Postgraduate studies in Pain Management

Neural network.

This is the premier international degree program in Pain Management. It provides comprehensive and advanced education on the basic and applied sciences, concepts, and approaches underpinning our current understanding of pain, its assessment and management. The program is offered at Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master's degree levels. From 2018, an Orofacial Pain pathway is available at Masters level.

Why Study With Us?

  • Our program offers advanced, evidence-based and clinically relevant education in pain management
  • Our diverse teaching facility and student group provides you with an opportunity to learn with, from and about other health professionals managing pain patients
  • Build your competence and confidence in the assessment and management of a diverse range of pain problems
  • For medical graduates it is an ideal step in preparation for specialist training in Anaesthetics, Pain Medicine, Critical Care, General Practice, Rheumatology and other medical fields managing patients in pain
  • For other health graduates it is an ideal career pathway towards becoming an expert in pain and/or a leader in your professional field
  • As an enrolled student you can access reduced registration to an optional two week face-to-face workshop at the beginning of each year which provides a comprehensive introduction to the course content and gives you an opportunity to meet pain experts

About the Program

Student learning.

Established in 1996, the program has been offered completely online since 2000 allowing Australian and overseas students to enrol and participate without needing to attend lectures on campus at the University.

The program has been developed and is taught by Sydney Medical School’s Pain Management Research Institute (PMRI), based at Royal North Shore Hospital and The University of Sydney's Kolling Institute.

Our teaching faculty is multidisciplinary and comprises over 50 experienced researchers and clinicians drawn from within the Sydney Medical School, other University of Sydney health Faculties, as well as from other Australian and overseas universities. All have national and/or international reputations in the pain field.

To date, over 400 students have completed one of our degrees and many of these have gone on to become leaders in pain management and research in Australia and internationally.


IASP logo.

Our program has been endorsed by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), the leading international scientific body representing and supporting around 8,000 pain scientists and clinicians around the world.

Key features

  • Our program is delivered entirely online which means you can fit your study around other work and family commitments.
  • The learning activities allow you to explore the science, concepts, approaches and procedures relevant to pain management in an interactive multidisciplinary team context.
  • Our units of study are developed and facilitated by national and international academic clinicians and researchers. All are widely experienced in pain management and viewed as experts in their field.
  • The content and structure of the degree program is significantly influenced by the curriculum framework identified by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP).
  • A biopsychosocial focus and the multidisciplinary team are core concepts that traverse all units of study.

Units of Study

The degree program offers nineteen units of study to select from. The four core units (PAIN5001, PAIN5002, PAIN5003 and PAIN5004 - that comprise the Graduate Certificate), will equip you with a firm foundation in the key concepts and principles underlying the mechanisms and management of pain.

For those enrolled in the Graduate Diploma and Master's level degrees, the large range of elective choices provides an opportunity to study specific areas of interest in more depth.

Orofacial Pain Pathway (from 2018)

This pathway is suitable for dentists, physiotherapists, psychologists and other health practitioners interested in pursuing a career in orofacial pain, as well as clinicians already working in the field wishing to consolidate their understanding in this area. The structure and content of the pathway in orofacial pain is influenced by guidelines from The Australian and New Zealand Academy of Orofacial Pain and The American Academy of Orofacial Pain.

Applications for this pathway are accepted in Semester 1 of each year only.

Who is eligible to apply?

The degree program is multidisciplinary, which means it is open to medical practitioners, dentists, nurses, psychologists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, exercise physiologists, chiropractors, and other health professionals who have an interest and involvement in the field of pain management.

Degree Options

More information about each of our degree programs and links to apply are available below:

Non-award study (single unit enrolment)

You can also choose to enrol in individual pain management units of study. Non-award units can be credited towards a future degree at the university (within two years of completion) or as part of another degree (with the permission of your Faculty and University). Whether you are a student or practicing professional, individual units of study are an extremely useful option for developing skills in a specific area without needing to enrol in a full course of study.

Degree Fees

Students are charged per unit of study and invoiced each semester. Fees quoted on the degree application websites (above) are for tuition costs only and are applicable in 2019. The University's tuition fees are reviewed annually and may be varied during the period of study. The Australian Government student loan scheme FEE-HELP is available for eligible students.

Commonweath Supported Places

A limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) are available for the Master of Science in Medicine (Pain Management) course for Semester 1, 2019 only. To be considered for a CSP you must apply for entry to the course by 12 January 2019 and places will be allocated based on merit. Please ensure your CV includes details of any relevant work or other experience. Please note that you cannot retain a CSP if you upgrade or downgrade to another course after enrolment.

There are currently no CSP places available for Semester 2.