Bachelor of Traditional Chinese Medicine

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At a Glance

Duration4 years full-time
Part-time available for Domestic students
Study ModeMixed
Combines on-campus and online learning
Campus LocationHaymarket, Sydney
Students outside Sydney can do the on-campus learning via intensive study blocks
Clinical Practicum900 hours
Most of these hours are completed at our on-campus Teaching Clinic
Award AbbreviationBTCM
Upcoming IntakesFeb, Jun, Aug and Dec 2024

Overview

The Bachelor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) provides graduates with the necessary education to practise as an AHPRA-registered Chinese medicine practitioner. The degree is accredited by the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia in all three divisions of registration: Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine and Chinese Herbal Dispensing.

New students initially focus on the fundamental theories underpinning Chinese medicine and biomedical science. As their knowledge deepens, clinical practicum becomes an increasingly important source of learning. By graduation, all students have completed 900 hours of clinical observation and practice under the supervision of registered practitioners with many years’ experience.

Course Structure

The course is broken into eight semesters, with each semester including four units of study if competed full-time. Please refer to the Course Structure page for information about the specific units that comprise the degree. Each unit falls into one of six knowledge areas, which are summarised in the below tabs:

The Bachelor of TCM 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 and will develop students’ practical skills in collecting and interpreting information in a clinical setting.

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 a common ground for communication with the Australian healthcare system to enable practitioners to interpret the biomedical viewpoint, and to encourage the application of scientific knowledge in clinical practice.

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, including compliance with herbal restrictions under the SUSMP and CITES, as well as practical training in the safe 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.

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 and Chinese herbal medicine.

Clinical training provides practical application of the theories of Chinese medicine and biomedicine for the management of a wide range of health disorders using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, as in the operation of a Chinese medicine clinic or dispensary. Students will develop an understanding of their professional identity and other professional roles in the healthcare team and develop approaches to become collaborative interprofessional team members. This learning occurs in real clinics (i.e., at SITCM’s Teaching Clinic and designated external clinics). For more information about clinic training, please see our Clinic Practicum page.

Students will study professional and practice issues that include communication, ethics, legal responsibilities, cultural safety, cultural determinants of health, practice management, small business management, 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. This aspect of the course is integrated systematically throughout the teaching and learning process to assist in the development of skills required for an Australian healthcare practitioner to operate a successful private practice.

Course Learning Outcomes

Course learning outcomes are aligned to the requirements of the Australian Qualification Framework Level 7 and to the professional capabilities of Chinese medicine accreditation standards. At the conclusion of the Bachelor of TCM, graduates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the theories and principles of Chinese Medicine, including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and Chinese herbal dispensing.
  2. Critically review and analyse, consolidate, and synthesise relevant Chinese Medicine knowledge, ethics, and professional standards.
  3. Apply and adapt knowledge and skills appropriate to the safe delivery of Chinese medicine.
  4. Exercise critical thinking and informed judgment in identifying health problems, planning, and applying appropriate Chinese medicine treatments.
  5. Utilise appropriate and effective communication skills when engaging with clients, and other healthcare professionals.
  6. Demonstrate capacity for continuing professional development as a Chinese Medicine practitioner.

Career Opportunities

The Bachelor of TCM is fully accredited by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Graduates are eligible for professional registration, which allows them to use the following professional titles in Australia: Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbal Dispenser, Chinese Herbal Practitioner, Chinese Medicine Practitioner or Oriental Medicine Practitioner.

Many graduates of the course enter private practice as primary health practitioners, either self-employed in private practice or as a member of a team in a clinic that offers a range of therapies. Others 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, or work in other healthcare agencies.

SITCM actively engages with local businesses, private clinics, and health services in the remedial massage and healthcare sectors. Our goal is to introduce our students and graduates to potential job opportunities available both during their course of study and after graduation. For detailed information, please refer to our Job Opportunities for Graduates page.

Accreditations and Collaborations

The Bachelor of TCM is fully accredited by the following regulators:

It is also registered on CRICOS for delivery to overseas students.

We collaborate with Australia’s 6 TCM-focused professional associations:

  • Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA)
  • Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Society of Australia (CMASA)
  • Chinese Medicine Industry Council (CMIC)
  • Federation of Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture Societies of Australia (FCMA)
  • Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)

Finally, the Jiangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine currently offers study tours to SITCM students during SITCM holiday periods. Please visit our China Study Tour page for details.

Student Profile

Please visit our Student Profile page for general statistics about the most recent cohort of students to enter the Bachelor of TCM.

Fees

The HE Fee Information page provides details of the fees associated with the Bachelor of TCM.

Entry Requirements

For information on entry requirements, please refer to the Student Admissions Policy and Procedure on the HE Policies & Forms page.

Credit for Prior Learning

Applicants who have completed post-secondary studies may request consideration for advanced standing towards the Bachelor of TCM. Applications for credit should include full documentation of previous studies, including unit descriptions. For more information, please see our Credit for Prior Learning page or email administration@sitcm.edu.au.