Admission and Unit Information - Bachelor of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Accreditation

Western Sydney University Bachelor of Traditional Chinese Medicine has been designed to meet the accreditation requirements of the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia to qualify graduates for registration to practise Chinese herbal medicine. Accreditation is being sought.

Admission

Assumed knowledge: any 2 units of English.

Recommended studies: Biology

Applications from Australian and New Zealand citizens and holders of permanent resident visas must be made via the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). Use the links below to apply via UAC or Western Sydney University. Applications made directly to Western Sydney do not have an application fee.

Applicants who have undertaken studies overseas may have to provide proof of proficiency in English. Local and International applicants who are applying through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) will find details of minimum English proficiency requirements and acceptable proof on the UAC website. Local applicants applying directly to the University should also use the information provided on the UAC website.

http://www.uac.edu.au/

https://westernsydney.uac.edu.au/ws/

International applicants must apply directly to Western Sydney University via the International Office. International students applying to The University through the International Office can find details of minimum English proficiency requirements and acceptable proof on their website.

International Office

Overseas qualifications must be deemed by the Australian Education International - National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (AEI-NOOSR) to be equivalent to Australian qualifications in order to be considered by UAC and Western Sydney University.

Special Requirements Prerequisites

In order to enrol in Second Year Autumn units, all students must have: National Police Certificate and a Working with Children Check Student Declaration. In order to enrol in Second Year Spring units, all students must have a First Aid Certificate (including cardiopulmonary resuscitation). To be eligible to undertake clinical placements in public hospitals, students must comply with vaccination requirements and be prepared to submit a completed Adult Immunisation Card to placement institutions. NSW Health can provide details of necessary vaccinations. To meet NSW health requirements for clinical placements, second year students will be required to attend a ‘bulk compliance’ appointment to have their special requirements verified by NSW Health staff. To be eligible to undertake field/work/practice placements, students must also comply with the NSW Health Records and Information Privacy Act (2004) and complete a relevant declaration.

Course Structure

Qualification for this award requires the successful completion of 320 credit points which include the units listed in the recommended sequence below.

Recommended Sequence

Year 1

Autumn session

Traditional Chinese Medicine 1

This unit provides a comprehensive introduction to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Students are introduced to basic TCM theory, and the physiological principles of the diagnostic system that forms the basis of TCM practice. The history and philosophy of Chinese medicine is introduced and discussed in the light of contemporary clinical practice.

Human Anatomy and Physiology 1

This is the first of two units covering systematic anatomy and physiology at an introductory level. This unit is designed to provide students in applied health science programs with an overview of body systems and their functions to ensure a suitable basis for their future studies. The unit studies the basic concepts of biochemistry and histology, general anatomy and physiology of the major body systems including the central and peripheral nervous systems, integumentary system, musculoskeletal system (bones, muscles and joints), special senses and endocrine system. Emphasis will be placed on the interconnection and relationship between structure and function at every level of organisation.

Culture, Diversity and Health

This unit introduces skills for understanding and engaging effectively with the culturally and socially diverse world in which we live and work. Indigenous Australia is a major theme and students will gain an appreciation of the achievements and needs of Indigenous Australians. The unit examines cultural awareness more broadly and puts these issues in the context of health professionals working in multi-cultural settings and handling culturally different health philosophies and practices. Cultural diversity is increasingly recognised as a major issue in the delivery of health care and a major determinant of Indigenous health.

Professional Health Competencies

This unit introduces skills for studying and working in health science. Students will gain an understanding of the interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary nature of health science practice in the 21st century, and how this interacts with the specialty health professions, client and community expectations of health care and employment opportunities in health science. Students will learn foundation competencies that will underpin their academic development and their safe, responsible and ethical practice in health science service environments.

Spring session

Traditional Chinese Medicine 2

This unit provides learning experiences that enable students to expand upon their understanding of TCM philosophy and principles, with particular reference to developing diagnostic skills in TCM. Students acquire basic skills in case history taking, interpretation of relevant signs and symptoms, arriving at a TCM diagnosis, and devising suitable treatment strategies.

Human Anatomy and Physiology 2

Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 systematically covers anatomy and physiology at an introductory level. This unit is designed to provide students, especially those in clinical health science programs, with an overview of body systems and their functions, to ensure a suitable basis for their future studies. The unit studies the basic structure and function of the major body systems such as cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive and lymphatic. This unit also explores the physiological processes involved in the immune response, cell metabolism, regulation of body fluids and acid-base balance. Emphasis is placed on the interconnection and relationship between structure and function at every level of organisation.

Communication in Health

Communication is integral to professional relationships, whether working individually with a client, educating community members on health matters, or working with other professionals as part of a multidisciplinary team. This unit aims to develop communication skills in preparation for work within the health professions across these areas. Communication skills will include those needed to form therapeutic relationships with individual clients and groups, as well as those required to communicate health information to clients, groups and the wider community. Students will develop skills to establish appropriate working relationships with professional colleagues.

