance.  If your offer is conditional, you will be given a deadline by which you must meet the condition.


Rhondda Pierre
Programme Administrator
+44 (0)20 7905 1234
For any further information about the content of the programme.
Institute Admissions
+44(0)20 3456 1092
For help with the application process, including entry requirements.
University Admissions For queries about visas, immigration and fees.