PDIP Regional Anaesthesia

"The research, leadership skills and knowledge attained in the course has really boosted my CV and increased my chances of getting a good consultant post."

In their words

Dr Maria Chazapis

Key facts

(REF, 2014)

This course has been developed with support from the major anaesthetic organisations, including the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA), the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI), the Regional Anaesthesia United Kingdom (RA-UK) and the European Society of Regional Anaesthesia (ESRA).

It is aimed at busy medics working as full or part time anaesthetists in the NHS or equivalent health services who are seeking to develop a high level of expertise within this specialist area.


Join UEA's award-winning online Specialist Clinical Mastership in Regional Anaesthesia; Europe's highest qualification taught by practicing RA consultants

Please note that the course is currently undertaking a 5-year review which, subject to approval, would lead to significant enhancements and innovations to what is already a world-leading course. The course will open to applications for entry in January 2019 once the review has been completed later this year.

What does this course offer?

  • Developed with support from the RCoA, AAGBI and RA-UK and a large specialist faculty, we offer a unique solution to the training problems facing specialists looking to progress in Regional Anaesthesia 
  • Using an innovative online delivery, developed in-house over five years by a specialist team at Norwich Medical School, you’ll experience a challenging and rewarding educational experience
  • The Specialist Clinical Masterships (SCM) course is highly flexible and tailored specifically around the working lives of busy RA practitioners
  • Most teaching and learning is via our dedicated Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which hosts a thriving online community of specialists from all over the world
  • Our focus on assessment of skills combined with the rapid development of critical thinking and communication earned the SCM programme the Gold award in 2013 for ‘Best Online Distance Learning Programme’. The Masters and PG Diploma are the only courses to formally qualify specialists in Regional Anaesthesia. 

Your online learning experience

  • As an SCM student you’ll engage fully online, in discussions on realistic cases, supported by continual assessments of your expert knowledge, critical thinking and decision-making
  • All participation is asynchronous so you will never need to log on at set times
  • Each tutor-mediated forum discussion takes on a life of its own, fuelled by the growth of shared reading, personal experience and tutor guidance, all contributed at convenient times as the week progresses
  • Each topic brings new expertise and insights that are directly applicable to your own cases
  • In addition to online learning, if you are an EU or UK student you’ll attend face to face training days with tutors every 16 weeks in addition to workshops and a research days; all training days are recorded and made available online to our international students.

What experience do I need?

The course is highly rigorous, but incredibly rewarding for a motivated candidate wishing to progress quickly in this specialist field. We accept trainees Post FRCA (or the equivalent), ST2 and Career Grade Doctors with 2 yrs experience or Consultant Anaesthetists from the UK and worldwide.

Student successes

Past students have cited a swift progression to more senior positions from having undertaken the Masters course. In particular, students report greater confidence and influence with peers and senior colleagues. You can expect to be able to apply knowledge and skills gained on the course directly to cases within weeks of starting.


The main exam centre is in the UK where you will be expected, however we will try, where possible, to enable our international students sit the exam in their home countries.

Course Modules 2018/9

Students must study the following modules for 40 credits:

Name Code Credits


How can you ensure that your regional anaesthesia techniques are successful and safe? By developing a detailed knowledge of anatomy! Throughout the module you will undertake a deep exploration of the key concept underpinning regional anaesthesia - anatomy. You will explore micro- and macro-anatomy throughout the body, with focus on key regional block areas, and commonly encountered surgical territories. You will research how specific block techniques were explored and developed, from an anatomical perspective. You will also seek to apply this extensive anatomical knowledge to solving clinical conundrums, equipping you with a sound basis on which to expand your clinical work. You will begin by exploring the proximal brachial plexus, with a focus on awake procedural techniques and how to achieve this. Throughout subsequent weeks the focus will progress down the brachial plexus and arm simultaneously, exploring periclavicular blocks and elbow procedures, leading to axillary / distal techniques and hand surgery. You will then consider techniques for providing anaesthesia / analgesia to the thorax and breast, including novel developments and combination blocks for awake breast surgery / rib fracture management. Subsequent weeks will progress through lumbar and sacral plexus anatomy, linking in with hip, knee and foot procedures. To conclude, you will re-ignite your knowledge of the vertebral canal, hopefully with a new 'slant', before returning to the neck and cervical plexus. As the module draws to a close, you will have numerous complex scenarios in which you can apply your knowledge, by way of revision forums.