Cell Biology

Cells are the most basic form of all life, and underlying normal cell function are the molecules used to build complex cellular structures, generate energy, and propagate dynamic life. The unit will study the fundamental processes through which key biomolecules, including lipids, carbohydrates, amino acids and nucleic acids are manipulated to generate and store energy, and build a broad array of important biological macromolecules including DNA, membranes and proteins. To sustain life, cells respire for energy and replicate for growth and sexual reproduction. Accordingly the unit will examine cellular respiration, transcription, translation, mitosis, meiosis, transmission and how genes are inherited and modified providing insight into the phenomena of life. The role of DNA technologies in the fields of medicine, biotechnology and environmental science will provide students with real world applications.

Year 2

Autumn session

Traditional Chinese Medicine 3

This unit enables students to develop a sound understanding of causes of disease in TCM with a particular focus on disease pattern differentiation. This is complemented by the reinforcement of skills in case history taking and TCM diagnostics.

Pathophysiology 1

This unit is intended for students enrolled in a range of health science courses within the School of Science and Health. It is designed to equip students with a detailed knowledge of pathophysiological processes evident in a number of key human diseases that are vocationally relevant to these students. The content is organised using a systems based approach. Problem-based learning methods will be adopted in the tutorial component of this unit to help students develop crucial problem solving skills.

Channels and Points 1

Acupuncture is one of the principal therapeutic interventions in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This unit introduces students to acupuncture theory and practice, and provides opportunity to develop practical skills. It covers the theory of channels and points, channel pathway, point location and indication of the three yin/yang channels of hand and points, and the three yin channels of foot and points. This unit also expands upon the student's understanding of TCM theory and practice principles.

Chinese Materia Medica 1

Herbal medicine is one of the principal therapeutic interventions in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This unit introduces students to the therapeutic and reference organisation of Chinese medicinal herbs, and enables students to commence using the materia medica. It covers the commonly used herbs in each of the six categories of the Chinese materia medica, including the herbal properties, actions, indications, contraindications, combined usage as well as herbal dispensing. This unit also expands upon the student's understanding of TCM theory and practice principles.

Spring session

Foundations of Research and Evidence-Based Practice

This unit will consider the reasons and roles of evidence-based practice and research, and introduce students to their language and core concepts. Skills will be developed for asking clinical or professional healthcare questions and to translate these into search strategies for finding evidence. To make sense of that evidence, students will be introduced to quantitative and qualitative research methods, types of data, how data is described and how biostatistics is used to provide meaning to research data.

Pathophysiology 2

This unit extends the scope of topics explored in Pathophysiology 1 and is designed to equip students enrolled in health science courses of the School with detailed knowledge of pathophysiological processes evident in a number of key human diseases that are vocationally relevant to these students. Problem-based learning methods will be adopted in the tutorial component of this unit to help students develop crucial problem solving skills.

Channels and Points 2

Acupuncture is one of the principal therapeutic interventions in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This unit completes the study of system of channels and points, which forms the basis of clinical application of acupuncture. It covers the channel pathway, point location and indication of the three yang channels of foot and points, and Du and Ren channels and points. It also introduces the points of ear and scalp acupuncture. This unit expands upon the student's understanding of TCM theory and practice principles.

Chinese Materia Medica 2

This unit completes the study of Chinese medicinal herbs, which forms the basis for Chinese herbal medicine. It covers the commonly used herbs in each of the twelve categories of the Chinese materia medica, including the herbal properties, actions, indications, contraindications and combined usage. It also introduces the basic knowledge of herbal pharmacognosy. This unit also expands upon the student's understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine theory and practice principles.

Year 3

Autumn session

Research Methods (Quantitative and Qualitative)

This unit further explores research methods used to acquire knowledge in healthcare. This includes research designs, international standards, key statistics, and interpretation of results. The range of health research methods will be presented, and studies about treatment effectiveness (clinical trials and systematic reviews), diagnostic effectiveness and qualitative approaches will be explored in detail. The pathways and resources for conducting beginner research will also be introduced in this unit.

Chinese Medicinal Formulas

Herbal medicine is the principal therapeutic intervention in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This unit follows from Chinese Materia Medica 1 & 2, and begins the study of major Chinese herbal formulas, which form the basis for clinical prescribing in Chinese herbal medicine. The focus of this unit is to compare and contrast the main formulas in specified categories, and to analyse the specific actions of the herbs that make up the formula. Students will be required to formulate, assemble and prepare complex prescriptions. This unit expands upon the student's knowledge of the Chinese Materia Medica, as well as the understanding of TCM theory and practice principles.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Practice 1

This unit is focused on introductory clinical practice in a clinical setting. It enables the students to link theory with practice. It expands the students’ knowledge base of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, as well as Chinese language in practice of Chinese medicine. Students assist with clinical practice and perform basic acupuncture related techniques. Students will also learn basic skills in handling herbal preparation, processing and dispensing.

Acupuncture Techniques

This unit consolidates and extends students’ knowledge of acupuncture theory and practice, and provides further opportunity to develop practical skills. Students are introduced to the theory of point combinations and the development of acupuncture prescriptions and treatment plans. Practical sessions include moxibustion, cupping. This unit also expands upon the student's understanding of the theory and practice principles of traditional Chinese medicine.

