Graduate Diploma Pain Management

The Diploma Pain Management is a programme comprised of 6 taught modules with 2 integrated supervised clinical practicums. The programme consists of 60 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits positioned at Level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (Quality and Qualification Ireland [QQI] 2014)

Who is the programme for?

The programme is for nurses and midwives and is therefore grounded in the science and practice of pain medicine within various clinical settings.

What will I learn?

This programme addresses pain as a multidimensional and complex phenomenon, requiring effective diagnosis and management based on current knowledge and treatment of pain outcomes.  The challenge for the student, supported by an expert clinical facilitator, will be to make a connection between theoretical pain knowledge and experiential pain knowledge in order to formulate an appropriate balanced treatment plan across a continuum of care, giving due consideration to patient expectations

Aims of the Programme

Demonstrate detailed conceptual knowledge and understanding of acute, persistent non-cancer related pain and cancer pain

Reflect critically on effective ways of working with and improving care for people in pain, in light of continuing advances in pain theory, research and evidence.

Analyse strategies for managing pain interventions based on comprehensive and continual assessment of patient-specific benefits and risks.

Explore the various pathways for analgesics across the health care continuum, including the setting of acute, persistent, non-malignant pain and cancer pain.

Discover the conceptual bases for the application of a multidisciplinary, biopsychosocial therapeutic model across complex pain scenarios.

Where can I go?

The programme is designed so that the practitioner can specialise in pain. In addition, this programme (60 credits) is an entry pathway for the MSc Advanced Pain Management (40 credits)/Prescriptive Authority (60 credits).

Entry Requirements

Completion of BSc level 8 is desirable/ Recognition of Prior Learning Portfolio.


Specific Requirements
  • All applicants should hold a primary degree in Nursing or Midwifery and be engaged in relevant clinical practice with an appropriate client group
  • All applicants must be entered onto the appropriate division of the Nurses/Midwives Register maintained by An Bord Altranais
Programme Structure

Year 1 Autumn Trimester

NMHS 42230 Leadership & Organisational Dynamics

NMHS 43070 Pain Management

NMHS 43110 Acute and Persistent Pain Mechanisms To Treatment

Year 1 Spring Trimester

NMHS 42960 Advanced Health Assessment

NMHS 43270 Research Methods applied to Health Care
(Download dates for on-campus lectures)

NMHS 43170 Pharmacology and Pain Therapies Practicum

Documents to be submitted with your application


  • Academic Transcripts including date and grading of Degree award (non UCD only)
  • Current photocopy of NMBI registration and pin
  • Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Pages of Passport (non UCD only)
  • Professional Reference Form
  • Evidence of proficiency in English language (applicants whose first language is not English)
  • Support from employer to undertake the programme
How to apply?

Applications are made online through UCD Applications. ​Applicants may be required to undertake an interview (either face-to-face or via telecommunication) as part of the admission process.

Please note that all applicants are required to pay a €50 application fee. Your application cannot be processed fully unless the application fee has been paid.

Apply online


The fees for your programme can be found at the links below. Search using your major code (the four-digit code beginning with 'X' which can be found in the key information box on this page).

Please note that UCD fees are subject to change annually. The fees shown include the student centre levy which must be paid by all students. 

If you are being funded to do your programme, please make sure your organisation gets in contact with Please note that all applicants are required to pay the €50 application fee. Your application cannot be processed fully unless the application fee has been paid.

More information about fees is available on the UCD website at the link below:

If you have any queries about your fees, please contact

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) applications must be submitted online through your SISWeb account.

There are two instances in which you can apply to have recognised prior learning taken into account when applying for a programme in UCD.

1. RPL for admission to a UCD programme

If you are a prospective student seeking admission to UCD and you do not meet the required admissions criteria as set down for a particular programme of study in UCD, you may apply to be admitted based on prior learning.

2. RPL for exemption from a module or modules on a UCD programme

If you have been accepted onto a UCD programme and wish to have credit transferred towards the requirements of the UCD programme of study, you may apply for RPL from a module or modules.

When applying for RPL, please note the following:

  • You must submit your application for RPL as early as possible and preferably before you commence the relevant module/stage/programme.
  • An application for RPL relating to a particular module should be submitted before the third week of the trimester in which it is offered. Applications made after this date will only be accepted under exceptional circumstances.
  • Your application will be reviewed by the Taught Graduate Standing Committee and Programme Board. You can expect to hear of the outcome or status of your application typically within four to six weeks of submitting it (depending on committee schedules).
  • Please note that in some cases your application may not be successful or you may not receive RPL for the amount of credit for which you applied, therefore you must register for, attend and participate in the module or modules until you have been informed of the decision of the School Programme Board.
  • If your application is not successful, you are responsible for all assessments associated with the module.


Please read the UCD Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning at this link: UCD Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning