Skip to main content
Unit outline_

PAIN5023: Advanced Studies in Orofacial Pain

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

Orofacial pain can be severely disabling and has unique aspects because of the importance of the orofacial region for communication, emotional expression and mastication. The purpose of this unit is to provide an in-depth understanding of orofacial pain mechanisms, symptomatology and management. Topics include orofacial pain classification and diagnosis and management strategies based on the biopsychosocial model of pain.

Unit details and rules

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) Arun Aggarwal,
Robert Delcanho,
Karen McCloy,
Tom Wilkinson,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Participation Discussion activity
Online discussion participation
20% Week 09
Due date: 30 Apr 2023 at 23:59
Week 2 - Week 9
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Multiple Choice Questions
Develop written multiple choice questions (MCQs)
30% Week 09
Due date: 30 Apr 2023 at 23:59
1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Assignment Topic review
50% Week 12
Due date: 21 May 2023 at 23:59
2500-3000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO5

Assessment summary

  • Assignment 1. Structured online discussion activity: This discussion activity is conducted from Week 2 to Week 9. The first four modules have an associated two week discussion task that you must to participate in actively. Each of these discussion tasks are comprised of targeted discussion questions and short case scenarios. You are expected to contribute at least 2 messages per week.
  • Assignment 2. Multiple choice questions: In this assignment you need to develop six multiple choice questions that would assess someone's understanding of orofacial pain.
  • Assignment 3. Topic review: For this assignment you need to complete a topic review. Four topics have been provided for you to consider.

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 the unit requirements to an exceptional standard


75 - 84

Meets the unit requirements to a very high standard


65 - 74

Meets the unit requirements to a good standard


50 - 64

Meets the 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 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) LO1
Week 02 Module 1: TMD and musculoskeletal anatomy Individual study (10 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 03 Module 1: TMD and musculoskeletal anatomy Individual study (10 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 04 Module 2: Neuropathic orofacial pain Individual study (10 hr) LO2
Week 05 Module 2: Neuropathic orofacial pain Individual study (10 hr) LO2
Week 06 Module 3: Pain and sleep Individual study (10 hr) LO3
Week 07 Module 3: Pain and sleep Individual study (10 hr) LO3
Week 08 Module 4: Pharmacology for orofacial pain Individual study (10 hr) LO4
Week 09 Module 4: Pharmacology for orofacial pain Individual study (10 hr) LO4
Week 10 Module 5: Clinical assessment and imaging Individual study (10 hr) LO4
Week 11 Module 5: Clinical assessment and imaging Individual study (10 hr) LO4
Week 12 Review Individual study (10 hr) LO5
Week 13 Review Individual study (10 hr) LO5

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 neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the orofacial region
  • LO2. Identify the diagnostic criteria for orofacial pain conditions associated with, TMD and Neuropathic pain
  • LO3. Discuss the relationship between sleep and pain, including the management of sleep disorders and orofacial pain conditions
  • LO4. Plan patient care using the principles of assessment in orofacial pain, including the use of adjunct tests
  • LO5. Plan patient care using the principles of diagnosis and management in orofacial pain, including the use of pain medicine, psychology and physiotherapy.

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 offered


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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