At the end of this module the MSc Regional Anaesthesia Candidate should be able to: Demonstrate and apply a detailed understanding of the neurophysiological and neuropharmacological mechanisms involved in normal nociception, visceral nociception and neuropathic pain. Consequently, the candidate will be able to critically appraise the likely mechanisms contributing to peri-operative pain and synthesise management strategies based upon current and novel anaesthetic and analgesic agents available (or potentially available) for use in perioperative pain management.



Students must study the following modules for 60 credits:

Name Code Credits

Regional Anaesthesia in Specific Situations and Circumstances

Gain an understanding of RA in special circumstances or sub-specialities. Also examine in greater detail how increase knowledge influences outcome measures in RA. Look at future developments in RA The specific outcomes are in: Paediatrics: Studying the difference between adults and children for RA. Studying dose, duration and actions of local anaesthetics in small children and the use of LA adjuvants drugs. In depth studies on blocks such as the Ilio-inguinal, penile and central neuraxial blocks, to name a few important blocks in children. Pregnancy: Study the use of epidurals in labour, technique differences, ultrasound placement, infusions versus boluses and the use of patient controlled epidural infusions in labour. Study how local anaesthetics agents affect the foetus. The placental barrier and protein binding in pregnancy of LA drugs. Role of pudendal blocks in labour. Elderly: Physiological reserve and RA techniques in the elderly for central neuraxial blocks, brachial plexus blocks (affecting the phrenic nerve), pharmacokinetics and dynamics of LA agents and pain perception in the elderly Pathological situations: Blocks used in treating cancer pain, or chronic pain situations (nerve root and intra-articular vertebral blocks)



Research Methodology in Regional Anaesthesia

By the end of this module you will be able to understand the difference between audit and research. Be able to conduct an audit and complete the cycle. Be able to initiate a research project from early stages of idea proposal, protocol writing, IRAS form completion, gaining necessary ethics approval and preparing the required paperwork (participant invitation, informed consent, letters to GPs etc.). Be able to critically appraise a study, have a good knowledge of research governance and lastly, have an adequate knowledge of basic statistic methods used for clinical trials.




By the end of this module on the technical aspects of RA, the student should have insight into the following aspects of RA: 1.Which block for what surgery, where and why? 2.Ultrasound - physical principles, sono-anatomy, awareness of Ultrasound artifacts and their uses and the application of US in regional anaesthesia 3.Needle design 4.Use of catheters for prolonging blocks and catheter management 5.Safety, safe practice of RA 6.Sterility 7.Assessment tools for good RA practice 8.Future advances in RA (3D and 4D U/Sd)



Students must study the following modules for 20 credits:

Name Code Credits

Clinical Leadership, Management and Service Delivery in Regional Anaesthesia

The module is aimed to develop clinical leadership and management skills for the candidate




Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject MBBS or overseas equivalent
  • Degree Classification Pass, Merit or equivalent
  • Special Entry Requirements GMC accredited, Post FRCA (or the equivalent), ST2 and Career Grade Doctors with 2 yrs experience or Consultant Anaesthetists.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English or those whose degree was not taught in English. To ensure such students benefit fully from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. We also will require a certain standard to be achieved on the written element of the test. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 7.0 (minimum 7.0 in all component)
  • PTE: 68 (minimum 68 in all components)

All scores must be less than two years old.


The next intake starts in January 2019. There is no September intake to this course.

Fees and Funding

Fees for the full course running from Jan 2018 will be:

  • UK/EU Students: £6,000
  • Overseas Students: £9,865

Fees for the full course running from Jan 2019 will be:

  • UK/EU Students: £6,200
  • Overseas Students: £10,534

Part-time students can pay per module studied. However, module fees may be subject to an annual increase.

How to Apply

Please note that the course is currently undertaking a 5-year review which, subject to approval, would lead to significant enhancements and innovations to what is already a world-leading course. The course will open to applications for entry in January 2019 once the review has been completed later this year.

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online, or by downloading the application form.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515