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Pain Management MSc

This exciting programme enables students to improve the lives of people living with pain. Beginning with the socio-economic impact and moving from acute to chronic pain states before arriving at more complex pain conditions and interventions, this programme develops the knowledge and core skills required of an advanced pain practitioner. Delivered via an online learning environment, additional workshops and discussions support students on their journey towards making a real difference for people living with pain. With innovative modules on neuromodulation and pain in the community, students will be prepared to shape the future of pain management – anywhere in the world.

Why study this programme at UCL?

UCL is one of the world’s very best universities, consistently placed in the top 10 in world rankings. The UCLH Pain Management Centre is a clinical and research leader with expertise in headache, abdominopelvic pain, and neuromodulation. Online interactive learning material is supplemented by videos and online discussions in which students can participate from all over the world. Assessments aim to develop the clinical application of theoretical knowledge thus improving care for people living with pain. At the end of this programme students will be well-equipped to positively impact the lives of people living with pain.

No information is currently available for this degree. If this degree programme is visible in the list of degrees available on the graduate website, could you please report this page to pg-updates@ucl.ac.uk as soon as possible.

No information is currently available for this degree. If this degree programme is visible in the list of degrees available on the graduate website, could you please report this page to pg-updates@ucl.ac.uk as soon as possible.

Modes and duration

Flexible: 2-5 years

Distance learning: available

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.

Modules

UCL Pain Management Centre 

Clinical Lead: Dr Natasha Curran

University College London Hospitals Pain Management Centre is a nationally recognized centre of excellence for people with persistent pain. We have a multi professional service made up of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and psychologists which is highly integrated with other specialist services such as neurosurgery, urogynaecology and rheumatology in the hospital and with multiple partners in the community. We provide the latest interventions including intravenous drug infusions, nerve blocks, radio frequency lesioning and neuromodulation, alongside groundbreaking specific pain management programmes. We pride ourselves on a parallel approach to care - to minimise pain where possible and maximise quality of life always.

Introduction to Pain: Economics, Evidence & Delivery 

Module Lead/Course Director: Dr Roman Cregg


This module introduces the concept of pain as a universal human experience and explores the contextual impact of culture on the pain experience. The module also explores the economic burden of disability caused by pain and the subsequent structure and funding of pain services. This module introduces evidence-based medicine applied to pain management including critical appraisal of research in the field. From here we explore research methods including the ethical principles underpinning research in general. We challenge the model of pain management that divides pain into acute and chronic and explore the concept of integrated pain services. We make the argument for patient-centred, comprehensive pain services that approach complex pain states with a biopsychosocial model.

Acute Pain 

Module Lead: Dr Lesley Bromley

All pain begins acutely with activation of nociceptive pathways. This module explores the basic sciences underpinning the pain experience – anatomy of the nervous system, physiology and pharmacology of pain and pain therapeutics. We examine common acute pain scenarios, for example post-operative, and different approaches to optimal pain management including prevention of chronicity of the pain state.

Chronic Pain 

Module Lead: Dr Brigitta Brandner

This module begins by looking at the evolution of acute pain into chronic pain the effects of this process on the person. From here we examine pharmacotherapeutic approaches to chronic pain alongside common chronic pain conditions and interventions that may provide some relief from pain. 

Pain in Cancer Patients  

Module Lead: Dr Paul Farquhar-Smith

Cancer affects one is four of the population and pain is a common symptom. This module encapsulates a translational approach to assessment and management of pain from the underlying causative mechanisms to the patient and the patient experience. Theoretical aspects are considered but with a clear patient centred clinical focus. The module examines the multidimensional and multidisciplinary aspects of the complex interplay of factors involved in the experience of ‘total pain’ and also a practical and empirical framework for the management of pain with emphasis on pain in the growing population of cancer survivors. This insight is instrumental in how to help  patients with cancer and in pain by  an integrative and individualised framework.

