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Master of Medicine (Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy)

Fast track your career in postgraduate medical education

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Overview

The Master of Medicine (Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy) teaches an approach that helps people with personality or anxiety disorders, dysthymia, chronic depression, somatisation and other conditions in which trauma is a contributing factor.

The program is designed to train clinicians to treat people for whom chronic, complex trauma has played a contributing role in the development of psychological disorders or stress, or where conventional psychotherapies have failed. It uses an evidence-based approach to psychodynamic psychotherapy and offers supervised training across the different lengths of treatment, from acute to brief and longer term, suitable for public and private settings.

This course is suitable for psychiatry registrars, CMOs and psychiatrists, general practitioners or other medical practitioners who wish to develop a career in psychotherapy or as psychotherapists. It has been designed to meet the needs of clinicians for training in both shorter and longer forms of psychotherapy and for trauma-informed care in relation to all mental health services.

The program is delivered in close liaison with the Western Sydney Local Health District and practising clinicians to ensure that the skills taught are practical and relevant to real-world psychotherapy practice settings. Clinical content includes short and longer-term interventions and the integration of psychotherapy with other treatment modalities.

Designed for busy working doctors, the structure of this degree is flexible and allows you to pace your study and tailor your learning to your needs and interests.

Subject areas

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your fee

Your funding & scholarships

How to apply

What you'll study

The master's degree requires the completion of 48 credit points of units of study including:

  • 12 credit points of compulsory units of study;
  • 24 credit points of stream specific units of study; and
  • 12 credit points of stream specific or general elective units of study.

The degree comprises of coursework, supervised clinical work and a capstone experience of the scholarly creation of a paper suitable for publication.

You will complete this course part-time, usually over three years, and the course structure allows for a slower progression and longer time completion if necessary.

Explore the Medicine and Health Postgraduate Handbook to learn more about what you will study as part of this degree: 

Teaching in this course centres on an active learning approach including grand rounds, previewing and pre-reading, active participation in seminars or online discussions as well as clinical practical work, clinical supervision, and assessment.

Units of Study

Capstone (compulsory project)

A capstone experience comprises two units of study designed 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.

All master’s students complete the units of PSTY5211 and PSTY5212, culminating in an essay submission of 4,000 words on an aspect of psychotherapy, suitable for publication.

Admission criteria

Admission to the Master of Medicine (Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy) requires a medical degree from the University of Sydney or equivalent qualification, and:

  • a minimum of 12 months’ experience in a clinical area related to mental health
  • current professional indemnity insurance to practise psychotherapy in NSW
  • satisfactory performance at an interview as required.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually and may be changed without notice.

Course options

The trauma-informed psychotherapy program is available through two pathways - the Master of Medicine (for medical graduates), and the Master of Science in Medicine (for non-medical graduates). The programs are embedded, allowing you to step from one to the next at your own pace.

Available to medical graduates:

Available to non-medical graduates:

Degree progression

Year one of the program will equip clinicians with fundamental knowledge and skills in providing psychodynamic psychotherapy, focussing on ultra-brief psychotherapy, and short-term interventions and Trauma-Informed Care (TIC). Students who have enrolled in the graduate certificate will exit at this point.

Students who enrol in the graduate diploma will complete another year of coursework that includes an introduction to research methods as well as training and supervision in the longer form of psychotherapy.

Masters students will complete a third and final year of coursework, that includes the capstone units, culminating in a scholarly paper while completing a final year of training and supervision in longer-term psychotherapy.

Professional accreditation

Upon successful completion of the Master of Medicine (Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy) graduates will have achieved proficiency as psychotherapists to the point of gaining professional recognition with the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy (ANZAP). Please note that concurrent personal psychotherapy during training and further supervision post qualification is necessary for full membership of ANZAP.

Future study options

Outstanding graduates may be eligible to pursue a higher degree by research in the following courses: 

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.

Learn more about our research degrees and research capability.

Short courses and non-award study

We offer a wide range of short professional development courses for health professionals. 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.

Learn more about short courses in medicine

Career pathways

The Master of Medicine (Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy) aims to train clinicians to deal effectively in a trauma-informed and specific way with people presenting for psychotherapy, including those suffering from psychological disorders not aided by the more traditional psychotherapies.

The therapeutic approach is based on the Conversational Model, but also incorporates concepts from other schools and theories including self-psychology, intersubjectivity, development, attachment, trauma and memory systems and neuroscience. These ideas are all 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 graduates and affiliates have become leaders and change champions in this area.

This is the University of Sydney

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Student Contribution Amount


The student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Tuition Fees website.

Annual review and fee increases


Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee


The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the 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 increase


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 https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html.

Visa/MasterCard/American Express/JCB surcharge


Please note that a surcharge of 1.53% will apply for payments made by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or JCB. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

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.

International students

Indicative International Tuition Fees for Postgraduate Students


The tuition fee for international postgraduate students is an indication only of the 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, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs and health insurance


For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the tuition fees. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, course-specific materials, tools, protective clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html. In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through a government approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government. Further information is available from https://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/living-costs/health-insurance.html.

Visa/MasterCard/American Express/JCB surcharge


Please note that a surcharge of 1.53% will apply for payments made by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or JCB. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

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.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.