Postgraduate Diploma Pain Management (Online Delivery)

Having a specialist knowledge in Pain Management is an increasingly important asset and extra responsibility of medical personnel. The online Diploma in Pain Management has a unique focus on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to pain management and service provision.

On completion of the Pain Management Diploma, you will be able to demonstrate a systematic understanding of the care of patients in Pain Management; critically evaluate current research in inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary Pain Management and demonstrate a critical understanding of self-care promotion for acute and chronic pain and deliver management strategies for the investigation and treatment of patients with pain conditions

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 1 Year September Online 8
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 1 Year March Online 8
Part-time 1 Year September Online 8

Module 1 - Mechanisms of pain

The aim of this module is todevelop an advanced understanding and knowledge of the underpinning causes and associated experiences of pain. It will cover:

  • History and epidemiology. Biopsychosocial model with gender consideration
  • Chronic versus acute pain e.g.distinctions
  • Pain science e.g. physiology of pain systems and syndromes; taxonomy of pain systems
  • Current evidence/research
  • Severe pain syndromes
  • Patient considerations (spiritual/social/ethical/occupational)
  • Global impact on a person in pain (spiritual/social/ethical/occupational)

On completion of this module the student should be able to demonstrate an application of the biopsychosocial model to the varied presentations of pain; apply knowledge of complex pain mechanisms to the differentiation between, and impact of, acute and chronic pain.

Module 2 - Types of pain

This module will enhance the knowledge and understanding of different types of pain with an emphasis on clinical importance. You will study:

  • ISP taxonomy of different types of pain
  • Importance of early recognition and prevention of chronicity
  • Clinically important aspects of acute and chronic pain; difference between nociceptive and neuropathic pain.
  • Understanding of pain changes in the light of new evidence

On completion of this module the student should be able to citically discriminate between different types of pain and demonstrate knowledge of the complex clinical considerations that need to be taken into account in different types of pain.

Module 3 – Principles of pain assessment and management

You will develop a critical knowledge of the clinical principles and practice of pain assessment and management. You will study assessment; measurement; diagnosis and prognosis; treatment modalities - Primary Care (British Society Guidance 26/8); alternative treatment modalities; clinical management (British Society Guidance 28/30) and roles, responsibilites and management

On completion, students should be able to citically analyse the assessment and treatment of patients with different pain presentations and critically appraise treatment modalities in different clinical scenarios.

Module 4 - Multi-disciplinary approaches to pain management

The aim of the module is to develop an understanding of different treatment approaches to pain within the context of overall approach to pain management.

You will study:

  • Physiology/Pharmacology /Medication; Psychology/Cognitive Behaviour
  • Manual therapies
  • Patient Education/Self-Management/ Preventative Education
  • Functional Rehabilitation
  • Surgery and Post Surgery Care
  • Deployment of different modalities for maximum effect

On completion of this module you should be able to critically analyse current evidence related to multi-disciplinary approach of treating different types of pain and critically evaluate the risk and benefits of different approaches to pain management.

Module 5 - Pain in Specialised Populations

Students will develop an understanding and appreciation of pain across the life-span and experience. You will cover:

  • Older People
  • Infants and children
  • Disabilities including those with limited communication skills
  • Pregnancy
  • Vulnerable populations
  • Pain in individuals with substance abuse
  • Looking at how pain will present itself in all groups
  • Considering similarities and differences
  • Physical and psychological disorders
  • How pain changes
  • How to communicate in pain and cognitive impairment
  • Working with vulnerable populations (mental health issues, homelessness, learning disabilities, delirium, dementia)
  • Social aspects of pain (stigma, social isolation, labelling stigma, labelling isolations)
  • Enhancing communication with different social groups

On completion, students should be able to demonstrate ability to manage pain in a variety of complex situations and /or populations, and demonstrate an ability to communicate with populations who have complex/specific or changing needs.

Module 6 - Interdisciplinary service provision

This module will draw on the knowledge and understanding of previous modules to critically evaluate the development of inter-disciplinary pain services.

We will explore the evidence supporting inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary of pain; organisational services and the consequences and influence rising from organisations; the management team in a clinical setting; the role of evaluating organisations, clinical settings (the way care is organised); the realistic expectations of the practitioner and carer; emerging ideas of services and emerging updated guidelines and impact of services.

On completion of this module the student should be able to critically analyse the benefits of inter and multi-disciplinary pain management in a clinical setting and the consequences within healthcare schemes and expertise in organising approaches to pain management.



The Pain Management course is delivered online and each module has the same format. Using an online platform and one tutor per 10-15 students, the self-directed distance learning is guided by tutor stimulated discussion based on clinically rich case scenarios. Group projects are undertaken alongside independent projects. Reflective practice is recorded in a reflective portfolio to help students consider how the learning can be translated into everyday work and practice.


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


The Pain Management course puts assessment at the heart of learning by using clinical scenarios to facilitate problem-solving, critical analysis and evidence-based care. The scenarios act as both the focus for learning and assessment thus embedding assessment within the learning process. Each of the six modules has the same assessment format.

Due to the online nature of the course, students are expected to login and participate in the course regularly throughout the module (ideally on a daily basis). Students are split into groups of 10-15 students and are assigned a dedicated expert tutor who:

  • Facilitates clinical case discussions with the group
  • Monitors, assesses and marks each student throughout the module
  • Students use the skills gained during the lectures to engage with the different activities

Each of the six modules have the same assessment format:

  • Academic Forum - 40%
  • Reflective Journal - 10%
  • Group/individual activity - 20%
  • Case based examination - 30%


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.

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

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.


International Entry Requirements

 The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

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

August 2024 - July 2025 Fees

August 2025 - July 2026 Fees

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.


Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).

To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.

This course is run in partnership with Diploma MSC who have over 10 years` experience in delivering award-winning, online, Postgraduate Diploma, MSc and MBA distance education courses.

Click here to apply to study this course via Diploma MSC.

Admissions statement 

The online Postgraduate Diploma 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.