Spring session

Clinical Pharmacology

This unit explores in depth clinical pharmacology fundamental to the practice of allied health (physiotherapy and podiatric medicine) and complementary medicine (traditional Chinese Medicine). General principles of pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics will be discussed. Key drug categories affecting the main body systems will be introduced in terms of their mechanisms of action, adverse reactions and clinical applications. In the context of antimicrobial pharmacology, general concepts of microbiology will be introduced offering students an understanding of the causative microorganisms, the complex relationship between host and pathogen, the pharmacological actions of antimicrobial drugs and the principles of infection control.

Clinical Assessment Methods

This unit is designed to introduce students to basic principles and essential skills of physical examination and diagnostic/laboratory investigation procedures, required for successful approach to diagnosis of health impairment states. Primary contact health practitioners are expected to have sound understanding of disease presentation, techniques of patient interviewing and examination for collection of relevant clinical information as well as the ability to select appropriate laboratory tests and interpret their findings. This unit will also help students to develop fundamental clinical reasoning skills required in the medical decision making process.

Evidence-Based Practice

In this unit, students incorporate previous research and biostatistics knowledge to develop new skills for using evidence to inform all aspects of their professional practice. Evidence-based practice uses an enquiry led approach to manage expanding and uncertain knowledge by formulating answerable questions, effectively searching literature, critically appraising evidence validity and results, and to assess its significance in clinical practice and healthcare decision-making. Students will incorporate evidence in communication and shared decision making processes for patient scenarios relevant to their program.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Practice 2

This unit is focused on clinical practice in a clinical setting. It enables the student to link theory with practice. It expands the students knowledge base of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, as well as TCM theory and diagnostics. Students facilitate clinical practice and perform a wide range of acupuncture and related techniques, in addition to basic herbal prescribing.

At this point, students may exit with the Bachelor of Health Science

Year 4

Autumn session

Chinese Internal Medicine 1

The study of internal medicine forms the basis of clinical practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This unit begins to bridge the gap between theory and practice. It enables the health professional to analyse, diagnose and treat common internal diseases with both acupuncture and herbal medicine and using a TCM approach. The focus of this unit is on the analysis of major presenting symptoms.

Specialities in Traditional Chinese Medicine 1

This unit provides learning experiences that enable the health professional to analyse, diagnose and treat common gynaecological diseases and musculoskeletal conditions using a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Students will develop a good understanding of the causes and pathophysiological mechanisms of common gynaecological diseases and musculoskeletal conditions.

Classical Texts in Chinese Medicine

This unit provides further learning experiences that enable the students to explore the original theories on physiology, pathology, diagnosis, differentiation and treatment of diseases through select periods of Chinese history. Many theoretical concepts, diagnostic systems and therapeutic methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are still in current usage, and will be covered through the study of important classical texts and academic schools of TCM thought. This unit expands upon the student’s understanding of TCM theories and practice principles through studies of the classical literature.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Practice 3

This unit represents a continuation of the clinical practicum and development of clinical skills. Students will also be able to apply their knowledge of professional theory, practice, research and evaluation skills to the investigation of TCM problem. Students will be expected to demonstrate competence in handling patients in a clinical context, synthesise knowledge from their studies of specialities in Traditional Chinese Medicine and critically examine the practical aspects of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine research. Students will also learn basic knowledge of health preservation and enhancement including lifestyle, diet and physical exercise.

Spring session

Chinese Internal Medicine 2

This unit builds on Chinese Medicine 1 and extends the student’s ability to analyse, diagnose and treat common and difficult diseases in internal medicine with both acupuncture and herbal medicine and using a TCM approach. Students will develop an understanding of the causes and pathophysiological mechanisms of a wide range of diseases.

Specialities in Traditional Chinese Medicine 2

The specialties of paediatrics, dermatology, ear, nose, throat (ENT) and eye diseases, are important divisions of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) activity. This unit enables students to develop an understanding of the aetiology and pathophysiology of common paediatric, dermatological, ENT and eye disorders, and to analyse, diagnose and treat these conditions using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

Block Clinical Practicum

This unit provides the student with intensive, supervised clinical practice experience. Arrangements will be made for students to complete this stage in China. This will involve students paying their own travel fares, as well as, training and accommodation fees to the Chinese institution. This unit represents the final clinical practicum stage and development of clinical skills. Students will be expected to demonstrate competence in handling patients in a clinical context, and manage their integrated care using Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Practice 4

This unit represents a continuation of the clinical practicum and development of clinical skills. Students will be able to integrate their theoretical knowledge, practice skills and research base to the investigation, diagnosis and supervised treatment of patients in a clinical context. Students will be able to synthesise knowledge and competency in the practice of clinical areas of focus taught in Chinese Medicine I and II, and Specialties in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) I and II. Students will be expected to demonstrate professional competence in handling patients in a clinical context, diagnosing more complex cases and devising and managing the integrated care of patients using TCM.