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Unit of study_

PAIN5004: Pain Conditions

Semester 1, 2023 [Online] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

The unit provides an introduction to a range of pain conditions. Participants are encouraged to integrate and apply previous learning to specific pain problems, acute, chronic and cancer pain. Recent advances and specific issues in the management of acute pain, musculoskeletal pain, visceral pain, cancer pain, neuropathic pain, pain in children and older people are considered.

Unit details and rules

Unit code PAIN5004
Academic unit Discipline of Pain Medicine
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Elizabeth Devonshire,
Tutor(s) Timothy Austin,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Case report
Written report
Due date: 04 Jun 2023 at 23:59
3500-4000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Small continuous assessment group assignment Module discussions and written reflections
Online discussion and written summaries
5% Week 12
Due date: 21 May 2023 at 23:59
See unit guide
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Online task Online debate and written reflection
Online discussion and written reflective essay
15% Week 12
Due date: 21 May 2023 at 23:59
750-1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Multiple choice questions
Development of multiple choice questions (MCQs)
30% Week 12
Due date: 21 May 2023 at 23:59
900 - 1100 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Assignment 1a. Online Debate and Written Reflection: This task has both group and individual assessment components. For the group part, students will be divided into groups to discuss the statement – “Pain is merely a symptom not a disease”. Each group will be allocated to take a position, for or against this statement. This is a group task, therefore regular participation by all students is essential. For the individual assessment, students are required to review their contribution to the debate by reflecting on their participation and input into the activity. Students will write and submit a short statement to justify their participation in the activity.
  • Assignment 1b. Module discussions and written reflections:  Participation in the module discussion forums will increase  knowledge of this topic area and assist students to complete the written assignments. At the end of every module, students will need to provide a brief written reflection on the two provided questions.
  • Assignment 2. Multiple choice questions: In this assignment students need to develop 6 multiple choice questions that would assess someone's understanding of each of the pain conditions outlined in this unit (i.e. 1 question for each module). The assignment is divided into 2 parts, with each part addressing the following pain conditions:
    •    Part 1 – a) Acute pain, b) Visceral pain and c) Musculoskeletal pain.
    •    Part 2 – a) Neuropathic pain, b) Cancer pain and c) Pain in children or pain in elderly.
  • Assignment 3. Case report: The purpose of this assignment is to give students an opportunity to explore two pain conditions in more depth. Students will choose from the list of pain conditions and areas they will be provided with. Students are encouraged to explore conditions that they have come across in their clinical practice. However, they can also draw on conditions derived from a personal contact (e.g. family or friend) or the media. 

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Meets unit requirements to an exceptional standard


75 - 84

Meets unit requirements to a very high standard


65 - 74

Meets unit requirements to a good standard


50 - 64

Meets unit requirements to an acceptable standard


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Penalties for late submission will be applied in accordance with the University Assessment Procedures, 2011 (Clause 7A).

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week -01 Orientation Individual study (2 hr)  
Week 01 Online introduction Individual study (8 hr)  
Week 02 Module 1: Acute pain Individual study (20 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 04 Module 2: Musculoskeletal pain Individual study (20 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 06 Module 3: Visceral pain Individual study (20 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 08 Module 4: Neuropathic pain Individual study (20 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 10 Module 5: Cancer/HIV pain Individual study (20 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 12 Module 6: Pain in children and the elderly Individual study (20 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4

Attendance and class requirements

Active participation in online discussion forums is a compulsory activity for completion of this unit of study. It is expected that students will contribute unique content and/or reflections on other students’ postings at least twice per week.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

There is no prescribed textbook for this unit of study. All required readings are available online via Canvas and the University Library.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Discuss the incidence and prevalence of specific pain conditions
  • LO2. Describe the clinical presentation of specific pain conditions
  • LO3. Identify the underlying mechanisms of specific pain conditions
  • LO4. Apply the principles of management to specific pain conditions and populations.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered


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