Pain Management MSc

Distance learning programme

This specialist Pain Management MSc is aimed at clinical professionals from all backgrounds involved in the delivery of integrated pain services in primary or secondary care. The course is ideal for anyone wanting to improve the lives of people living with pain while also accelerating their own career.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Fees to be confirmed
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Fees to be confirmed
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Not applicable
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
All applicants: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class UK Bachelor's degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants should also be registered/licensed healthcare professionals with a demonstrable interest in pain management.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

*Should you experience any issues with the drop-down below, try de-selecting the country and re-selecting it. If this doesn't work, then you may refer to this page which may help you find the same equivalencies - check the Entry requirements above beforehand. Please note the table is indicative only, revisiting when the dropdown is working to confirm is recommended.

About this degree

Pain is a major issue for many people, and there are a broad range of skills involved with managing and treating it. Our master's in pain management will help you improve the lives of people living with pain and make a major contribution to their wellbeing.

This part-time / flexible course will help you develop a new understanding of what constitutes pain and how it occurs. We focus a lot of attention on managing pain, from headache to bodily systems to post-chemotherapy pain in cancer patients. We address the challenges of managing pain in children, and where pain leads to mental health issues or substance misuse. 

You will also investigate how to design pain services to meet the needs of people in pain, and community pain management strategies. This is all underpinned by insight into the methods and ethical principles surrounding pain research.

This exciting programme is the only UK-based pain management degree to offer students the choice to study fully online or by blended learning with the option to attend a number of workshops on campus. You will emerge with the skills to progress into senior clinical positions or health management roles.

Who this course is for

This programme is ideal for any professional hoping to advance their career in pain management including nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, General Practitioners, junior doctors, osteopaths, biokineticists and chiropractitioners.

What this course will give you

This programme offers you the following benefits and opportunities.

  • The knowledge and opportunities to accelerate your careers in pain management.
  • The knowledge and skills required of an advanced pain practitioner. This begins with the socio-economic impact and moves from acute to chronic pain states before arriving at more complex pain conditions and interventions.
  • Unique learning opportunities. You will benefit from research-led material from UCLH's internationally renowned experts and world-class expertise on the management of pain in cancer patients and survivors.
  • The world's first module on Neuromodulation from the basic science to post-implantation care.
  • A flexible distance-learning programme which allows students from across the word to share their experiences and enrich the learning environment.
  • Optional workshops with programme tutors are available at the Bloomsbury campus and via Lecturecast.
  • Teaching from global experts at an institution that is internationally renowned for cutting-edge research and innovative clinical services.
  • Graduates can expect to be academically confident and ideally placed to pursue doctoral (PhD) level study upon completion.

The foundation of your career

Combining academic excellence with UCL's reputation as a top global university and our strong links to industry, the graduate prospects of this programme are excellent. Whether you wish to continue with patient care, pursue doctoral research, or work in industry and innovation, this programme provides the knowledge and skills as well as the networking links and research experience to take your career to the next level.

I chose the course based on UCL's reputation and links with UCLH Pain Management Centre. The online lectures and chapters are well designed and are easy to navigate through with really interesting reading and content.

Harriet McCaffrey

Harriet McCaffrey

Pain Management, MSc


This programme is ideal for anyone pursuing a senior clinical position, health management role, or research and development or industry career. Possible opportunities include:

  • Nurses and allied health professionals wishing to pursue senior (Band 7+) roles in the NHS.
  • General practitioners involved in the delivery of integrated community pain services.
  • Junior doctors wishing to develop and demonstrate clinical interest in pain management and/or the pain component of training in anaesthesia.
  • International doctors wishing to develop their expertise in pain management.
  • Osteopaths and chiropractors with an interest in pain management.


There are regular networking opportunities, including events where you can hear from expert speakers. We encourage students to broaden their skills and expand their networks by attending and participating at conferences.

Teaching and learning

This programme is delivered via a specially designed digital learning environment, making it accessible to students all over the world. Online small-group tutorials supplement the online learning content.

We offer an optional hybrid workshop every term (3 per year) at our Bloomsbury campus / virtually. Students find the additional face-to-face contact with staff very helpful.