Headache, Abdominopelvic & Paediatric Pain 

Module Lead: Dr Vicky Tidman

Building on core modules, students can expand their knowledge of complex pain situations including headache, paediatric pain and abdominopelvic pain. Headaches are one of the most common types of pain and it is important to understand their classification in order to manage correctly. Children experience pain too, and there are a number of challenges in this area such as assessment that this chapter explores. Abdominopelvic pain is a complex debilitating condition. Here the student can expand their knowledge of complex pain mechanisms, such as central sensitisation and convergence theories, and apply this to practice utilising the biopsychosocial approach.

Strategies for the Self-Management of Pain 

Module Lead: Mr Diarmuid Denneny

This module provides students with the necessary knowledge for the management of pain from both the patient's and the clinician's perspective. The focus will be on self-management strategies rather than pain reduction or medical and other passive interventions. The module aims to develop student's critical understanding of models used in pain management, the role of different professions, and the strategies that are helpful for patients living with pain. The wider social impact will also be considered. Clinicians who encounter patients with pain conditions will find the module particularly helpful to develop their clinical skills managing this group, and also understand other professional's roles in helping this group of patients.

Neuromodulation 

Module Lead: Dr Ash Shetty

Neuromodulation is the fast growing area in the field of medicine. Recent advances in this field have revolutionized management of several conditions especially that of Pain medicine. The Neuromodulation module is one of its kind thought module in the filed of pain medicine. This module is developed my neuromodulators with a passion for the specialty and is supported by International pain societies including the International Neuromodulation Society. There is opportunity to collaborate with renowned physicians and centers in the field. The module covers in depth the role of neuromodulation in managing complex pain condition. It provides insight into the evidence, indication and delivery of this treatment modality. It addresses the logistics and provision of neuromodulation services along with cost benefit analysis of this treatment.

Pain in the Community 

Module Lead: Dr Johanna Theron

This module is aimed at those clinicians who care for patients with chronic pain in a community or primary care setting. It will cover interprofessional working, managing multi-morbidity and complex patient groups (for instance secure environments, addiction, young people with pain) and non-pharmacological modalities. There will also be advice on joint working   within the greater health economy, including patient groups and the so-called ‘third sector’.

Programme Administrator    painmsc@ucl.ac.uk  
Programme Lead  Dr David Murphy BM FRCA FHEA MAcadMEd painmsc@ucl.ac.uk  
Programme Director Dr Roman Cregg MBBS (Hons) FRCA FFPMRCA (Exam) PhD (Lond) painmsc@ucl.ac.uk  
Programme Tutor  Dr Lesley Bromley MD FRCA    
Programme Tutor  Dr Brigitta Brandner MD (Berlin) FRCA FFPMRCA     
Programme Tutor  Dr Victoria Tidman MBBS BSc MRCP FRCA FFPMRCA     
Programme Tutor  Dr Ashish Shetty MD (USA) FRCA FFPMRCA     
Programme Tutor  Dr Johanna 'Hanlie' Theron    
Programme Tutor  Diarmuid Denneny    

Dr David Murphy BM FRCA FHEA MAcadMEd

David Murphy

Starting as a specialty registrar in anaesthesia in the Central London School of Anaesthesia, David developed an interest in pain medicine and the multi-professional education of pain management. This led to becoming the Education Fellow at the Pain Management Centre at University College London Hospital and developing the UCL MSc Pain Management programme. Outside of medical education David is a PhD candidate in health management and policy at Surrey Business School exploring the impact of leadership on policy delivery. In his free time he reviews cabaret and fringe theatre and is a magistrate for East London.


Dr Roman Cregg MBBS (Hons) FRCA FFPMRCA (Exam) PhD (Lond)

Roman Cregg

Dr Roman Cregg is a Consultant in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia at the National

Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and UCH, London, UK. 

Dr Cregg completed his training in anaesthesia rotating between the King’s College London, University College London, Chase Farm and Barnet and the Royal Free Hospitals. His Advanced Pain Medicine fellowship was based at the Imperial School, London and he held appointments at Chelsea and Westminster, Hillingdon and The Royal Marsden Hospitals. Dr Cregg then went further, supplementing his sub-specialty pain training with attachments to Guys’ and St Thomas’ hospitals (advanced neuromodulation) and Cleveland Clinic, OH, USA (interventional management of headaches) before taking up his current permanent post as a consultant.

