The Sydney Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SITCM) has been producing industry-ready practitioners in Traditional Chinese Medicine in Australia since 1984.
The Institute was established to promote the growth and development of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) within our community and the health profession by providing accredited courses of the highest standards.
The Bachelor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (BTCM) is a four-year undergraduate degree in the discipline of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The course provides students with a comprehensive foundation in the theory and practice of traditional Chinese medicine including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, Chinese herbal dispensing, biomedical sciences, and the role of a professional Chinese medicine practitioner in the Australian healthcare system.
The broad educational base of the degree, strong clinical practice focus and the development of analytical skills offered within it will equip graduates to be life-long learners and will encourage them to develop a wider professional role in healthcare.
This course is approved by the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (CMBA) in all three divisions of registration: Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine and Chinese Herbal Dispensing.
The course has been aligned to the characteristics of learning outcomes at Australian Qualification Framework Level 7 and to the professional capabilities of Chinese medicine accreditation standards. Accordingly, at the conclusion of the Bachelor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, graduates will be able to:
The duration of BTCM is 4 years full-time. Students may choose to complete the course on a part-time basis for a maximum duration of 10 years (part-time study is not available to international students). Part-time students should consult with the Registrar.
The coursework component is undertaken at the Institute’s campus located in Sydney’s CBD; students also undertake a total of 900 hours of extensive supervised clinical practice training at the Institute’s teaching clinic and at approved external clinics of registered practitioners of TCM and non-TCM professions. Students will receive approximately equal clinical training in acupuncture and in Chinese herbal medicine/dispensing.
The BTCM consists of six subject areas that are described below:
The BTCM provides students with education in the theoretical paradigms of traditional Chinese medicine including its terminology, history, theoretical orientation, principles and diagnosis. These studies will provide a firm understanding of the theory of Chinese medicine as well as develop practical skills in collecting and interpreting information in a clinical setting.
Students will study the full range of modalities of Chinese medicine which provide an understanding of the theoretical aspects specific to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine/dispensing, as well as practical training in
the application of these therapeutic methods. Students will study classical Chinese medicine literature to provide an understanding and appreciation of the sources of many of the concepts and therapeutic approaches used in contemporary Chinese medicine.
Students will study basic and biomedical sciences such as anatomy, biochemistry, Histology, physiology, Pathophysiology, microbiology, pathology, Clinical Diagnosis, and pharmacology in western medicine. These studies aim to provide an understanding and appreciation of the theoretical background of modern biomedicine in order to establish common ground for communication with the established healthcare system in
Australia, to enable practitioners to interpret the biomedical viewpoint, and to encourage the application of scientific knowledge in clinical practice.
Clinical Chinese medicine studies will provide a foundation in TCM internal medicine, TCM traumatology, TCM gynaecology, TCM paediatrics and dermatology. This will provide students with theoretical and practical skills in the diagnosis, differentiation and clinical management of a wide range of health disorders using acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine.
Students will undertake Clinical Training throughout the course which includes clinical observation, clinical practicum and internship. These studies aim to provide practical training in the application of the theories of Chinese medicine and biomedicine, in the management of a wide range of health disorders using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, as well as in the operation of a Chinese medicine clinic or dispensary.
In an integrated manner and throughout the duration of the course, students will study professional and practice issues that include ethics, counselling and communication, the legislative framework and legal responsibilities, practice management, small business management, first aid, and research methods. This will assist students in a range of areas needed for the effective operation of an independent practice in Chinese medicine and in their ongoing professional development undertakings. This aspect of the course is integrated systematically throughout the teaching and learning process to assist in the development of appropriate interpersonal, communication and management skills to enable graduates to operate a successful private practice.
Graduates will be expected to demonstrate humane and ethical behaviour in their professional life as well as respect for diversity within the wider Australian community. Graduates will be aware of the need for ongoing professional development and possess critical literature appraisal kills to enable them to undertake ongoing post-graduate education.
Graduates of the course will generally enter private practice as primary practitioners and will possess knowledge and understanding of a range of modalities of Chinese medicine including acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
The Institute expects that some graduates will become TCM practitioners either self-employed in private practice or as a member of a team in a clinic that offers a range of therapies, some may undertake Chinese medicine research, become involved in education, product development, management and sales roles in pharmaceutical and herbal companies, provide healthcare advice and consultancy online, and some may practice in hospitals, community health centres, and other healthcare agencies.
As primary healthcare practitioners, graduates will be competent in the practice of Chinese medicine and conversant with the legal responsibilities, ethics, and standards of Australian health professions generally. Graduates will be familiar with the Australian healthcare system in order to make appropriate referrals and to use that system in the interests of their patients.
Applicants who have completed post-secondary studies may request consideration for advanced standing towards the BTCM. Applications for credit should include full documentation of previous studies, including unit descriptions. Granting advanced standing for previous study ensures that students commence study at a level that appropriately recognises their prior learning experiences, and are not required to repeat equivalent learning successfully undertaken in another context. For more information and an application form for advanced standing please contact the Institute.
To be considered for admission, applicants must provide evidence that they meet the requirements of at least one of the following three categories:
The NSW Department of Education and Communities should be contacted to determine the equivalency of overseas secondary qualifications before lodging an application.
Applicants who do not meet the above requirements may gain entry to a course by addressing one of the following criteria:
All applicants need to demonstrate English language proficiency by providing evidence of ONE of the following four situations:
Applicants whose primary language is English, and whose primary and secondary education was all taught and assessed in English in one of the following countries:
|English Language Tests||Minimum Requirement|
|IELTS Academic||6.5 overall (min. 6.0 in each subtest)|
|TOEFL Paper-Based Test|
|575 overall (min. 4.5 in TWE)|
|TOEFL Internet-Based Test (iBT)||90 overall (min. 21 in writing)|
|Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic||58 overall (min. 59 in all communicative skills)|
|Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)||176 overall|
|Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)||176 overall|
|Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) Multiple Choice||155 in the verbal (critical) reasoning component|
Applicants who wish to register as a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner at the completion of their BTCM course must meet the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) Registration Standard: English Language Skills. These standards differ from the standards required for admission to SITCM.
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)||Grade 4 in one of the following English courses:
• English B at higher level
• English A: language and literature at standard or higher level
• English A: literature at standard or higher level
|United Kingdom GCE A Levels||C grade in at least one Humanities subject at AS or A2 level|
|Singapore-Cambridge GCE A Levels||C grade in at least one Humanities subject at H1 or H2 level|
|Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM)||C pass in 920 Literature in English|
|Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)||Level 4 in English Language or Literature in English|