UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science


Student testimonial - Harriet McCaffrey

Physiotherapist Harriet McCaffrey tells us about her experience studying the MSc Pain Management with the Division of Surgery and Interventional Science.


1 December 2018

Why did you choose to study the MSc Pain Management?

Working in Homerton Hospital’s Community Chronic Pain clinic in Hackney has given me insight into how challenging it can be working with patients living with pain. I felt that my physiotherapy skills and knowledge learnt as an undergraduate were limited in providing support for these patients. This is one of the reasons why I have chosen to commence higher learning in this topic.

When looking at the module content, I was interested in the wide range of topics the programme had to offer. I am sure these will provide me with new knowledge and skills to support my career in Pain Management.

I also chose the course based on UCL's reputation and links with UCLH Pain Management Centre. Knowing that the university and hospital have a good reputation with regards to teaching and research were important factors in my decision to enrol on the programme. 

What is the best thing about the course?

As the course is online distance learning, the flexibility that comes with this is great. I am able to organise my studying around working full-time, which requires some organisation, but means I can manage things at my own pace. The online lectures and chapters have been well designed and are easy to navigate through with really interesting reading and content.

What is the most unexpected thing about the course?

The meet-up workshops that have been organised have been great, which I wasn't expecting, considering the course is predominantly distance learning. It is a good opportunity to meet other students on the programme and get to know the tutors.

The tutors are enthusiastic, supportive and genuinely seem interested in developing our careers in Pain Management.

What do you hope to do afterwards?

Following this course, I hope it will fuel my career trajectory working in Chronic Pain Management in the community. I would like to be working in a more senior, Specialist Physiotherapy role using my knowledge to support this complex patient group and aid the development of other members of staff working in chronic pain.

In the future, I would like to do some lecturing in this area and feel that this course is a good opportunity to start developing my understanding at a higher level in order to eventually teach others.

Would you recommend this course to others?

I would definitely recommend this course to others if they are interested and passionate about supporting patients in pain but also want to learn on a flexible basis. The opportunity of studying with a mix of healthcare professionals with varied working background brings different experiences and opportunities to learn something new from others, which is great.