UCL and UCL Hospitals (UCLH) Pain Management Centre is internationally renowned. You will learn from global experts at an institution that consistently delivers world-class research output.

Assessment is based on reflective practice, video presentation, online poster presentations and short written assignments.

The estimated number of learning hours required for the taught master’s programme is 1,800 hours. For example, a 15-credit module should consist of approximately 150 hours of learning and self-study.

Each module is scheduled for six weeks and there are tutorial sessions once a week, and optional office hours with the programme leads. Workshops are also held termly.

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, eight core modules) is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, four core modules) is offered.


Part-time students study eight core taught modules split equally over two academic years and the dissertation research project in the second year.

Year one, Term one:

  • Pain and Society
  • Acute Pain

Year one, Term two:

  • Acute Pain
  • Chronic Pain

Year one, Term three:

  • Pain in Cancer Patients

Year two, Term one:

  • Headache, Paediatrics and Abdominopelvic Pain
  • Strategies for the self-management of Pain

Year two, Term two:

  • Strategies for the self-management of Pain
  • Neuromodulation

Year two, Term three:

  • Managing pain in the community

At the end of Year 1, you will have a research / dissertation planning meeting to discuss your interests and preferences. As this course is delivered almost entirely online, we have provisions for students who prefer to conduct their research locally and students who prefer to be more involved with UCL.

This degree is a valuable asset to move you into the field of pain research for two reasons:

  1. It equips you with the knowledge and higher degree necessary to make such a transition. You will learn the essential concepts, theories and practices of pain modalities and their latest management guidelines.
  2. UCL/UCLH is a major group in the Pain Research Consortium, and we have a huge research output with lots of PhD work available across a range of pain disciplines.

You will develop transferable skills through individual and group activities, such as online poster presentation, literature review, critical appraisals, essay writing, reflective learning and attending conferences and scientific talks.

Those studying flexibly can choose as many or as few modules as they wish to complete within five years.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

MSc students complete a 180 credit programme: eight core modules (120 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits). Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Pain Management. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Pain Management. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Pain Management.


A clinical placement is not a required component of the programme. However, for students wishing to see practice in the UK or specialist pain management practice at UCLH, short clinical placements can be arranged. Placements can be taken in Year 2 and forward planning with course faculty is advisable to ensure you can make the most of the experience. Clinical placements do not impact on grades.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Where you'll study

Medical lamp and equipment

As world leaders in medical and biomedical research, we design innovative courses for clinicians and scientists that meet new patient and industry needs. These are led by some of the greatest scientific minds, so you get a research-based learning experience. Our cutting-edge expertise ensures that you will be taught the latest techniques using the most advanced equipment. Our activities are split across three sites. Our Department of Targeted Intervention is based at Bloomsbury campus in central London. Our Department of Surgical Biotechnology is based at the Royal Free campus in Hampstead. Our Department of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science is based at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, north-west London.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Pain Management MSc

This session will provide an overview of the Pain Management MSc programme. The programme overview will be followed by a Q&A session with our programme lead. Speakers: Cregg Roman and Mohamed Hassouna

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Burns, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery MSc

This online session will provide you with an overview of our MSc Burns, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery programme. The programme overviews will be followed by a Q&A session with our programme leads. Speaker: Prof Deepak Kalaskar, Programme Lead and Deputy Director MSc Burns Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) Fees to be confirmed £8,650
Tuition fees (2024/25) Fees to be confirmed £17,200

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

Depending on the activities planned during a clinical placement, an additional fee may be payable. This can be discussed with the faculty at the time of planning.

You may be required to print and bind two copies of your research project at approximately £25-£50. 

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

In addition to the funding options available from UCL Scholarships and Funding, a small number of bursaries are available to reduce the programme fees by up to £4,000. Candidates interested in applying for a bursary should indicate this in their application. Applicants will then be asked for further information if their application is successful.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Pain Management at graduate level
  • why you want to study Pain Management at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver. Late applications will only be considered after those received by the closing date and with a supporting statement explaining the late submission.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.