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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Clinical Sciences : Pain Management

Postgraduate Course: Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology and its Relevance to Pain Management (PAMA11055)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Clinical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe biopsychosocial model of pain has come to dominate our teaching of pain medicine. This has only been possible in the last few years by an integration of the influence of concepts of pain with a clearer understanding and acknowledgment of the anatomical and physiological derivations. Without this firm background, any further advancement in pain medicine is unlikely. Compared with the significant psychological bias on the manifestation of organic pain syndromes, anatomy and physiology are seen as more concrete and well defined aspects. They still remain essential components on which the contemporary perceptions of pain medicine can be structured, despite the realisation that, in this area too, changes in our scientific awareness are frequently being made.

This course will aim for the student to assimilate an advanced knowledge of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology and its relevance to pain management. Much of this will be in the form of the development of a historical timeline in which changes and advances can be understood as forming part of the present perception of pain.
Course description This is a 5-week distance learning course worth 10 credits. Students are expected to spend 15-20 hours per week on this course. Students will be given a brief overview of the course and will then be provided with relevant materials and resources. Specific tasks and online exercises relating to each weeks topic will be set. A final submitted assessment will be required for the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs No
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 3 (Sem 2)
Course Start Date 15/01/2024
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 6, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 3, Online Activities 15, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 6, Formative Assessment Hours 5, Summative Assessment Hours 30, Other Study Hours 33, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 0 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) 0
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Key principles that will underpin assessment activities are evidence-based practice and the application of theory to clinical practice.

Assessment will consist of a combination of summative written assessment and online assessment incorporating a variety of activities.

You are required to complete and receive a passing grade on a number of different assignments in order to obtain a passing grade for this course. Please note that you must make a reasonable attempt at each of the assignments in order to receive a passing grade for the course. If you fail to make a reasonable attempt at any of the assignments, you risk a failing grade for the course which would normally have serious repercussions in your ability to achieve an award.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Appreciate the biological and mechanistic contributors to pain within the biopsychosocial model
  2. Outline the fundamental neuroscience of pain, including ascending and descending pain pathways within the peripheral, axillary and central nervous systems
  3. Interprete current research on the neurophysiological processes involved in pain signal transmission and processing.
  4. Identify the influence of genetics on nociception mechanisms and heritable and other genetic-induced pain conditions
Reading List
A Resource List will be provided to ensure access to appropriate and relevant resources to enable participation in this course. Details about Resource Lists can be found at

Resource material will be provided to enhance each week¿s material. Examples of the variety of materials used can be seen below ¿ please note this is indicative of what will be provided:

ARTICLE:¿Beyond nociception: the imprecision hypothesis chronic pain. Moseley, G.L ; Vlaeyen, J.W.SPain (Amsterdam) 156 (1) 2015-01-0135 - 38

ARTICLE:¿Studying human nociceptors: From fundamentals to clinic. Middleton, Steven J ; Barry, Allison M ; Comini, Maddalena ; Li, Yan ; Ray, Pradipta R ; Shiers, Stephanie ; Themistocleous, Andreas C ; Uhelski, Megan L ; Yang, Xun ; Dougherty, Patrick M ; Price, Theodore J ; Bennett, David L. Brain (London, England : 1878)144(5)2021-05-011312 - 1335

ARTICLE:¿Structural plasticity and reorganisation in chronic pain. Rohini Kuner ; Herta Flor. Nature Reviews Neuroscience18(1)2016-12-1520 -

ARTICLE:¿Emotional and Cognitive Influences on Pain Experience. Peters, Madelon LFinn, D.P ; Leonard, Brian E. Pain in Psychiatric Disorders302015-09138 - 152

ARTICLE:¿A review on the ongoing quest for a pain signature in the human brain. Su, Qian ; Song, Ying chao ; Zhao, Rui ; Liang, Meng. Brain Science Advances5(4)2019-12274 - 287

BOOK CHAPTER:¿Human Genetics of Pain. Cox, J., Kurth, I., & Woods, The Oxford Handbook of the Neurobiology of Pain by James J. Cox, Ingo Kurth, and C. Geoffrey Woods2019
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills During the course students will have to demonstrate the ability to work both independently and collaboratively with others. Their knowledge and understanding of the topic will improve but they will also learn generic approaches/skills. As the course is distance learning, it will contribute to their IT, writing and communication skills which can be applied to both clinical and academic environments. Finally, they will be expected to be able to bring together and draw from the information provided through the course during their assignment writing. Competences such as structuring of work and accurate referencing should also improve.

GENERIC COGNITIVE SKILLS: the ability to apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to forefront issues and developments, develop original and creative responses to problems and issues, critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills, practices and thinking, deal with complex issues and make informed judgements in situations in the absence of complete or consistent data/information.

COMMUNICATION, IT AND NUMERACY SKILLS: use a wide range of routine skills and a range of advanced and specialised skills such as communication with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists, evaluation of a wide range of numerical and geographical data

AUTONOMY, ACCOUNTABILITY AND WORKING WITH OTHERS: exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities, work in a peer relationship with specialist practitioners, demonstrate leadership and/or initiative and make an identifiable contribution to change and development and/or new thinking, manage complex ethical and professional issues
Special Arrangements None
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Paul Knight
Course secretaryMs Ewelina Skala
Tel: (0131 5)37 1000
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