PainSA is a chapter of the International Association for the Study of Pain. Our mission is to improve all aspects of pain management in Southern Africa.

Postgraduate Diploma in Interdisciplinary Pain Management


Are you a healthcare professional working with people with complex pain conditions? Would you like to learn more and develop your skills in interdisciplinary pain management? Now is the time to register for a Postgraduate Diploma in Interdisciplinary Pain Management.

Who is this course for?

This Postgraduate Diploma is designed for health care professionals registered with the HPCSA or equivalent professional body including doctors, nurses (with a 4-year Bachelor of Nursing or equivalent), physiotherapists, occupational therapists, clinical or counselling psychologists.

What will be covered in the course?

The program consists of 7 modules. In the first semester 4 courses will be completed: Introduction to postgraduate studies; Clinical research methods; The multidimensional nature of pain and Neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of nociception and pain. On successful completion of these courses, students will then go on to complete three further courses: Assessment and measurement of pain and its effects; Comprehensive pain management and Pain management in complex conditions.

How much time will I need to set aside?

The program uses a blended learning approach with students required to spend one week in Cape Town at the start of the year (in 2023 we anticipate starting on 9 Jan). There will be one week of virtual live Zoom lectures in late May. The final contact week in Cape Town will take place in early August 2023. The rest of the learning activities take place online with students using online communities of practice to facilitate learning. Students need to allow for 12-20 hrs per week of self-study during online learning modules and will be required to commit to spending one hour online per week (e.g. 5-6pm on Tuesdays or 7-8am or 7:30-8:30am on Wednesdays South African time).

How much will it cost?

The 2023 fees have not yet been finalised but we estimate the full diploma will cost in the region of ZAR50 000.

Part-time vs full-time study

The above information relates to students completing the Diploma full-time (in one year). Students registering for the diploma part-time will complete 4 courses in their first year (Introduction to postgraduate studies; The multidimensional nature of pain; Neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of nociception and pain; Assessment and measurement of pain and its effects). These students will need to attend classes in Cape Town in January and online classes in May.

In their second year of study, students will then complete Clinical research methods; Comprehensive pain management and Pain management in complex conditions. In their second year, students will need to attend classes in Cape Town for one week in August.

Fees are paid on a pro-rata basis for each course completed.

What will I need to be successful?

Students need to be fluent in English and be familiar with using a computer. Students will also need to have reliable internet access and use of a computer for the period of their studies.

What do I need to submit when I apply?

You will need to submit (i) a letter of motivation explaining why you wish to do the diploma (ii) a letter of support from your employer to ensure they are aware of your commitment to study (iii) proof of registration with professional body (iv) CV (v) undergraduate transcript.

The next group of students registering for the Postgraduate Diploma will start in January 2023. To apply go to before 30 November 2022. If you are interested in applying or would like further information, please contact Prof Romy Parker on