Master of Medicine (Psychotherapy)

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

The Master of Medicine (Psychotherapy) aims to train clinicians to treat people with psychological disorders who have not benefited from conventional psychotherapies and for whom chronic, complex trauma plays a contributing role.

Mental illness is more common than many people think – an estimated 800,000 Australians are affected by depression each year. Contemporary psychotherapy teaches techniques that improve the mental health of those with personality disorders, anxiety disorders, dysthymia, chronic depression, somatisation and conditions in which chronic, complex trauma is a contributing factor.

The therapeutic approach is based on the conversational model but also incorporates concepts from other schools, including self psychology, intersubjectivity theory, development, attachment, trauma theory and memory systems theory and neuroscience. These ideas are centred on concepts of the self, notions of boundary formation, the empathic mode of listening, a focus on subjective experience, and unconscious traumatic memory systems. All are informed by practice and emerging neuroscience. Our program has a long history of research and training in this field, and contributes to research and scholarship in the field of personality disorder and chronic complex trauma. It is delivered in close liaison with the Western Sydney Local Health District and local clinicians to ensure that the skills taught are practical and relevant to real-world psychotherapy practice settings.

This course will prepare you to develop a career in psychotherapy or as a psychotherapist. Students who complete this program may be eligible to gain professional recognition with the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy (ANZAP), subject to other requirements.

Course outline

Unit of Study information on faculty page

Study plan

The Master of Medicine (Psychotherapy) consists of 72 credit points comprising coursework, supervised clinical work and a research treatise. You will complete this course part-time, normally over three years. Classes in this course are designed in the form of six strands and these are grand rounds, seminars, practical work, clinical supervision, reading and assessment. Each strand involves different requirements that you are expected to complete.

Further course information

Capstone experience

A capstone experience comprises one or more units of study designed by the school to provide students with an opportunity to draw together the learning that has taken place during the award, synthesise this with their prior learning and experience, and draw conclusions that will form the basis for further investigation, and intellectual and/or professional growth.

For the Master of Medicine (Psychotherapy), all students complete a 10,000 word psychotherapy treatise as the capstone experience.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

The Master of Medicine (Psychotherapy) aims to train clinicians to deal effectively with people suffering from psychological disorders not aided by the more traditional psychotherapies. This course is suitable for general practitioners, psychiatry registrars and psychiatrists who wish to develop a career in psychotherapy or as psychotherapists.

Course accreditation

Upon successful completion of the Master of Medicine (Psychotherapy) at Sydney Medical School graduates will have achieved proficiency as psychotherapists to the point of gaining professional recognition with the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy (ANZAP) and the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).

Further study

Outstanding graduates may be eligible to pursue a higher degree by research in the courses of Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Philosophy and Master of Surgery (by research) offered by Sydney Medical School. A research degree provides students with the opportunity to prepare a substantial piece of work which represents a significant contribution in a particular field of study; and to gain transferable skills in general research methodology.

Sydney Medical School is affiliated with over 40 independent medical research institutes aimed at achieving medical firsts in specialist areas of health and medicine.
It provides an outstanding environment for postgraduate research. Sydney Medical School's research activities consistently attract high levels of funding from the Commonwealth and state governments, overseas funding agencies and other public and private sources.

Other study options

Sydney Medical School offers a wide range of short professional development courses for health professionals through its clinical schools, disciplines and associated research institutes.

Many of the courses offered are pre-accredited for Continuing Medical Education (CME) points, and other courses may be awarded CME points on request to your relevant association or professional body. For further information and a list of courses available please see the Sydney Medical School website


Admission requirements

A successful applicant for admission to the Master of Medicine (Psychotherapy) will:
(a) hold a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery of the University of Sydney or an equivalent qualification; and
(b) have obtained experience in a clinical area related to mental health; and
(c) hold current professional indemnity insurance to practice psychotherapy in NSW; and
(d) have achieved satisfactory performance at an interview as required.

In exceptional circumstances the dean may admit applicants without these qualifications who, in the opinion of the school, have qualifications and evidence of experience and achievement sufficient to successfully undertake the award.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Handbooks Online and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Applications are made directly to the University and assessed by the Faculty.

International students

How to apply

This course is not currently available to international students as it is only offered on a part-time basis.

Important Fee Information

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, course-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa, MasterCard or American Express. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at:

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.