MSc Pain Management (Online Delivery)

The MSc Pain Management has a unique focus on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to pain management and service provision. The course will enable more health care professionals to have the required knowledge to treat patients, developing problem-solving and clinical skills together with preparing students to take a leadership role in Pain Management. The MSc Pain Management course is the only one of its kind available to study online, and is not offered by any other institution.

On completion of the online Pain Management course, you will be able to extend the knowledge of research methods and application to practice at MSc level and demonstrate an ability to use knowledge to adapt professional practice to meet the changing demands of health care systems.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 2 Years March On Line 8
Part-time 1 Year March On Line 8
Part-time 2 Years September On Line 8
Part-time 1 Year September On Line 8
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 2 Years March On Line 8
Part-time 2 Years September On Line 8
Part-time 1 Year September On Line 8

Module One - Research Methodologies and Critical Appraisal: Pain Management

The module will help students recognise, understand, interpret and apply methods used in healthcare research and critically appraise the various methodologies in Pain Management research thus developing leadership skills. It will cover:

  • Terminology used in epidemiology and research studies such as prevalence, incidence, sensitivity, specificity, false positive and false negatives.
  • Interpreting graphical representation of epidemiological and statistical data such as Kaplan-Meier Curves, Forrest Plots and Meta-analyses
  • Calculations used in the assessment of research data such as relative risk, absolute risk, number needed to treat
  • Basic statistical tests and their applications including t-Tests, ANOVA, Chi-Square
  • Methodologies as applied to inter-disciplinary & multi-disciplinary Pain Management research
  • Fundamentals of evidence-based practice and its application into the clinical setting
  • Principles of health economics, audit and quality improvement / assurance systems
  • Establishing patient registers and the value of disease specific registers
  • Research into educational principles for both health care practitioner and patient
  • Understanding what may work for the patient as well as the educator

On completion you will be able to analyse and interpret research in pain management; compare and contrast the different research methods in healthcare with an emphasis on pain management

Module Two - Professional Project: Pain Management or Independent Prescribing Module Professional Project

You will develop an ability to critically evaluate areas of professional practice; critically appraise specific areas of clinical, research and organisational practice; develop skills in independent research and study and skills relevant to scientific publications. 

The module will depend on the creation of a piece of work based upon a specific clinically related project relevant to the student’s practice. This project may comprise of:

  • Literature review and appraisal of the evidence
  • Audit of practice including organisational or clinical
  • Review and implementation of evidence-based practice
  • Qualitative or quantitative research (formal research involving human subjects is not anticipated)
  • Case(s)-based and quality of service review with critical appraisal
  • Case report, review of literature and organisational assessment

On completion of this module you should be able to produce an extensive piece of literature which may be suitable for peer-reviewed publication; critically evaluate practice and suggest improvements or change; incorporate knowledge of the research process in developing services appropriately.



Module One - Research Methodologies and Critical Appraisal MSc teaching methods for this module are similar to the PG Diploma course modules, however it is run over 12 weeks.

Module Two - Professional Project. To produce the professional project, students continue to use the online course; however much of the work is self-directed. Students are expected in the first eight weeks to interact with their tutor on a weekly basis. Students select a specific project and submit a project summary/proposal (approximately 1,500 words). Once the proposal has been approved, the professional project (10,500 words) itself is then completed through online guidance and supervision offered by the tutor.

The student and tutor will interact regularly weekly on the dedicated students/tutor discussion area or through any other means of communication deemed appropriate by both parties (telephone/SKYPE/email). Note of any verbal communication with the tutor is recorded on the student's journal by the student.

Teaching starts with one day of introductory lectures. The lectures series give an opportunity to meet face to face with tutors/other students prior to the online course. The lecture series are delivered by the faculty and tutors, 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 and reflective writing.

Students are not required to attend the lectures however 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 lecture slides.

The fees for this course are available from the Diploma MSc website.


For Module One - Research Methodologies and Critical Appraisal - you will be assessed by a group project activity (20%); reflective portfolio (10%); case problems and discussion (40%) and a one-hour scenario-based examination 30%.

For Module Two - Professional Project - you will be assessed by a project summary/proposal 1500 words (10%) and the completed professional project up to 10,500 words (90%).


As part of your online studies you will have access to the Learning Resources Centre materials at the University of South Wales. FINDit is the University’s portal which allows you to search for over 13,000 full-text journal articles, news articles, conference proceedings and approximately 160 databases via one search box- the majority of these materials are accessible online. Interactive study skills modules are available to study via Blackboard to enable you to utilise the library services fully.

Admission to the course is typically through the following qualifications:

• First degree or equivalent (including international qualifications).
• Relevant professional healthcare (e.g. doctor, nurse) qualifications.

Those without recognised qualifications will be considered on an individual basis and a wide range of prior experience may be taken into account.

The RPL process is in line with the University of South Wales’ Regulations and students seeking to access this mechanism will submit evidence to the Course Director at Learna Ltd. The portfolio will subsequently be examined in liaison with the Course Link at the Faculty of Life Sciences and Education.

Entry requirements for the Independent Prescribing module are different from the other modules. They are specifically defined by the IP module validation document and include:
• 3 years post registration experience
• 1 year in field of practice
• Support of Line manager
• Requirement of current role for IP status
• Availability of mentor
• UK Resident

Please see NMC/GPhC websites for further details.

Students who wish to apply to do the IP Module will be advised that they must adhere to entry requirements for the module and will be directed to the relevant department in the first instance.

RPL into the one-year top up MSc course will be considered on an individual basis dependent on students demonstrating that they have met the learning outcomes of the USW PG Diploma.

International Entry Requirements

In the case of EU and international applications we usually ask for written evidence of your capabilities including English level of IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

For students not at this level, a range of intensive English courses recognised by UKBA are available at USW. These must be completed prior to entry on the Award.

More Information on our intensive English courses is available at our Centre for International English web pages.

This course is run in partnership with Diploma MSc. Please refer to their website for fee information.

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

August 2019 - July 2020 Fees

August 2020 - July 2021 Fees

  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.


You can apply for a postgraduate loan as a contribution towards your course and living costs.

Apply directly to the University for this postgraduate course.

The online Masters in Pain Management is being introduced with the express purpose of promoting and enhancing professional skills and knowledge among its students which have direct relevance and application to the demands of their working roles. There is increasing competition for employment in the healthcare arena, with increasing specialisation. There is a need for postgraduate qualifications to assist with career enhancement and support specialisation.