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Bachelor of Health Science (Complementary Medicine)

Allied Health and Pharmacy

Bachelor of Health Science (Complementary Medicine)

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CSU's Bachelor of Health Science (Complementary Medicine) is designed for people with a background in complementary medicine to gain advanced-level knowledge in health sciences.

  • Why study this course?

    There has been some discussion recently about Complementary Medicine courses being offered by universities in Australia and overseas. Some groups are arguing that universities should not offer these courses, because they are not scientific or evidence-based. Charles Sturt University is keen to recognise these concerns and highlight the difference between our course and many courses offered by other universities.

    CSU does not teach homeopathy, iridology, reflexology or any other subjects that are not based on experimental evidence.

    CSU's Bachelor of Health Science (Complementary Medicine) is designed for people with a background in complementary medicine to gain advanced-level knowledge in health sciences. You will be taught high-level, science-based health and medical subjects, often alongside students from other science or health courses. This course is not designed to teach you to become a complementary medicine practitioner, so there are no subjects that teach specific modalities.

    Given the demand for complementary health services from the public, and the growth of providers in the community CSU's approach is highly responsible, with our graduates emerging with appropriate training in science and evidence-based health service provision.

    The health science subjects are drawn from a range of discipline areas, providing students with an understanding of biomedical science, health science and studies in law and ethics applicable to those already working in the area. Students are also provided with extensive training in how to evaluate evidence and read medical or scientific literature to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills to assess the information to which they are exposed from a variety of sources. Staff at CSU also do research in complementary medicines in an effort to determine whether there is any evidence base of some practices and to provide a better understanding of why people use complementary medicines and alternative treatments.

    The Bachelor of Health Science (Complementary Medicine) is an upgrading course for health professionals practising in the area of complementary medicine. Graduates are equipped to pursue a career in private practice or they may wish to pursue further study to expand their career options, e.g. management, teaching, research.

  • Career opportunities

    CSU's Bachelor of Health Science (Complementary Medicine) is an upgrading course for health professionals practising in the area of complementary medicine. Graduates of the course can pursue a career in private practice or they may wish to pursue further study to expand their career options, e.g. management, teaching, research.

  • Credit and pathways

    Credit for prior learning and credit for current competencies will be granted to eligible applicants.

    More about Credit

    Upon admission, all students are awarded a credit package of 48 points based on completion of a recognised Diploma or Advanced Diploma in a complementary medicine modality.

    Students who have completed one of the following Australian National Health Training Diplomas will receive credit for BMS191 Human Bioscience 1 and BMS192 Human Bioscience 2.

    • Diploma of Aromatherapy (HLT51407)
    • Diploma of Kinesiology (HLT51507)
    • Diploma of Reflexology (HLT51707)
    • Diploma of Remedial Massage (HLT50307)
    • Diploma of Shiatsu & Oriental Therapies (HLT50207)
    • Diploma of Traditional Chinese Medicine Remedial Massage (An Mo Tui Na) (HLT50107)

    Students who have completed one of the following Australian National Health Training Advanced Diplomas will receive credit for BMS191 Human Bioscience 1, BMS192 Human Bioscience 2, NUT201 Food & Health, BMS291 Pathophysiology & Pharmacology 1, BMS292 Pathophysiology & Pharmacology 2 and 1 x 8 point unspecified elective.

    • Advanced Diploma of Aromatic Medicine (HLT60907)
    • Advanced Diploma of Ayuveda (HLT 60707)
    • Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy (HLT60507)
    • Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine (HLT61007)
    • Advanced Diploma of Western Herbal Medicine (HLT 60107)

    Students may be eligible for an additional 32 points based on the content of the specific program they completed. This credit will be determined based on evaluation of course documents and be listed as a standard credit package for that college/course. Students having completed other Diplomas or Advanced Diplomas will be assessed on a case by case.

  • Subjects

    The below information is for new students. Current students should select their subjects by checking the Handbook for the year of their enrolment

    Course structure

    The degree will comprise the following components:

    • 48 points base credit for prior study
    • 80 points of core subjects
    • 64 points of electives

    Core subjects – 80 points

    BMS191 Human Bioscience 1
    BMS192 Human Bioscience 2
    BMS291 Pathophysiology & Pharmacology 1
    BMS292 Pathophysiology & Pharmacology 2
    BMS343 Evidence Based Complementary Medicine (16 points)
    IKC100 Indigenous Health
    LAW304 Legal and Ethical Issues in Complementary Medicine
    NUT201 Food & Health
    SOC108 Sociology of Health and Health Care

    Restricted electives – students complete 8 electives/64 points

    BCM210 Foundations and Techniques in Biochemistry
    BMS208 Human Nutrition
    BMS233 Nutritional Physiology
    BMS243 Nutrition, Metabolism and Human Disease
    BMS255 Neuroscience for Health Practice
    BMS256 Exercise Science for Health Practice
    BMS323 Infectious Microbiology and Immunology
    BMS342 Medicinal and indigenous foods
    BMS406 Human Reproductive Biology
    GER102 Gerontology Theory and Research
    GER204 Aging and Professional Practice
    GER401 Choices and Options in Later Life
    HIP302 Understanding Healthy Communities
    LES101 Introduction to Leisure and Health
    LES102 Leisure Programming with Diverse Populations
    LES202 Community Leisure and Health Issues
    LES302 Leisure and Social Relations
    NRS235 Pain Management
    NRS325 Child Health Care and Promotion
    NUT220 Food Intake Analysis and Meal Planning
    NUT301 Community and Public Health
    POD307 Medicine 1 (Rheumatology and Musculoskel Pathology)
    POD315 Medicine 3 (Mental Health, Neurol & Vascular Medicine)
    PSY214 Health Psychology
    RSC301 Asthma Management
    SCI301 International Practical Experience

    Enrolment pattern

    It is not possible to specify an enrolment pattern due to combination of 2 course intakes each year, subjects with multiple sessions of offering and the number of credit packages. Students would normal complete 100 level subjects during their first year of enrolment, following by 200 and then 300 or 400 level subjects. It is student’s responsibility to select subjects based on this advice, subject availability, prerequisites and co-requisites.