Dr Cregg's clinical activities are centered around the multidisciplinary management of acute, chronic and cancer pain.


Dr Lesley Bromley MD FRCA

Lesley Bromley

Dr Lesley Bromley trained first in Pharmacy, and worked for 2 years as aHospital Pharmacist before returning to study medicine at The Middlesex Hospital. After Pre-registration jobs she begain training in Anaesthetics, spending time at the Middlesex, St Mary’s The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, The Royal Marsden and The London Chest Hospital. She spent 4 months working in Paris at the Institute Gustav Roussy, also a cancer treatment center. She was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Anaesthesia at University College London in 1989. She lead a research programme investigating the timing of analgesia in the early nineties collaborating with Profesor Clifford Woolf and other basic scientists. She also developed the education programme for undergraduate medical student in anaesthesia and pain managemnet at UCL medical school. In the early 2000s She became the Director of Post Graduate Education at University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, a post she continued in until 2012. Now retired from UCL, she continues to educate,  write and encourage learners. 


Dr Brigitta Brandner MD (Berlin) FRCA FFPMRCA 

Brigitta Brandner

As a Consultant Anaesthetist at UCLH Dr Brigitta Brandner developed a strong interest in acute and chronic pain management. Dr Brandner currently leads the Acute Pain Team and also overlooks the inpatient chronic pain patient service at UCLH. Teaching and research form an important part of her responsibilities and make life as a consultant challenging and interesting. Dr Brandner is also the lead clinician for vascular anaesthesia working within a world class Multidisciplinary Endovascular Team at UCLH.  She has been an Examiner for the Europaen Society of Anaesthesiology for many years examining in both German and English.  As a founding member of SPIN (Specialists in Pain International Network) Dr Brandner supports multidisciplinary pain management in countries struggling to introduce basic services.


Dr Victoria Tidman MBBS BSc MRCP FRCA FFPMRCA

Vicky Tidman edit

Dr Victoria Tidman qualified from UCL in 2005 and trained as an anaesthetist at Barts and the London School of Anaesthesia. 

She now works as a consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Management at UCLH and is an independent practitioner in abdominopelvic pain and has a specialist interest in complex pain patient management. She has also spent time in Rwanda training healthcare professionals and helping to set up the first multidisciplinary pain service. In her free time she enjoys running and trekking.


Dr Ashish Shetty MD (USA) FRCA FFPMRCA

Ash Shetty

Ashish Shetty is a Consultant in Pain Management and Anaesthesia at the University

College London Hospitals. He is the lead for Education and Neuromodulation at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. Dr Shetty is the Adolescent transition lead and is an Honorary Consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

He specializes in use of Neuromodulation for managing complex neuropathic pain conditions including chronic back, leg and pelvic pain. He has a special interest in Sports Medicine, abdominal and pelvic pain.


Dr Johanna 'Hanlie' Theron

Hanlie Theron

Johanna is a specialist doctor in chronic pain and clinical lead for the community chronic

pain service of the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust. She was a General Practitioner for many years in South Africa, the Middle East and the UK,   before she became a GP with Special Interest in Chronic Pain. She now only works in chronic pain and is also a medical acupuncturist. She was a founder member of the Primary and Community Care SIG of the British Pain Society. Her areas of special interest include appropriate prescribing, education and medical professional development, and interprofessional working.


Diarmuid Denneny 

Diarmuid Denneny edit

Diarmuid is lead physiotherapist at the pain management centre at University College

London Hospitals (UCLH). He has over 20 years clinical experience. He is particularly interested in neuropathic pain, persistent pain and CCBT techniques in pain management. He leads the neuropathic pain pathway including CRPS at the UCLH pain management centre. Diarmuid is a qualified independent prescriber. He is interested in the clinical application of research, is involved in education and research at UCLH, and is about to commence an NIHR research fellowship exploring allied health professional training to deliver brief psychological interventions for patients with long term conditions.