  • Residential schools

    The following subjects may have a residential school component:

    BMS256 Exercise Science for Health Practice
    BMS191 Human Bioscience 1
    BMS192 Human Bioscience 2
    BCM210 Foundations and Techniques in Biochemistry

  • Admission information

    The minimum entry requirement for the course is completion of a 1 year (30 weeks) full-time Diploma or Advanced Diploma with at least 200 h clinical practice.

    Students entering the course will be required to possess an approved and government accredited qualification at the Diploma level (or higher) in Complementary Medicine in the following therapeutic modalities: naturopathy, nutritional science, homoeopathy, kinesiology, herbal medicine, aromatherapy/aromatic medicine, oriental therapies, acupuncture and remedial massage. Qualifications in sports and fitness training do not meet the entry requirement as they are not complementary medicine modalities.

    See standard CSU admission criteria

  • Cost of study

    Fees - please visit the fees and costs page or contact us for current fee information.

    Tax deduction - in some instances a tax deduction may be claimed for self education expenses. Please seek independent qualified taxation advice.

  • Course details

    Campus locations listed for Distance Education students are purely for administrative purposes and have no relevance to the student experience.

    Enrol TypeModeCampusFee typeSession1Session2Session3Admission Code
    DirectDistance EducationWagga WaggaFPOSYYNJSCM
    DirectDistance EducationWagga WaggaCGSYYNESAM

    CGS: Commonwealth Government supported places
    FPPG: Fee-paying postgraduate places
    FPOS: Fee-paying overseas student places
    Admission Code: For your reference if required during your application process
    NO TAC: An admission code is not required for applications to CSU Study Centres
    TEMP: An admission code has not yet been assigned for this course

    Graduation requirements

    To graduate, students must complete 192 points at Pass level or better.

  • How to apply
    Apply direct to CSU

    An online application to CSU takes about 15 minutes to complete. Find out more

    Apply online

    Apply direct to CSU

    Apply direct to CSU for on campus study at a CSU regional campus, or study by distance education.

    Apply online

    Recruitment agent

    Contact a Recruitment agent in your country who can answer your questions about CSU as well as help with the student visa application process.

    International recruitment agents

    Thinking of deferring?

    Find out more about deferral

  • About the School
    The School of Biomedical Sciences

    The School of Biomedical Sciences provides students with an opportunity to engage in high quality learning experiences in the areas of clinical practice (paramedic), clinical science, health science and medical science. School staff are well known for both quality teaching and research, a combination that ensures students receive not only a quality education, but a connection to job opportunities in industry and commerce, the professions, and the public sector. Research programs are diverse, providing an exciting environment for graduate studies – where students are exposed to cutting-edge research in a range of disciplines. The School delivers courses across five CSU campuses at Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange, Port Macquarie and Wagga Wagga.

  • Preparing for Study


    This School recommends any of the following short, self-paced, online STUDY LINK subjects to students who wish to reinforce knowledge and skills prior to starting at CSU:

    • SSS008 - Mathematics for the Sciences
    • SSS014 - Stepping into Statistics
    • SSS025 - Introduction to Bioscience

    Any of the following subjects are recommended for students who wish to improve the areas of writing and grammar prior to starting at CSU:

    • SSS022 - Writing at University
    • SSS024 - Grammar Essentials for Writing at University
    • SSS030 - Academic English for Australian Tertiary Studies (International and English as Second Language Learners)
    • SSS031 - Academic Writing Skills (F2F Workshop)
    • SSS034 - Essay Writing – Style and Structure
    These subjects are particularly useful for those people who feel that they may have knowledge gaps and need a refresher because they have not studied for some time. STUDY LINK subjects are free for CSU Commonwealth-supported students as soon as they accept their offer of a place; small fees apply for others. They are non-credit bearing subjects.  A Subject Coordinator assists students with any questions. The full subject list and enrolment forms are on the STUDY LINK website.
  • Academic expectations

    For each 8 point subject at CSU, students should normally expect to spend between 140-160 hours engaged in the specified learning and assessment activities (such as attending lectures or residential schools, assigned readings, tutorial assistance, individual or group research/study, forum activity, workplace learning, assignments or examinations). The student workload for some subjects may vary from these norms as a result of approved course design.

    Students will be assessed on the basis of completed assignments, examinations, workplace learning, or other methods as outlined in specific subject outlines.

    Where applicable, students are responsible for travel and accommodation costs involved in workplace learning experiences, or attending residential schools (distance education students).

    Expectations relating to academic, workplace learning, time and cost requirements for specific subjects are provided in the subject abstracts and in course materials.

    Throughout their studies, CSU students have a responsibility to continue to develop skills in English Language, literacy and numeracy as appropriate to their discipline. This ongoing development will enable students to effectively participate in their course and graduate as competent professionals.

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